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James Clear – Newsletters I like

3-2-1 Newsletter by James Clear“The most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web.”

3-2-1: On the paradox of focus, criticism, and the value of reading

read onJAMESCLEAR.COM | APRIL 22, 2021

Happy 3-2-1 Thursday,

Here are 3 ideas, 2 quotes, and 1 question to consider this week…

3 Ideas From Me


“The more you move, the easier it is to keep moving. Maintain the momentum.”

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“The best properties are rarely for sale.

The best employees are rarely job hunting.

The best clients are rarely shopping.

The best option is usually off the market. Most people think this means you can’t have it. What it really means is you have to go find it and sell yourself.”


“The Paradox of Focus:

Make the most of one opportunity and more opportunities will come your way.

Moving boldly in one direction causes more paths to unfold before you.

To get more, focus on less.”

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2 Quotes From Others


Chilean saying on criticism:

“Criticizing a musician is easy, but it is more difficult when you have a guitar in your hand.”

Source: I’m told the original saying is, “Otra cosa es con guitarra.”


A letter from author Anne Lamott on the value of reading:

“If you love to read, or learn to love reading, you will have an amazing life. Period. Life will always have hardships, pressure, and incredibly annoying people, but books will make it all worthwhile. In books, you will find your North Star, and you will find you, which is why you are here.

Books are paper ships, to all the worlds, to ancient Egypt, outer space, eternity, into the childhood of your favorite musician, and — the most precious stunning journey of all — into your own heart, your own family, your own history and future and body.

Out of these flat almost two-dimensional boxes of paper will spring mountains, lions, concerts, galaxies, heroes. You will meet people who have been all but destroyed, who have risen up and will bring you with them. Books and stories are medicine, plaster casts for broken lives and hearts, slings for weakened spirits. And in reading, you will laugh harder than you ever imagined laughing, and this will be magic, heaven, and salvation. I promise.”

Source: A Velocity of Being: Letters to A Young Reader

1 Question For You

If I keep doing what I am about to do today for the next five years, will I end up with more of what I want or less of what I want?

Happy Earth Day! Happy Bicycle Around the World day…

Did you know…

… that today, besides being Earth Day!,  is Bicycle Around the World Day? In 1884, Thomas Stevens started a bicycle trip around the world. The trip took him over two years and nine months to complete. And he did it by riding a large-wheeled Ordinary, also known as a penny-farthing, where the front wheel is much larger than the back wheel!


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.”

— Henry Ward Beecher

From Dr. Marshall Goldsmith’s Newsletter

One Vital Thing Successful People Do Differently

The challenge for most of us is to anticipate our environment even in the minor moments when we’re not trying to be successful, when we’re not “on” or trying to achieve.

Marshall GoldsmithApr 22

Most of us go through life unaware of how our environment shapes our behavior.

When we experience “road rage” on a crowded freeway, it’s not because we’re sociopathic monsters. It’s because the temporary condition of being behind the wheel in a car, surrounded by rude, impatient drivers, triggers a change in our otherwise jovial demeanor. We’ve unwittingly (and that is the key word) placed ourselves in an environment of impatience, competitiveness, and hostility – and it alters us.

What I’ve noticed about successful people, is that they are never completely oblivious to their environment. They do one very important thing differently: They anticipate and prepare for what is next, and, they do what they can to create the environment they want when they get there.

Take for instance trial attorneys – they don’t ask questions to which they don’t already know the answers! Their entire line of questioning is based on one thing: anticipation.

Another example, a public official chairing a town meeting about a divisive issue. The official anticipates that some comments will be said in anger, that the exchanges could become inflammatory and personally insulting. In a heated environment, she reminds herself to stay cool and be fair. She may even prepare some mollifying remarks.

The challenge for most of us is to anticipate our environment even in the minor moments when we’re not trying to be successful, when we’re not “on” or trying to achieve. Most of our day consists of these lesser moments. We’re not thinking about our behavior because we don’t associate the situation with any consequences – we think it’s not important enough to give it much thought.

These seemingly benign environments, ironically, are when we need to be most vigilant. When we’re not anticipating the environment, anything can happen!

For instance, after a long day at work, we get home. It’s a beautiful summer day with three hours of daylight left. We could take a walk, call a friend, cook a nice meal, catch up on bills, or finish the book we’ve been reading. Instead, we take the easy road, we grab a bag of pretzels and a soda, turn on the TV, and plop down on the sofa to mindlessly watch a rerun of something we’ve seen at least 20 times before.

Why didn’t we do what was good for us? Because we didn’t anticipate our environment and create a way to continue our successful day when we got home.

What could we have done to anticipate and create our environment? We could have called or texted a friend earlier in the day to meet us for dinner, we could have put our shoes by the door so we’d remember to take a walk when we got home, we could have placed our book on top of the remote as a reminder that we want to read. These things aren’t difficult to do before you get home after a long day, but in the moment, when we’re tired and depleted, they are practically impossible.

When I consider the behavioral edge that anticipation provides, my only question is: “Why would anyone say no to a little more anticipation?”

Thank you for reading! I hope this is helpful to you and those around you.

Life is good. Marshall.