The James Clear Newsletter


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

3-2-1: On excuses, a cure for sadness, and how beautiful people are made

read onJAMESCLEAR.COM | MAY 20, 2021

Happy 3-2-1 Thursday,

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

3 Ideas From Me

I.

“Saying no saves you time in the future. Saying yes costs you time in the future.

No is like a time credit. You can spend that block of time in the future.

Yes is like a time debt. You have to repay that commitment at some point.

No is a decision. Yes is a responsibility.”


​II.

“Most of the excuses I made…

– not enough time
– not enough money
– not enough knowledge
– not the right connections

…were just ways to avoid the real bottleneck: Not enough courage.

There was always a small step I could have taken—if I had the guts to take it.”

(Share this on Twitter)​


III.

“You can either be judged because you created something or ignored because you left your greatness inside of you. Your call.”

(Share this on Twitter)​

2 Quotes From Others

I.

Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler Ross on how beautiful people are made:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Source: Death: The Final Stage of Growth


​II.

Author T.H. White on learning as a cure for sadness:

“The best thing for being sad… is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.”

Source: The Once and Future King

1 Question For You

A question from writer Elizabeth Gilbert:

“What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant?”

If you enjoyed that, please share with others.

Share this newsletter on TwitterFacebookLinkedInWhatsApp, or via email.

Or, copy and paste the link below:

Until next week,

James Clear
Author of the multi-million-copy bestseller, Atomic Habits
Creator of the 
Habit Journal