James Clear’s Newsletter

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3-2-1: Leave room for the unexpected


Happy 3-2-1 Thursday,

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

3 Ideas From Me


“The world rewards you for value provided, not time spent.”

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“The important thing is not to keep winning, but to keep reaching.”

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“Always leave room for the unexpected. A buffer of time, a little extra money, a reserve of goodwill.

You won’t be maximizing every opportunity or squeezing out every last dollar, but what you lose in reward, you gain in safety.

Survival is the highest return of all.”

2 Quotes From Others


Malaysian politician Tunku Abdul Rahman on patience:

“Some people think that as soon as you plant a tree, it must bear fruit. We must allow it to grow a bit.”

Source: Leaders of New Nations


Author Anne Lamott on imperfection:

“Almost everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, scared, and yet designed for joy. Even (or especially) people who seem to have it more or less together are more like the rest of us than you would believe. I try not to compare my insides to their outsides, because this makes me much worse than I already am, and if I get to know them, they turn out to have plenty of irritability and shadow of their own. Besides, those few people who aren’t a mess are probably good for about twenty minutes of dinner conversation.

This is good news, that almost everyone is petty, narcissistic, secretly insecure, and in it for themselves, because a few of the funny ones may actually long to be friends with you and me. They can be real with us, the greatest relief. As we develop love, appreciation, and forgiveness for others over time, we may accidentally develop those things toward ourselves, too.”

Source: Almost Everything

1 Question For You

To prioritize the day, think about the decade:

If I want to be on track to achieve X in 10 years, what do I need to do today?

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3-2-1: Leave room for the unexpected

Until next week,

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

p.s. You’re wanted for jury duty.