@amit's notes

Atomic Habits




Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy. (Location 290)

“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.19 Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it—but all that had gone before.” (Location 341)

Every craving is linked to a desire to change your internal state. (Location 706)

I have never seen someone consistently stick to positive habits in a negative environment. (Location 1304)

It is the anticipation of a reward—not the fulfillment of it—that gets us to take action. The greater the anticipation, the greater the dopamine spike. (Location 1518)

We are so focused on figuring out the best approach that we never get around to taking action. As Voltaire once wrote, “The best is the enemy of the good.”2 (Location 1854)

Most of us are experts at avoiding criticism. It doesn’t feel good to fail or to be judged publicly, so we tend to avoid situations where that might happen. And that’s the biggest reason why you slip into motion rather than taking action: you want to delay failure. (Location 1865)

If you want to master a habit, the key is to start with repetition, not perfection. You don’t need to map out every feature of a new habit. You just need to practice it. This is the first takeaway of the 3rd Law: you just need to get your reps in. (Location 1872)

our real motivation is to be lazy and to do what is convenient. (Location 1962)

Habits are the entry point, not the end point. They are the cab, not the gym. (Location 2118)

When working in your favor, automation can make your good habits inevitable and your bad habits impossible. (Location 2293)

the costs of your good habits are in the present. The costs of your bad habits are in the future. (Location 2436)

In summary, habit tracking (1) creates a visual cue that can remind you to act, (2) is inherently motivating because you see the progress you are making and don’t want to lose it, and (3) feels satisfying whenever you record another successful instance of your habit. (Location 2560)

Pain is an effective teacher. If a failure is painful, it gets fixed. If a failure is relatively painless, it gets ignored. (Location 2670)

You don’t have to build the habits everyone tells you to build. Choose the habit that best suits you, not the one that is most popular. (Location 2867)

There is a version of every habit that can bring you joy and satisfaction. Find it. Habits need to be enjoyable if they are going to stick. (Location 2868)

Boiling water will soften a potato but harden an egg. You can’t control whether you’re a potato or an egg, but you can decide to play a game where it’s better to be hard or soft. (Location 2932)

The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right. (Location 2988)

Mastery requires practice. But the more you practice something, the more boring and routine it becomes. (Location 3022)

The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us. (Location 3025)

Links to this note

If this scribble resonated with you in any way, I would love to hear from you. You can email me or browse through my bio to find other ways to connect with me.

Atomic Habits