Atomic habits are:
The 5 Core Themes
James Clear's best selling book "Atomic Habits" is summarised excellently by Samuel Thomas Davis, and he identifies these 5 core themes:
I have read a number of reviews and summaries of James Clear's "Atomic Habits" and they focus on various aspects of the many very strong points in the book. However, my personal key takeaway is this:
In the modern world we live in a "delayed return environment" where the ability to accept deferred gratification is critical.
We live in a delayed return environment
From an evolutionary perspective, back when we were living on the plains of Africa most of our decisions had an immediate impact and thus our focus was on the present or near future - what Clear refers to as an immediate-return environment.
In life on the Savannah plains of Africa it made sense to place a premium on instant gratification. Our survival often depended on it. So, our brains evolved over time to prefer quick hits of pleasure to the kind of satisfaction one might get from long-term accomplishments.
Whereas, as Clear points out:
"In modern society, many of the choices you make today will not benefit you immediately…You live in what scientists call a delayed-return environment because you can work for years before your actions deliver the intended payoff."
But given that are brains are hardwired for instant gratification, they process and evaluate potential rewards by ascribing a higher value to the present and a discount to the future.
This is the problem we face:
“What is immediately rewarded is repeated. What is immediately punished is avoided...”
Therefore we have to align our behavioural changes - adopting good habits - to this reality or we fail. Clear regards this is the number rule of behavioural change.
Habits do not restrict freedom, they create it. The people who don’t have their habits handled are often the people with the least amount of freedom.
The 4-Step Process of Building a Habit (The Habit Loop)
By the time we become an adult, we rarely notice the habits that are running our lives.
The Four Laws of Behavior Change:
Invert these laws to break a bad habit:
Whenever you want to change your behavior, you can ask yourself:
Return from "Atomic Habits" to: Mental Models
Like A Prayer - Life Is A Mystery
How Things Really Are - The Inbuilt Design Flaws
Intuition Or Anxiety - Are There Angels Or Devils Crawling Here?
What Is Truth - How To Tell A Partial Truth From The Whole Truth?
Duality And Life Beyond Your Thinking Mind
The Conscious Mind Is Limited - Be Aware And Be Prepared
Your Inner Map Of Reality - Here's Why You Think The Way You Do
The Failure Of Cancel Culture - Suppression Not Engagement
4 Big Reasons Why We Get Stuck In Our Attempts At Personal Change
How Do I Change And Why Is It So Hard?
The Illusion Of A Separate Self - Windows 11 With Self Awareness!
Finite And Infinite Games - Dazed, Confused & Ultimately Transcendent
The Gap And The Gain - How Your Brain Sabotages Your Happiness
How To Wake Up - 4 Simple Practices To Help You Wake Up Now
Situational Communication - Different Strokes For Different Folks
How To Influence Without Authority - 6 Key Tips
Change Questions To Change Your Outcomes
Group Culture - The Invisible Software That Rules Your Life
Why Getting From A to B Is Not Aways A Straight Line
The Art Of Persuasion Planning For Success - Here's How To Do It!
The Art Of Persuasion Advanced Communication Skills - Gaining Buyin
The Art Of Persuasion The One Fundamental Principle - Create A Win-Win
Communication Persuasion And Change - Key Skills To Survive & Succeed
The Eisenhower Box - What Is Important Is Seldom Urgent
Zen Enlightenment [Satori] - The Stink Of Zen
5 Zen Mindsets For Mastery - In Any Area Of Your Life
Dealing With The Toxicity Of Online Dating - 6 Key Tips From A Clinical Psychologist
Why Understanding Ergodicity Is Critical To Your Long Term Survival
Dealing With Imposter Syndrome - Ego Is The Enemy
The Challenges Of The Road Less Traveled