James Clear Newsletter

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3-2-1: The difference between good and great, how to love yourself, and how to get better at writing

read on JAMESCLEAR.COM | DECEMBER 16, 2021

Happy 3-2-1 Thursday,

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

3 Ideas From Me


“The difference between good and great is often an extra round of revision.

The person who looks things over a second time will appear smarter or more talented, but actually is just polishing things a bit more.

Take the time to get it right. Revise it one extra time.”


“One of the best strategies for learning something quickly: corner a nerd.

Find someone who totally geeks out about that topic and ask them every question you can think of.”

(Share this on Twitter)​


“A brief guide to compounding:

If you don’t enjoy something, you won’t stick with it.

If you don’t stick with it, it won’t compound.

Being interested precedes the results.”

(Share this on Twitter)​

2 Quotes From Others


Author and social activist bell hooks on how to love yourself:

“One of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others. There was a time when I felt lousy about my over-forty body, saw myself as too fat, too this, or too that. Yet I fantasized about finding a lover who would give me the gift of being loved as I am.

It is silly, isn’t it, that I would dream of someone else offering to me the acceptance and affirmation I was withholding from myself. This was a moment when the maxim “You can never love anybody if you are unable to love yourself” made clear sense. And I add, “Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself.”

Source: All About Love: New Visions


Author Toni Morrison on how to get better at writing—or anything, really:

“I thought of myself as like the jazz musician: someone who practices and practices and practices in order to be able to invent and to make his art look effortless and graceful. I was always conscious of the constructed aspect of the writing process, and that art appears natural and elegant only as a result of constant practice and awareness of its formal structures.”

Source: The Paris Review

1 Question For You

What am I continuing to do out of habit, but is no longer serving me?

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3-2-1: The difference between good and great, how to love yourself, and how to get better at writing

Until next week,

James ClearAuthor of the #1 worldwide bestseller, Atomic HabitsCreator of the Habit Journal