The End of Atomic Habits

I'd say James Clear's book was a success. I thoroughly enjoyed it, will reread some other portions, changed some of my habits in less than a month, and I signed up for his newsletter. In his last chapter, he shared some lessons he learned from writing the book, and I've added my own reflections.

Awareness comes before desire. If you notice something, but don't care about it, you won't associate a craving for it. I don't care for clothes shopping, so I've never been lured in for sales. Camera and phone and hot sauce sales, though... I can't say I wouldn't at least look around.

Happiness is simply the absence of desire. I suppose that's true. I'm happy right now that my neighbor has turned her music off - it was just loud enough to be annoying, not loud enough to really go complain, unless it was past 10pm.

Peace occurs when you don't turn your observations into problems. Hmmm. I'm afraid I do that entirely too much, between complaining about other drivers on the road and expecting people to do what they say they will do. They're only problems if you make them problems.

With a big enough why you can overcome any how. Clear mentioned Nietzsche, who said "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." There are always different ways to find a solution to the problem at hand.

Being curious is better than being smart. Absolutely! Being curious requires action and continued investigation instead of resting on laurels.

Emotions drive behavior. I guess that's true, but as an INTJ, I'd like to stick with not dealing with those things. However, I know that I used to get angry a lot - and my outbursts were fueled from anger, not rational thought.

We can only be rational and logical after we have been emotional. Well, sure, I don't lay out my plans to be understood and then decide after a while to be angry. And something something lizard brain, I don't know, I ignore all that stuff.

Your response tends to follow your emotions. Only because your emotions damage your sense of correctness! I'm kidding. Mostly. Can we get off the emotions stuff now?

Suffering drives progress. I guess, but I'm not really suffering when I try to play a piano piece better. I suppose if I don't practice at all and want to be an amazing piano player, I will have suffered for not continuing with it.

Your actions reveal how badly you want something. Perhaps, or it tells you that your system is broken and you are tired.

Reward is on the other side of sacrifice. Similar to 'suffering drives progress', putting an appropriate reward on an action doesn't mean that action needed to be a painful endeavor. Technically, it is a sacrifice to play piano instead of just being on the computer reading the news - but knowing how satisfying playing piano is, and reading the news isn't, there's not much sacrificing going on.

Self-control is difficult because it is not satisfying. That's true. Earlier in the month, ignoring the chocolates in the meeting room at work was very difficult. Now, I just shrug when someone talks about sitting next to the chocolates. Since I haven't had much of any added sugar, and little sugar at all (my average per day is less than 20 grams) I don't care about the chocolates. I'll likely have something sweet to eat on February 1st, but I'm not going to eat sweets at work - which was my problem - I would have a chocolate or two or three throughout the day, and someone would always manage to bring donuts or cake or sweet breads. It was difficult to resist because no one would shame me about it, I didn't gain 50lbs eating one piece of chocolate. However, each time I eat a chocolate without using the caloric energy, I will eventually gain weight. It's not bad to eat a piece of chocolate. It's bad to have a chocolate eating habit.

Tomorrow, I'll wrap up my discussion on Atomic Habits and take another look at my challenges and habits again. I'm sure they're likely to need some editing.


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