James Clear Newsletter 3-2-1 Thursday

“The most wisdom per word of any newsletter on the web.”

3-2-1: How to divide your to-do list, and the universal nature of writing

read on JAMESCLEAR.COM | APRIL 7, 2022

Happy 3-2-1 Thursday!

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

3 Ideas From Me


A simple reminder from Atomic Habits:

“Walk slowly, but never backward.”

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“Look around your environment.

Rather than seeing items as objects, see them as magnets for your attention. Each object gently pulls a certain amount of your attention toward it.

Whenever you discard something, the tug of that object is released. You get some attention back.”


“Powerful combination = Hate being bad at stuff + Willing to look like a beginner.

People who hate being bad at stuff are driven to improve. However, if they are unwilling to look like a beginner from time to time, they will avoid new challenges and struggle to reinvent themselves.

Meanwhile, people who are willing to try new things, but lack a thirst to improve will settle for mediocre results.

It’s the willingness to look foolish for a short time—but not for a long time—that leads to jumps in performance.”

2 Quotes From Others


Writer Jenée Desmond-Harris on how to divide your to-do list:

“I started dividing my to-do list into 1) things I have to do, 2) things I want to do, and 3) things other people want me to do. Life changing! I often don’t get to #3 and I finally realized… this is what it means to have boundaries.”

Source: Twitter


Poet and novelist Margaret Atwood on the universal nature of writing:

“Everyone writes in a way; that is, each person has a “story,” a personal narrative which is constantly being replayed, revised, taken apart, and put together again. The significant points in this narrative change as a person ages—what may have been tragedy at twenty is seen as comedy or nostalgia at forty. All children write. (And paint, and sing.) I suppose the real question is why do so many people give it up?”

Source: Women at Work: Interviews from the Paris Review

1 Question For You

What is a small, but courageous choice you can make today?

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