James Clear Newsletter

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3-2-1: The work required to be happy, and important lessons that aren’t taught in school

read on JamesClear.com | April 13, 2023

Happy 3-2-1 Thursday!

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

3 Ideas From Me


“You are the average of the 5 habits you repeat most.”

(Share this on Twitter)​


“Speed is perpetually undervalued.

Asking that person out today means you get to live more of your life with them and less of your life waiting.

Starting your business today means you begin learning immediately and have more time to figure out what works.

Go fast. The future is never guaranteed and the right time may never come.”


“Many people won’t attempt something unless they can find an example of someone else who is already doing it. Rely on this type of thinking too much and you’ll never do anything interesting.

Your path through life is unique. It is important to extract lessons from the experiences of others, but you can’t wait for a perfect example to take action. You are the example.”

2 Quotes From Others


Writer and psychoanalyst Marion Milner on the work required to be happy:

“Let no one think it is an easy way because it is concerned with moments of happiness rather than with stern duty or high moral endeavour. For what is really easy, as I found, is to blind one’s eyes to what one really likes, to drift into accepting one’s wants ready-made from other people, and to evade the continual day to day sifting of values.”

Source: A Life of One’s Own


Mike Markkula, an electrical engineer and investor who worked alongside Steve Jobs and eventually became the first chairman of Apple Computer, shares a few of the company’s core principles:

“The Apple Marketing Philosophy:

Empathy. We will truly understand their needs better than any other company.

Focus. In order to do a good job of those things we decide to do we must eliminate all of the unimportant opportunities.

Impute. People DO judge a book by its cover. We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software, etc.; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities.”

Source: Internal memo (January 3, 1977)

1 Question For You

What is one important lesson for life that isn’t taught in school, but that you want to teach to your kids?


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