The Learning Leader Show LIVE! With Ryan Hawk & James Clear

Episode 248: James Clear LIVE! – How Can We Live Better?

This was recorded in front of a LIVE audience in Columbus, Ohio.  My teammates at Brixey & Meyer had the original idea for a live event and collectively we put together an amazing evening with more than 100 invited guests.  It was incredible!   The room was full on engaged leaders.  I loved the energy! I’m already looking forward to the next one.

James Clear studies successful people across a wide range of disciplines — entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, and more — to uncover the habits and routines that make these people the best at what they do. Then, I share what I learn in my popular email newsletter.

His work has been covered by dozens of major media outlets including The New York Times, CBS, Entrepreneur MagazineForbesTIME Magazine, and more.

The Learning Leader Show

“A constant dose of uncertainty will help you grow your comfort zone.”

Show Notes:

  • The aggregation of marginal gains – “The 1 percent margin for improvement in everything you do.”  If you improve every area related to your life by just 1 percent, then those small gains will add up to remarkable improvement.
  • When you google “goal setting,” comes up within the top 3 answers.  James goal setting process.
    • The difference between systems and goals. Goals are useful for setting the direction. Systems are great for actually making progress.
  • If we are serious about achieving our goals, however, we should start with a much different question. Rather than considering what kind of success we want, we should ask, “What kind of pain do I want?
  • First Principles: Elon Musk on the Power of Thinking for Yourself.
    • First principles thinking is the act of boiling a process down to the fundamental parts that you know are true and building up from there.
    • Mindset shifts –> Reframing
  • Love of Travel — Why do it? Perspective? Voluntary hardship.  “You don’t know what you’re capable of if your body has never been forced to do it.” (David Goggins)
    • “You don’t know your capabilities until you’re forced to do it.”  Put yourself in situations that forces you to do “hard things.” –? Travel to Vietnam where few people speak English… Getting lost and being forced to ask for help
    • “A constant dose of uncertainty will help you grow your comfort zone.”
    • Voluntary Hardship = until you are tested, you can’t develop the ability to be mentally tough or develop new skills.  Put yourself in these situations regularly to grow
  • Successful People Start Before They Are Ready – Richard Branson story…
    •  “Start before you’re quite ready, and trust yourself to figure it out as you go.” “Motivation is overvalued, environment is undervalued. Willpower doesn’t work, think about choice architecture.”
    • “Trust the ability that you have what it takes to figure it out”
  • The “Goldilocks” rule – “Human beings love challenges, but only if they are within the optimal zone of difficulty.”
    • Why you should stretch and “level up,” but not too much.  “It’s not helpful to seriously play tennis against Roger Federer.”  You will be demoralized.
  • How to stop procrastination using the 2 minute rule — “There is that 2 minutes around 5:30 every day where my wife and I decide… Will we go to the gym or will we sit on the couch and watch The Office all night?” — The 2–Minute Rule works for big goals as well as small goals because of the inertia of life. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it. I love the 2–Minute Rule because it embraces the idea that all sorts of good things happen once you get started.
  • “Decrease the number of steps between you and the good behaviors and increase the steps between you and the bad behaviors”
  • The James Clear “garden hose” analogy
  • Why it might be a good idea to put your TV in the closet…
  • Smaller habits require smaller activation energies and that makes them more sustainable. The bigger the activation energy is for your habit, the more difficult it will be to remain consistent over the long-run.
  • “Resistance is proportionate to the size and speed of the change, not to whether the change is a favorable or unfavorable one.”
  • By contrast, when you accumulate small wins and focus on one percent improvements, you nudge equilibrium forward. It is like building muscle. If the weight is too light, your muscles will atrophy. If the weight is too heavy, you’ll end up injured. But if the weight is just a touch beyond your normal, then your muscles will adapt to the new stimulus and equilibrium will take a small step forward.

“Decrease the number of steps between you and the good behaviors and increase the steps between you and the bad behaviors.” 

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