Atomic Habits - By James Clear
Focusing on getting 1% better with every single photograph & video that I take.
Table of Contents
Atomic Habits has significantly improved my view on habits and how I change them, modify them, and apply these to my craft.
I've talked about motivation before, how to keep yourself motivated or finally listening to that inner voice and taking that first step and start creating. And today I would like to talk about the results of actually following my own advice. And after reading several books, filming 42 videos, and one year on YouTube, this is the result.
Small Habits Compound Over Time
“Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement”
This is the notion that you don't need to make any drastic changes, but rather very tiny changes that compound over time and make you 1% better every day. Not focusing on the stats or numbers or goals, but rather getting better at the small little things that compound and make you better at whatever you are attempting.
In my case, that meant not worrying about views, subscribers, or likes and dislikes, but rather focusing on getting 1% better with every video I make: video editing, lighting, sound, writing, being on camera, etc.
The Valley Of Disappointment
"We Often expect progress to be linear, but in reality the results of our efforts are often delayed"
And I think every single person has gone through this at some point, whether is going to the gym and not seeing any results and just giving up, trying to eat healthier and giving up, or learning a new discipline and giving up. You name it.
But eventually, we change our mindset and approach, and we do not give up anymore, So yeah, try to avoid the valley of disappointment at all costs.
Forget About Goals, Focus On Systems Instead
"Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress”
It was a lot more important for me to focus on improving my craft, learning video editing, and sound, practising being on camera, and practising my writing skills, than focusing on goals and saying I want X numbers, X amount of subscribers.
The goals did nothing to improve and grow this channel, but the system of creating, practising and getting a little bit better every time and learning new things, did improve it.
"The implicit assumption behind any goal is this: once i reach my goal, then i'll be happy"
if your goal is to get x number of subscribers, instead of growing, learning, and getting better at whatever you're attempting, then the moment you do hit that goal of X subscribers, you'll be unhappy, and just wonder, now what, and just set the next goal, and keep at it. A bit of an empty journey if you ask me.
There's nothing wrong with having dreams and goals and ideals, but if the goals are more important than the system, IE: the destination more important than the journey, Then ask yourself, what is the point?
Building Good Habits
"A habit is a behaviour that has been repeated enough times to become automatic"
This in my opinion is one of the most difficult parts of changing and learning new things and growing. And at the beginning, it was very difficult for me to be honest, Almost like an allergic reaction to sitting down and talking to a camera.
However, I made the time to sit down and write video ideas, and then research and elaborate the concepts, create them, film them, edit them, etc. All of those systems or habits are now automatic, second nature to me.
I don't have to fight and convince myself to sit down and write, I don't have to force myself to do anything, a video will happen every week, I will write it, film it, and edit it, every week. No matter what.
And because the habits and systems are in place, and I don't think about them, then I can actually focus on the content, and try to be 1% better than the last video.
The Goldilocks Rule
"The Goldilocks rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities, not too hard, not too easy. just right"
For me, this really explains wanting to improve, the 1% improvement on every video that I make, and how putting my very first next to my latest video offers a significant difference in results.
This could be learning a new editing technique or transition, or VFX, or lighting technique, etc. I'm not learning it from scratch, and starting over, I'm just improving on what I already know, and although perhaps I don't know how to do it, it feels like the challenge is manageable.
My Thoughts on Atomic Habits
In a way, this book helped me see what I already knew, I already had gone through all the regret and all those experiences, which in turn made the contents of the book crystal clear to me.
Your life experiences matter, you have to try things, you have to live a little, otherwise, you don't really know what is possible, what is out there.
Atomic Habits by James Clear is one of the best books I've read in ages, and I strongly recommend it to anybody wanting to improve their lives and see things from a different perspective.
This is a summary of my YouTube Video, you can watch the whole piece linked here: