Review of Atomic Habits


So it was the summer of 2020- the pandemic was about 2 months in and we're all thinking about how lonely we are in self isolation- not knowing how much longer we have to go (its Jan 2022 and my money is on another year yet- wouldn't be surprised if it was longer). I absolutely loved the last book my friend Jake recommended me, so I ask for another. He tells me it isn't as gripping as some self-help books and its really in the nitty griddy detail- but he enjoyed Atomic Habits a lot. So I have been diagnosed since I was 10 with ADHD. In fact back then, it was ADD and ADHD. Nowadays ADD isn't a thing anymore. I'm honestly not that up to date on ADHD news and whatnot. My grades really never suffered in highschool from it- though I could be a bit disruptive but I always attributed that to my extraversion which died off in the last two years of highschool. I don't really want to get into it- but I was not happy and the last two years of highschool I completed online because I just couldn't go in person anymore. This was more of a depression issue than a concentration one. However I also knew I sucked at habits. The most regular thing I could do was fast (which was more of not-doing something) and go to work, but even then I was struggling to get there on time every day despite living 5 minutes away. I could make no healthy plans despite wanting to get them done badly. I recently had a discussion with someone about the nature of wanting something. They're position was: if someone wanted X, but also wanted Y which counter-acted X- then they must not want X, or rather they want negative X. For example: if someone wanted to lose weight, but they also wanted to eat all the time- then his logic said they must want to be fat and not lose weight. I disagree pretty hard with this. In physics, the way a body rotating around another works- like the international space station around the earth, is that the body rotating around the other is actually always falling, in fact they're always attempting to get closer to one another. However the international space station- whilst it is falling towards the earth, is also traveling insanely insanely fast in a perpendicular (sort of horizontal) direction- and these two forces together cause a rotational motion. The ISS while always being pulled directly towards the earth, is also speeding to the side and the sum of these two motions makes an orbit. This is how I picture somebody who wants to break their cycles. Who's two wants form an unwanted orbit (Heads up- this isnt a perfect explanation of orbital motion in multiple ways, but it works for an analogy). Atomic habits essentially teaches you two methods of attaining change. Change being breaking the orbit. One is to lessen the strong pull of the bad, gravitational influence. And the other is methods to increase the strength of the orbit-breaking perpendicular motion. This book taught me the central idea of how to control my monkey brain: and that is convenience is control. Homer wrote "The blade itself incites to deeds of violence." That is because having a tool of violence at hand makes you a more violent person. Having tools of learning, healthy eating, and good behavior closer to hand and easier to use- while placing the tools of bad behavior further away or harder to use: this is how you change your life. All those hard tasks you suddenly have the power to make easy once your realize what a monkey your brain is. James Clear is an absolute genius who knows what awareness is in a way so few do. This really wasn't a review as much a story but who cares. This is the greatest self help book I've ever read and you should genuinely give it to anyone who struggles to implement healthy habits in their life. 


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