A COMPLETE SUMMARY OF ATOMIC HABITS!! Hired as the performance director of professional cycling for England in 2003, Dave Brailsford had his work cut out for him. For the previous century, British cyclists performed terribly, winning only one gold medal and never winning the Tour de France. Brailsford had a plan to turn around British cycling. He called his strategy ‚ the aggregation of marginal gains. This involves deconstructing every aspect of riding a bike, and then consistently improving each aspect by 1%. Over time, these small changes compound into incredible performance outcomes. Brailsford implemented hundreds of small improvements, both obvious (e.g. equipping better bike seats) and non-obvious (finding the best pillow and mattress so the cyclists had optimal sleep). The results were extreme. British cyclists won 66 Olympic/Paralympic gold medals, 5 Tour de France races, and set numerous world records in the decade after Brailsford began. The image to the right shows the [Editor1] results of both improving and regressing by 1% every day. Over the course of a week the changes are small, but over the course of a year the changes are massive. Over a short period of time, the effects of compounding are barely noticeable. But over longer periods of time, compounding will generate very powerful outcomes. While many of us over-weight the importance of grand, singular moments, we also under-weight tiny changes, the 1% improvements, that occur day to day. The slow rate of change makes it difficult for us to see what transformation is underway. Habits are a double-edged sword and can accelerate either growth or deterioration. Success or failure in any area of your life is merely a lagging indicator of the quality of your daily habits. Here’s another way of thinking about enormity of compound interest on tiny 1% improvements – If you regress 1% a day for an entire year, it’s the equivalent of going from the height of a one story house (10 feet tall) to the height of a large apple (3 inches tall). Habits often behave the same way as melting ice- you see no new result until you break through a certain point. This means tangible results of a new habit are delayed early on. This effort isn’t wasted, it is stored (hence the term “latent”). It can be very discouraging in the beginning stages of a new habit, but we must “persist long enough to break through this plateau – what I call the Plateau of Latent Potential.” James Clear creates a great analogy between personal habits and the phase change that occurs in melting ice. If you raise the temperature of ice from, say, 26 degrees to 31 degrees, nothing changes, the ice remains frozen. However, when you raise the temperature one more degree, the ice will melt into water. The first temperature change (26-31) was storing latent energy, it took the last degree to create the phase change. Goals are results-oriented, systems are process-oriented. Everyone generally wants the same sorts of things and has similar types of goals. Whether it be to win a championship, or build a million-dollar business, or become a celebrated musician. People try for similar achievements. Goals are not what separates the winners from the losers in these pursuits, it’s the system or the process they use to achieve the goal. Goals are fleeting in nature. Once you achieve a goal, it’s over. There is no ongoing strategy in place to further the behavior that got you the success. Goals can inhibit your happiness, because you will not feel satisfied until you reach your goal. This can make the journey to reaching the goal unenjoyable. When a goal is finally achieved, we delay happiness yet again in the pursuit of the next goal. Setting goals can create a “yo-yo effect” on your motivation. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, after you cross the finish line the race is over, the thing that motivated you to train is taken away. This can make people backslide on their fitness until they find another goal to work towards. Goals aren’t useless, they are best used to determine your direction. Systems, on the other hand, should be used as a way to make progress in the direction of your goals. A systems-oriented mindset lets you enjoy the journey to success, because as long as the system is running you can feel satisfied. Fall in love with the process, and great outcomes will follow. Here is a Preview of What You Will Get: A Full Book Summary An Analysis Fun quizzes Quiz Answers Etc Get a copy of this summary and learn about the book.