The writer, James Clear, and I both had traumatic and life-changing experiences in our formative years. And, for both of us, these experiences changed us into who we are today. Clear’s life-changing injury occurred when a baseball bat hit him in the face on the last day of sophomore year in high school. It easily could’ve killed him and definitely could’ve held him back from the amazing success he’s had since.

When I was 14, I was in a shooting accident. I was in the hospital for months and had over 15 procedures and surgeries. In addition to losing my right eye, I basically lost an entire year of my life and, by the time I was 15 years old, I considered myself a grown-up. I learned many things I was glad to know, and many things I didn’t want to know, but nonetheless, all those things influenced my later successes.

In the book Atomic Habits, we learn that improvements can be incremental. And they’re additive. We connect the dots between identity, behavior, and habits.

The author also applies a theory that I learned from President Obama: you can’t fix a problem unless you can see it. The current circumstances in American politics show deep-seated problems that many were unaware of. Yet now the hopeful thing is that everyone can clearly see the work that needs to be done. 

James Clear focuses on many things that I focus on with my teams. That is: we are the architects of our own lives and there is little medicine more impactful than willpower.

It’s a great read and I highly recommend it.