When I hear the words “self-help book,” I think of the section of the bookstore that as a child I believed was only for struggling adults, as a teen I thought I’d never need, and as a young adult, the section I hoped never to be spotted in.
In reality we all have faults we’d like to resolve and sometimes literature is the best medium for this, as it offers an in depth and self-paced journey. These books don’t need to be a secret for the back of your bookshelf or something you’re ashamed of. Instead use these books as a tool for bettering yourself.
I have seen hundreds if not thousands of books promising a better life, a new you, or a second chance, but no self-help book has spoken to me like James Clear’s Atomic Habits. This book is Number 3 on Amazon’s Best Sellers List and has sold over 5 million copies since its release in 2018.
Different by Design
One of the first things you’ll see when you open this book is the definition of atomic, which reads, “An extremely small amount of something; the single irreducible unit of a larger system.”
Clear’s book is designed around the idea that progress is progress no matter how small. He explains that every little decision you make is part of a bigger picture, a system that illustrates your lifestyle.
To best understand his methodology, Clear uses scientifically backed data along with easy to understand graphics to explain the core of a habit, why you’re stuck there, what’s going on inside of your brain that makes it happen, and offers a strategy for beneficial alteration.
My favorite part of Clear’s approach is that he offers a realistic approach to lasting changes. There is no magical number of days it will take to form new habits, but instead it’s a guide to making daily attainable progress.
An Enjoyable Read
I could never make it through a book that reads like stale bread, which is another reason I enjoyed Atomic Habits. Clear uses both his own story and other real life examples to portray the practicality of forming new habits and the reality of limitations bad habits produce.
Clear is able to discuss material including self-control, slow progress and accountability, all while keeping his reader’s attention. Chapters are relatively short, there are many images and short segments, and there are bullet-point chapter summaries to help you remember key points.
Once you’ve experienced the six segments that make up Atomic Habits, Clear doesn’t let you walk away empty handed. Not only will you take away the knowledge he’s given you, but he’s included an appendix with resources including next reading suggestions, how these lessons are applicable in different areas of your life, and an index if you’d like to look further at studies or research included in the text.
It can be hard to find a self-help book that is both interesting and practical, but James Clear’s Atomic Habits has helped many overcome the toughest obstacles we’ve created for ourselves.
I hope this article has encouraged you to try out 2022’s best selling self-help book and start on your own habit healing journey.
Stay curious and happy reading!