Book Review: Atomic Habits

Much has been written about the power of habits. But rarely has the topic been assessed through a metaphorical magnifying glass and then presented in layman’s terms.

Author James Clear attacks the much-studied subject of ‘habits’ and human behaviour from a new perspective. As a result this book offers a fresh take on habit formation and change.

As the old saying goes “never judge a book by its cover.” However, no one ever said that you couldn’t judge a book by its title. And Atomic Habits is one of those books whose name either leaves you intrigued or sends you running for the hills.

The author goes to incredible lengths to illustrate the benefits of not only cultivating good habits, but also the near exponential power of ‘marginal gains.’ This is key to fully appreciating and grasping the lessons brought forward by this interesting read..

Often times it’s easy to think of habits in a grand and almost awe inspiring way. But it’s truly refreshing to learn that habits like anything else can be broken down into manageable units that virtually anyone take full advantage of.

If anything, Atomic Habits could have introduced more case studies pertaining to marginal gains. That being said, author Clear did a magnificent job of illustrating every key point.

One of the most noticeable patterns in this book is how every technique discussed can be applied to the reader’s own life. The author also never fails to mention any available downloadable resources on his website.

There’s much to be learned over several re-reads of this book thanks to the author’s extensive research. And when all is said and done ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear will surely go down as one of the classic books on habit formation and change.


3 Key Takeaways; The Richest Man In Babylon

Told from the perspective of an ancient Babylonian man, George S. Clason’s 1926 classic teaches us the essential basics of how to build and sustain wealth. There are three key takeaways from this book that are absolutely vital to understanding personal finance and they are as follows;

#1 – Pay Yourself First

This goes against our basic instincts because as human beings we are evolutionarily hard-wired to survive. But by neglecting to pay oneself you sacrifice long-term prosperity over short-term gains. To be more precise Clawson teaches that you must set aside at least 10% of what you earn before you pay anybody else.

#2 – Put Your Money To Work

Put that 10% to work right away. Saving has long been heralded as the secret to wealth building and whilst that’s true, that’s only partially correct. The other part is that those savings have to be put to work by way of sound and fruitful investment. Even after investing your 10%, there is yet more to be done in order to truly build sustainable and long-lasting wealth.

#3 – Compound The Interest

The third key takeaway from Clason’s classic is that you must allow that invested 10% to earn interest. The important to do is to then take that interest and reinvest it and so and so forth. Through a little simple process called compound interest, you can grow your investment exponentially over time.

There is, of course, more to be gained from The Richest Man In Babylon but if you were to simply grasp the above three rules and practice them then you’ll be well on your way to starting your saving and investment journey.


Please note that I am not a financial advisor, and the above article is not intended as applicable ‘financial advice.’ Please consult a fully qualified financial advisor before making any financial decision.