#92: Decisive Moments

When I read books, I leave behind a trace of sticky index tabs that I use to highlight passages that I like without marring the pages with a pen or pencil. I use several thousands of these every year. In case someone else would like to read the book after me, I can always peel them off without a trace.

One of the things I started doing this year is going back to books that I loved. I don’t necessarily re-read them, but I leaf through and re-visit all the highlights that I’ve made to refresh them in my mind.

Last week, I went over Atomic Habits by James Clear, which I read back in March. It’s a fantastic book, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

My copy is littered with index tabs. As I went through them, I felt that one particular idea would be worth highlighting here on the blog — the idea of decisive moments.

Every day we encounter a handful of moments that will decide whether it will be perceived as success or failure. The alarm clock rings. You can either snooze for 10 more minutes or get up and fit in a writing session before starting your day. Later on, when you come home, you can either pick up a book to read or binge-watch something on Netflix. James Clear’s decision tree from Atomic Habits illustrates this perfectly:

Decisive moments

These moments are critical, but they’re also easy to overlook in the whirlwind of the day. That’s when you need the most willpower to do the right thing. Once you’re in the editor, things get much easier.

The diagram also shows that you don’t have to do everything right and use every second of your day productively for it to be a success. The key is to make a few right decisions. Over time, they will add up to a major difference.

When you finish reading this post and scrolling through your timeline, you might be faced with a little choice. What will you choose?

What I Am Reading

It took me a good while, but I finished Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (also known as J. K. Rowling). As I said before, the book started off a little slower. It did pick up pace towards the end, and I did quite like the ending. I’m a big fan of J. K. Rowling’s characters across all of her books, and that was what made me read through this one too.

I also finished a collection of short stories by Chuck Palahniuk called Make Something Up. As the subtitle — Stories You Can’t Unread — suggests, this is on the weirder side of the literary spectrum.

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Now, I’m reading Overclocked by Cory Doctorow — another collection of stories, although these are quite a bit longer at about 50 pages each. And I’ll also be picking up the biography of Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson which I received as a gift last year. The book itself is a beautiful object — quite a hefty tome printed on an unusually high-quality paper. I can’t wait to read it.

Overclocked by Cory Doctorow

Short Stories

I read the following short stories this week:


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