The Power of Habit, written by Charles Duhigg, is a fascinating book that discusses the various biological, psychological and social factors that influence the way that human beings form habits. In fact, the author even shows us how animals, specifically monkeys, form habits to give us a deeper understanding of how our own “auto-pilot” systems work. Throughout the book, Duhigg clearly outlines how the “cue-routine-reward” process can be used to change individuals, teams, organizations and communities by harnessing the power of re-designing our “habit loops.” With each chapter you read, you will begin to understand why you “do what you do” and why it’s hard for you to stop. A crucial step, if you are looking to change yourself for the better. However, as I mentioned before, this book doesn’t only focus on individual habits, it also focuses on the role that each one of us plays in building habits on a societal level. Another important process we need to understand, if we want to encourage global populations to adopt more accepting, inclusive and eco-friendly ways of living.
The thing that I enjoyed the most about this book was the skillful use of illustrative stories. Where many self-help books might use “mystical” stories or larger-than-life examples to support their arguments, I felt that Duhigg did an excellent job of using popular and unknown people and incidents to highlight the central role that habits play in shaping our daily experience. One thing’s for sure, this book will make you sit down and think about what “makes you tick” and how choices you are unconsciously making might be dictating the way you eat, the way you sleep, the way move, the way you talk, the way you relate to others etc. If you are looking for a book that will help you get your life or your organization back on track, then you should read The Power of Habit as soon as possible.
About the Author
Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer-winning reporter for The New York Times and the author of The Power of Habit and Smarter, Faster, Better. Originally from New Mexico, Duhigg received a B.A. in history from Yale and went on to get an MBA from Harvard Business School. Duhigg has appeared on various media programs including This American Life, N.P.R., The Newshour with Jim Lehrer and Frontline.
Most Memorable Quote
“… you can never truly extinguish bad habits. Rather to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine.”
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