Monday, December 16, 2013
2013 Book Review: "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg
If I may be so bold, "The Power of Habit" is the best book I have read for the newsletter yet. Charles Duhigg's writing style makes the content entirely fascinating and completely relevant.
Through case studies, experiments, interviews and scientific fact, Charles Duhigg explores the complex creation that is the human mind, and how habit is a part of basic instinct developed over time. To overcome the bad habits, he argues that a simple path of a cue, followed by a routine and then a reward needs to be altered. This path is supported by craving, willpower and belief, all necessary ingredients to change this path.
"All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits," William James wrote in 1892. This was later confirmed by, among countless others, a Duke University researcher who found in 2006 that more than 40 percent of the actions performed everyday by people aren't actually decisions, but habits.
This book is divided into sections of the habits of individuals, successful organizations and societies. Learn why Michael Phelps continues to break world records in swimming, why Starbucks became so successful and how Rosa Parks spurred a reaction that instigated an entire movement.
On a personal level, I am now implementing tactics from the book into my life. For example, I am consciously making my bed every morning, as it is described that one small adjustment can spark an entire revolutionary change. I am going to the gym in the morning, as willpower is described as being a muscle; therefore, once the end of the day comes, then the muscle has been exercised to its full extent and is weak.
And even if this book isn't as factual as I would like to believe? Well, at least I'm making my bed every morning.