“The Power Of Habit” by Charles Duhigg

I found this book to be very interesting and would recommend it to anyone who is looking to optimise their performance whether personal or professional.

On page 19 there is a funny illustration of how a “habit loop” works. For those like myself who are naturally disciplined you’ll probably recognise the act of delayed “rewarding” in order to boost motivation/output.

This year I implemented a rather extreme one: no breakfast until after exercising in the morning (in order to enforce a habit of physical activity).

Forcing myself to not let curiosity lead me into late-night “phone scrolling” & “online surfing” has been a very tricky habit to change since the hunger for knowledge about a certain topic/issue can be instantly satisfied in this technological age. The urge to be efficient or to find out things straight away has to be suppressed both by placing the device in an inconvenient location and by initiating a reward scenario: sleep now – check phone upon waking.

The last thoughts in your mind might be what you were going to type or search making you feel “haunted.”

Don’t tell me your gadget isn’t affecting you in one way or another! It must be…

A very interesting story is shared on page 31 regarding marketing and advertising. In fact it reminded me of another book that I read and reviewed earlier this year: “Seeing What Others Don’t – The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights” by Gary Klein

A recurring topic in “The Power Of Habit” is the power of groups when it comes to personal and societal change. The power of faith is not well understood by scientists but this phenomenon can help individuals who struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction. People might relapse continuously until God become part of the recovery. But with God all things are possible. Some then theorise that faith communities and groups in and of themselves are the deciding factor.

The power of self-belief is crucial in order to replace a bad habit with a new one. If you believe that you can you will which reminds me of yet another book featured on this blog: “The Idiot Brain” by Dean Burnett.

A section of Duhigg’s work is specifically dedicated to social movements. Apparently it has been concluded that successful activist campaigns follow this pattern:

  1. close friends & family come together
  2. acquaintances and people outside your immediate circle then join in
  3. great leaders will “awaken” the crowds due to the “instalment” of new habits resulting in a sense of identity and independence: “I’ll take personal responsibility for so and so” “I can do this, it is my choice to do this”

If you look to convert people it is said that you should go for communities since peer pressure is a more efficient conversion tool (long term) than fear.

It takes a great deal of guts to be the first one.

Individuals will swim against the stream and do the unthinkable, but in order to get the masses going you will need to use “social ties.”

You can purchase “The Power Of Habit” (and check out my reading list) right here from my Amazon storefront 🙂

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases*

For further reading:

Warren Rick – “The Purpose Driven Life

William James – “The Principles Of Psychology

Claude Hopkins – “My Life In Advertising