The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is an excellent work that explores the role that habit plays in our day-to-day lives. Duhigg sheds light on the power habits hold to mold individual lives, large organizations, and even social movements. Habits are everywhere, and their effect is powerful.
The main points that you will gain from The Power of Habit are:
- The choices we make in our everyday lives are habits that are driven by urges most of us don’t understand or hardly recognize
- A breakdown of the basic structure of a habit consisting of three components: Cue—>Routine—>Reward
- When a habit is formed, your brain stops fully participating in the decision making, and the pattern will automatically take place unless you know how to deliberately alter a habit
- Historical accounts of famous products such as Febreeze or toothpaste and how marketers utilized knowledge about individual habits to trick the public (yes, trick!) into buying them
- The finding that you can never truly eliminate a habit, you can only change it by altering its framework
- Willpower is the single most important quality for success
- Willpower has been found to behave like a muscle, it gets tired as it works harder, but you can increase its strength and endurance by training it
- How habits operate within large groups of people, and historical accounts of how bad habits formed within large companies lead to disaster, e.g. King’s Cross Fire
- How changing and implementing good habits within large companies can lead to astounding results such as increased productivity and international success, e.g. Starbucks
- How social movements are driven by the principles of habit, e.g. Montgomery Bus Boycott the story of Rosa Parks
- A reader’s guide to using the ideas about habit
Is This Book For You?
This book is for you if you are specifically interested in learning how to adopt good habits into your life, and eliminate the bad ones. Duhigg provides a very detailed overview of how to do this and backs up his suggestions with historical evidence as well as his own anecdotal experience.
Duhigg is an outstanding writer, this book practically reads like a novel. It is very easy to absorb and fascinating all the way through. If you have an interest in psychology, sociology, marketing, and human nature in general The Power of Habit will not let you down.
This work is especially ideal if you are mostly accustomed to reading fiction and you are making the transition to non-fiction, it really is that captivating.
This is the first book on this site that is getting a 10/10. Hooray! There is nothing I didn’t like about The Power of Habit. As I have already mentioned Duhigg is a phenomenal writer and to me that made all the difference. It’s not just about the information, it’s also about how it is being portrayed to the reader, and Duhigg nailed it.
Every page was fascinating, and he even made subjects enthralling to me that I never thought I would have an interest in, such as product marketing. I couldn’t tear myself away from the book sometimes because the stories that he made use of were so interesting and applicable to my own life that my curiosity was on fire and I wanted to know the mystery and meaning behind them.
For instance one of his chapters delves into the marketing strategies of Target and how they can actually tell which of their costumers is pregnant–as accurate as to what trimester they are in–based on their purchasing patterns.
Target not only figured out how to tell which families were expecting, but also how to market to them though customized ads without the families ever suspecting they knew. Absolutely fascinating, at least to me it is.
I really believe that the information in this work is life-changing, and it is one of the keys to really take your living to another level. Once you understand how habits operate, and then how you can change them to benefit you, you are empowered. You now have the knowledge and a set of strategies to quit smoking, or start an exercise routine.
Whatever it is you want to change in your life, it’s possible. The Power of Habit is yet another valuable tool that you can use to better yourself and the world.