Quick and Dirty Book Review: The Power of Habit

I recently finished reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and it knocked my socks off! Duhigg delves into the science of why we do what we do, from addiction to how we buy cleaning products. It was incredibly interesting and informative, and I learned a lot about my own habits and what drives them. I recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn more about basic human nature, and it is essential for all business persons or those in sales; if you interact with another human being…you’re in sales.

The book is divided into three parts: the habits of individuals, the habits of successful organisations, and the habits of societies. The author presents scientific studies and the argument that habits lie at the heart of everything we do including: our ability to lose weight, be more productive, and achieve success. He provides examples of corporations using the study of customers habits to predict the sale of products, a football coach teaching habits to build a winning team, and the story of how habits played a role in the civil rights movement.

 

Duhigg describes the habit loop as the basis for all habits: there is a cue which triggers a routine which brings a reward. Understanding our own habits is the key to changing them or creating new ones. If we can identify the cues that trigger a bad routine, like smoking, we can insert a new routine to get the same reward. Changing any habit, or creating new ones, is possible by really evaluating the cues and rewards that accompany a routine.

By understanding the nature of habits we can not only modify our own behavior, but influence that of others as well, including groups. It is the key to making a business, or endeavor, successful or profitable. Reading is a habit like any other. For some it is a very difficult undertaking, but any task that is repeated over and over many times becomes second nature. Get started with Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business.

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