Analyzing Habits - The Power of Habit Book Review
The Power of Habit is an interesting non-fiction book. Based heavily on research and interviews, the book focuses on how people successfully transformed a single bad habit to a good habit. It also shows how habit transformation propelled the subjects to make better decisions and change their habits.
The author, Charles Duhigg, broke the book into 3 main components: The Habits of Individuals, The Habits of Organizations, and The Habits of Societies. He shares stories of real people who overcame habits like smoking, drinking, and gambling. He discusses organizations and communities who created habits around a single goal. Groups like Alcoa, the steel company, the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and Saddleback Church in California were analyzed for how they created and maintained positive habits.
The Reward Loop
The entire book is predicated upon the research of the Cue/Habit/Reward cycle. For any given habit, something triggers us to perform a loop. That's the cue. The habit is an action, like getting coffee every afternoon, or having a glass of wine every night. The reward is the happy feeling we feel after completing the habit. This then leads us to perform the same cycle again and again. Learning what your triggers are is the hardest part.
Duhigg takes countless research papers and studies and turns them into something readable and interesting. The best part is the Afterword, where Duhigg shares success stories from readers. He also gives examples of how folks changed their lives. He shares his own struggle of discovering, analyzing, then changing his habit of having a cookie every afternoon. Other interesting mentions include how professors and college students increased productivity simply by understanding what habits slowed them down.
Duhigg describes that once you know what the cue (or trigger) is for a particular habit, you can work toward replacing the old habit with a new one. The cue and reward should be the same, but the habit is what changes. Maybe instead of a glass of wine, you have a glass of tea, or go for a run. Whatever gets the good vibes flowing. Again, it seems that discovering the cue for the habit is the part that takes the most thought and reflection of your routine.
Life and Business
Definitely check this book out. It's factual and inspiring, humorous and poignant, all the while maintaining a strong base of research and evidence distilled down into something easily applicable in anyone's life. Here's the Amazon link: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business This book is powerful and hopefully helpful to someone out there.