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สร้างความเปลี่ยนแปลงครั้งใหญ่ด้วยนิสัยแค่ 1%

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นิสัยเปนสิงทีติดตัวเรามาแตไหนแตไร มันเปนสวนหนึงของตัวเราจนหลายคนไมเคยสังเกตวามันจะมีประโยชนอะไรกับชีวิต ถาคุณเปนคนหนึงทีคิดอยางนัน ลองพิจารณาเหตุการณตอไปนีดู -เมือรอยปีกอน นักโฆษณาคนหนึงทำใหคนทังโลกหันมาเริมแปรงฟันไดอยางไร -ทหารนายหนึงหยุดฝูงชนทีกำลังกอจลาจลดวยอาหารฟาสตฟูดไดอยางไร -ไมเคิล เฟลปส สามารถวายนำทำลายสถิติโลกไดอยางไร ทัง ๆ ทีแวนตาของเขาร นิสัยเป็นสิ่งที่ติดตัวเรามาแต่ไหนแต่ไร มันเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของตัวเราจนหลายคนไม่เคยสังเกตว่ามันจะมีประโยชน์อะไรกับชีวิต ถ้าคุณเป็นคนหนึ่งที่คิดอย่างนั้น ลองพิจารณาเหตุการณ์ต่อไปนี้ดู -เมื่อร้อยปีก่อน นักโฆษณาคนหนึ่งทำให้คนทั้งโลกหันมาเริ่มแปรงฟันได้อย่างไร -ทหารนายหนึ่งหยุดฝูงชนที่กำลังก่อจลาจลด้วยอาหารฟาสต์ฟู้ดได้อย่างไร -ไมเคิล เฟลป์ส สามารถว่ายน้ำทำลายสถิติโลกได้อย่างไร ทั้ง ๆ ที่แว่นตาของเขารั่วจนมองอะไรไม่เห็น -ห้างทาร์เก็ตสร้างผลกำไรเป็นกอบเป็นกำได้อย่างไรจากการทำนายว่าลูกค้าคนไหนเริ่มตั้งครรภ์ (โดยรู้ก่อนที่เจ้าตัวจะบอกกับครอบครัวตัวเองเสียอีก) -สตาร์บัคส์เปลี่ยนชายหนุ่มไร้อนาคตที่เรียนไม่จบชั้นมัธยมปลายและถูกไล่ออกมาแล้วหลายครั้ง ให้ก้าวขึ้นมาเป็นผู้จัดการอนาคตไกลที่มีรายได้เดือนละ 44,000 ดอลล่าร์ได้อย่างไร ความสำเร็จอันน่าทึ่งเหล่านี้เกิดจากการใช้ประโยชน์จาก "นิสัย" ของคนเรา ซึ่งถ้าจับให้ตรงจุด คุณจะจุดประกายให้เกิดความเปลี่ยนแปลงครั้งใหญ่ขึ้นกับชีวิตของคุณ ธุรกิจของคุณ หรือแม้แต่สังคมที่คุณอยู่ได้เช่นกัน ในหนังสือเล่มนี้ ชาร์ลส์ ดูฮิกก์ นักเขียนชื่อดัง จะพาคุณไปสำรวจและทำความเข้าใจว่านิสัยก่อตัวขึ้นมาได้อย่างไร รวมทั้งแนะนำวิธีวิเคราะห์ว่า ท่ามกลางนิสัยนับร้อยนับพันอย่างของตัวคุณและผู้อื่น คุณจะเลือกนิสัยใดมาใช้ให้เกิดประโยชน์สูงสุด ลองมองหาแล้วคุณจะมองเห็น บางทีนิสัยแค่ 1% อาจสร้างความเปลี่ยนแปลงให้กับชีวิตคุณไปตลอดกาล!


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นิสัยเปนสิงทีติดตัวเรามาแตไหนแตไร มันเปนสวนหนึงของตัวเราจนหลายคนไมเคยสังเกตวามันจะมีประโยชนอะไรกับชีวิต ถาคุณเปนคนหนึงทีคิดอยางนัน ลองพิจารณาเหตุการณตอไปนีดู -เมือรอยปีกอน นักโฆษณาคนหนึงทำใหคนทังโลกหันมาเริมแปรงฟันไดอยางไร -ทหารนายหนึงหยุดฝูงชนทีกำลังกอจลาจลดวยอาหารฟาสตฟูดไดอยางไร -ไมเคิล เฟลปส สามารถวายนำทำลายสถิติโลกไดอยางไร ทัง ๆ ทีแวนตาของเขาร นิสัยเป็นสิ่งที่ติดตัวเรามาแต่ไหนแต่ไร มันเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของตัวเราจนหลายคนไม่เคยสังเกตว่ามันจะมีประโยชน์อะไรกับชีวิต ถ้าคุณเป็นคนหนึ่งที่คิดอย่างนั้น ลองพิจารณาเหตุการณ์ต่อไปนี้ดู -เมื่อร้อยปีก่อน นักโฆษณาคนหนึ่งทำให้คนทั้งโลกหันมาเริ่มแปรงฟันได้อย่างไร -ทหารนายหนึ่งหยุดฝูงชนที่กำลังก่อจลาจลด้วยอาหารฟาสต์ฟู้ดได้อย่างไร -ไมเคิล เฟลป์ส สามารถว่ายน้ำทำลายสถิติโลกได้อย่างไร ทั้ง ๆ ที่แว่นตาของเขารั่วจนมองอะไรไม่เห็น -ห้างทาร์เก็ตสร้างผลกำไรเป็นกอบเป็นกำได้อย่างไรจากการทำนายว่าลูกค้าคนไหนเริ่มตั้งครรภ์ (โดยรู้ก่อนที่เจ้าตัวจะบอกกับครอบครัวตัวเองเสียอีก) -สตาร์บัคส์เปลี่ยนชายหนุ่มไร้อนาคตที่เรียนไม่จบชั้นมัธยมปลายและถูกไล่ออกมาแล้วหลายครั้ง ให้ก้าวขึ้นมาเป็นผู้จัดการอนาคตไกลที่มีรายได้เดือนละ 44,000 ดอลล่าร์ได้อย่างไร ความสำเร็จอันน่าทึ่งเหล่านี้เกิดจากการใช้ประโยชน์จาก "นิสัย" ของคนเรา ซึ่งถ้าจับให้ตรงจุด คุณจะจุดประกายให้เกิดความเปลี่ยนแปลงครั้งใหญ่ขึ้นกับชีวิตของคุณ ธุรกิจของคุณ หรือแม้แต่สังคมที่คุณอยู่ได้เช่นกัน ในหนังสือเล่มนี้ ชาร์ลส์ ดูฮิกก์ นักเขียนชื่อดัง จะพาคุณไปสำรวจและทำความเข้าใจว่านิสัยก่อตัวขึ้นมาได้อย่างไร รวมทั้งแนะนำวิธีวิเคราะห์ว่า ท่ามกลางนิสัยนับร้อยนับพันอย่างของตัวคุณและผู้อื่น คุณจะเลือกนิสัยใดมาใช้ให้เกิดประโยชน์สูงสุด ลองมองหาแล้วคุณจะมองเห็น บางทีนิสัยแค่ 1% อาจสร้างความเปลี่ยนแปลงให้กับชีวิตคุณไปตลอดกาล!

30 review for สร้างความเปลี่ยนแปลงครั้งใหญ่ด้วยนิสัยแค่ 1%

  1. 5 out of 5

    sleeps9hours

    I just read Kelly McGonigal's "The Willpower Instinct", so I can't help but compare the two. Duhigg is an investigative reporter for the NY Times, while McGonigal is a research psychologist, and the differences come across in the writing. McGonigal has a much better grasp on the research and how to apply it, while Duhigg brings in stories that are entertaining but stretch his powers of interpretation. His most annoying stylistic problem is that he breaks his stories up, stopping one t I just read Kelly McGonigal's "The Willpower Instinct", so I can't help but compare the two. Duhigg is an investigative reporter for the NY Times, while McGonigal is a research psychologist, and the differences come across in the writing. McGonigal has a much better grasp on the research and how to apply it, while Duhigg brings in stories that are entertaining but stretch his powers of interpretation. His most annoying stylistic problem is that he breaks his stories up, stopping one to start another and then coming back to it later. I assume he's trying to add a sense of anticipation and drama to what should otherwise be a straightforward nonfiction book, but I found it frustrating for him to be jumping back and forth for no good reason. I did enjoy many of his stories though. The most interesting was in the section about social habits where he explains why the arrest of Rosa Parks was so influential while other black women at the same time had also refused to give up their seats but didn't spark much interest (Parks had social ties across dozens of groups, black and white, and knew some people of influence). The entire story of how Martin Luther King, Jr. became involved, and all the people who got the bus boycott rolling is so fascinating to hear in detail.

  2. 5 out of 5

    K

    Read this because of fascinating NYT magazine excerpt on how Target tracks our buying habits. The rest of the book is not as compelling -- anecdotes sometimes don't support particular arguments he's attempting to illustrate (the Hey-Ya examples being the most egregious), and his section on how social movements occur is weak and unconvincing, and not really about habits, per se. Style and structure were often clunky, and the book seems a bit muddled as its ultimate purpose. I dunno, I guess I was Read this because of fascinating NYT magazine excerpt on how Target tracks our buying habits. The rest of the book is not as compelling -- anecdotes sometimes don't support particular arguments he's attempting to illustrate (the Hey-Ya examples being the most egregious), and his section on how social movements occur is weak and unconvincing, and not really about habits, per se. Style and structure were often clunky, and the book seems a bit muddled as its ultimate purpose. I dunno, I guess I was expecting slightly more substantial psychology or social science and instead got more of a book solidly for businesses/manager types and people on the beginning of their self-help journeys. But I fall into the latter category, so why am I pooh pooh-ing this book so much? I dunno. Maybe I am just jealous of how $$$ money this dude's gonna make at corporate speaking gigs. Anyway, lessons I'll take away -- *making your bed every morning and committing to regular exercise are two habits that can transform your entire goddamn life *Diagram about mouse brain activity spike post-reward eventually arriving prior to reward (the origin of cravings) *Changing habits requires identifying the cues and rewards that trigger and support the habit behavior, then trying out various substitutes for the behavior that might achieve the same reward *deliberate advance plans for responding to challenging situations can be extremely helpful (ex Scottish knee/hip replacement patients, Michael Phelps, Starbucks) *With more challenging habits like alcoholism or stuff related to football, true belief and submission to some higher purpose is necessary *in general, it's more effective to change others' habits if you make them believe they have some power or authority over their decision than if you coerce them with force *casinos are super evil

  3. 4 out of 5

    Robert Chapman

    This is great book, and you need to read it. How is that for a definitive opening line? The reason it’s such a good book is because it uses research to explain how habits are formed and changed. Everyone knows someone who was out of shape, or was a smoker, and then in what appeared as if almost overnight, changed themselves in a short period of time. How did they do that? They formed new habits and changed old ones, that’s how. Do something enough and it becomes a habit, good or bad. This is great book, and you need to read it. How is that for a definitive opening line? The reason it’s such a good book is because it uses research to explain how habits are formed and changed. Everyone knows someone who was out of shape, or was a smoker, and then in what appeared as if almost overnight, changed themselves in a short period of time. How did they do that? They formed new habits and changed old ones, that’s how. Do something enough and it becomes a habit, good or bad. This is explained in the book by research on memory loss. For example, the research found that patients suffering from memory loss could not show someone where the kitchen is when asked, but once they got hungry the would get up and go to the kitchen automatically. This is made possible by the habit loop of cue, routine, and reward. The cue makes the brain find the routine as it anticipates the reward. A classic example is stress and smoking, the cue is stress, the routine is smoking, the reward is the feeling the cigarette brings. I was most interested in how the book described changing a habit. Let’s face it, we all have habits we want to change. To accomplish this we need to keep the cue and reward, but change the routine. I’ll use an example from my own life to illustrate. I love chocolate, and to make it worse I love to eat at it night. Well I love to eat at night because that is how I formed the habit some time ago. I used the guidance from this book to change that habit. I kept the cue and reward, but I changed the routine to use apples instead of chocolate. This logic flows into much larger problem sets such as organizations and communities. Focus on changing one thing, the keystone habit from which a cascade of other habits will form. The author illustrates this example by discussing how the company Alcoa was transformed by the keystone habit of a singular focus on safety. The book flows really well and uses research throughout to substantiate the concepts presented. The audience who can benefit from this book is vast, from individuals to corporates to governments.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rhianna

    This may be a crappy review since its going up via iPhone. Sorry. First caveat: I work in research. A big part of my job is creating these habit loops and seeing if they can be altered or enhanced via medication. Second caveat: I'm a nerd and love journal articles, scientific writing, and technical reading, even off the job. Third caveat: I only got to chapter eight. I honestly don't know what I was expecting. By far and large, when there's big buzz about a book I inevitably dislike This may be a crappy review since its going up via iPhone. Sorry. First caveat: I work in research. A big part of my job is creating these habit loops and seeing if they can be altered or enhanced via medication. Second caveat: I'm a nerd and love journal articles, scientific writing, and technical reading, even off the job. Third caveat: I only got to chapter eight. I honestly don't know what I was expecting. By far and large, when there's big buzz about a book I inevitably dislike it with very few exceptions. I was hoping for something smart and eye opening; a different, more personal take on habits and addiction (which is really what a habit is if you think about it), and I was let down mostly by the writing and anecdotes. I realize this book isn't intended for scientific review, but when there were so many teasing moments of talking about the research going on, I guess I just expected a little more substance in laymans terms. The biggest problem I had with the book was that I probably could have only read the first few chapters and have a total grasp of the theory. While some stories were interesting, they reminded me of Grandpa Simpson's storytelling. I don't think we needed so many examples that all said the same thing. Think of all the trees that could have been saved if a few were omitted. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad read. People with a non-neuroscience background can enjoy it and will learn something from it. Although how to apply it to your life is pretty much missing from the book (unless it was in the chapters I didn't get to yet). Yeah, find a new reward to break bad habits, but how? It would have been interesting to see those suggestions. Overall, not horrible. Had it not been a book club read I wouldn't have picked it up of my own volition, but I'm not upset that I read most of it. I am upset that I kept reading hoping to get something different in the next chapter, which didn't happen. Just save the time and money and read his NY Times article (at least I think it was there) instead.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    I need to start with the obvious – this guy is one of those writers. One of those writers that make you want to track him down and hurt him. And not just him, maybe even his pets too. He assumes you are as thick as dog-shit and that you won’t get what it is he is talking about unless he makes it painfully (PAINFULLY) clear. He has missed his calling. He really should have gone into the self-help book market – let’s face it, assuming your readers are dumb in that market is just ‘responding to rea I need to start with the obvious – this guy is one of those writers. One of those writers that make you want to track him down and hurt him. And not just him, maybe even his pets too. He assumes you are as thick as dog-shit and that you won’t get what it is he is talking about unless he makes it painfully (PAINFULLY) clear. He has missed his calling. He really should have gone into the self-help book market – let’s face it, assuming your readers are dumb in that market is just ‘responding to reality’. You might be wondering why I gave this book three stars, given I wanted to find ways to hurt the author. Well, the problem is that some of the ideas here are not insane, in fact, some are really well worth thinking about. It’s just that someone (someone who also needs hunted down, now that I think about it) has told this guy you need to ‘tell a story’. And while this is often excellent advice – you also need to remember that people are reading your book for a reason and that reason isn’t to cry over the last moments of a drug addict’s life or to find out how the skunk lady got laid. No, it is to find out about the affect of habits and what we can do to change the habits of a life time that are stuffing up our lives. I’ve been reading lots of Bourdieu lately. He talks of Habitus – what he calls the ‘feel for the game’, but basically the habits we have that are so unconscious we don't even know they are habits and so, therefore, have no idea what a huge part they play in shaping the kinds of people we are. So we tend to think that because we wouldn’t do something someone else clearly has done that automatically qualifies us for the golden stamp of merit. Whereas, so much of what we do in life is either non-rational or automatic – having those automatic structures implanted in us from no age is more a matter of luck than of rational deliberation. This guy stuffs up his argument at the end by not having the conviction of what his view on habits was telling him. He tells a long, long, long story of a woman that lost everything through gambling. Terribly sad and all that. But obviously this book is written in America and so nothing can come between the rights of rich people to take money from poor people. So, the fact that casinos do everything to manipulate you so that you end up with nothing is YOUR fault, not theirs – have you no self control? Have you no free will? I think this guy should read Sam Harris’s new book. Either that or he needs to also argue that it should be ok for drug dealers to offer kids drugs at schools and in the streets – if one is wrong it isn’t at all obvious why the other is right. And if not drugs to kids, then drugs to adults – unless I’m missing something the same argument applies. This book is quite chilling in that it explains – in very long and all too often boring detail, in fact endless bloody detail, just how companies like Target are targeting you and manipulating you to buy and buy and buy. Yet again this is presented as if it was nothing to be concerned about – but I struggled to read it as something I should just shrug and get over. When I first learned about data warehousing it sent a cold shiver down my spine – I have never had ‘Fly Buys’ or any other of those ‘loyalty’ programs that give those arseholes all of my details so they can work out how to better market to people like me. I’m manipulated enough in life without needing to provide billionaires with better weapons to trip me up. The information in this book is very worthwhile. But if you ever needed proof that Gladwell has lots to answer for, this book is Item A on the case for the prosecution. And what the hell is it about American Football? I hope to God it isn’t nearly as uninteresting to watch as it is to read about. No wonder Americans invade countries at the drop of a hat – anything to get away from two down on the thirty-first yard line with a wingback on a hiding to nowhere blah, blah AHHHHH!!!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    Nothing Succeeds Like Success: A Case Study Hey. Have you heard of Thomas Baker? How about Carol Wright? Chris Cameron? Vineet Shaw? Let us discuss Baker. Thomas Baker was an average joe, but not without ambitions. A few years ago, acting on a tip, Tom, a competitive enough guy, decided to take his life into his own hands. What’s more, he decided to pick up one more Self-help book and this time follow up thoroughly on it. No holds barred. He asked around, looked in that wonderful s Nothing Succeeds Like Success: A Case Study Hey. Have you heard of Thomas Baker? How about Carol Wright? Chris Cameron? Vineet Shaw? Let us discuss Baker. Thomas Baker was an average joe, but not without ambitions. A few years ago, acting on a tip, Tom, a competitive enough guy, decided to take his life into his own hands. What’s more, he decided to pick up one more Self-help book and this time follow up thoroughly on it. No holds barred. He asked around, looked in that wonderful site and finally decided on what seemed to him like the best out there right now. The ratings seemed to be out of the world too. The author, in the intro, even tries to reassure him against feeling overwhelmed by the excess of research in the book. This is exactly the sort of help that Tom needed. Tom read the book with great diligence. He made notes and he made placards and he even bought magnets for his fridge and special sticky tapes for his mirrors. He knew this could work. He only had to believe. He changed his routines, identified and included habit-forming cues. He created them, he played around with them, he even had some fun. He was very inventive and imaginative. The author would have commended the effort if he knew. Tom decide that he would write to Duhigg about his success once it pays off. A month passed. Tom had made slight improvements but no major pay-off seemed to be in the offing. He chided himself for expecting windfalls. He reminded himself that these things take time. He kept at it. 6 months now. Even the minor gains he had made originally have fallen by the wayside now. He had read the book thrice in this time, trying to reaffirm his faith. He was discouraged now but he kept at it. 2 years. The book is long forgotten. But Tom had taken the trouble to document his experiences and had sent a detailed case study to the author. He had requested that it be included in the next edition of the book. He wanted the author to include a chapter on failures - on how it might not work for everyone. He wanted a caveat, a mild statement of warning that just because a book worth of case studies of success is presented, there is no reason to expect that any approach (no matter how good) might work for everyone. Humans would be fulfilling Asimovesque dreams if that were the case. He thought this would add depth and realism to an otherwise fine book. He did not even get an auto-generated acknowledgment slip. But that was ok, he had discovered a new Gladwell book on another airport aisle. Apparently, it is not just habits that doesn’t stick, lessons don’t either.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    I remember reading a story by the famous Malayalam writer Padmarajan called Oru Sameepakala Durantham ("A Tragedy of Recent Times"). It tells of a housing colony in Kerala, bitten by the exercise bug in the early eighties. Someone gets up before sunrise and starts jogging. Soon, he is joined by more and more people until the whole colony is out running, every day. This leaves the houses unattended which comes to the notice of a group of thieves: and they conduct a spate of early morning robberies. The pe I remember reading a story by the famous Malayalam writer Padmarajan called Oru Sameepakala Durantham ("A Tragedy of Recent Times"). It tells of a housing colony in Kerala, bitten by the exercise bug in the early eighties. Someone gets up before sunrise and starts jogging. Soon, he is joined by more and more people until the whole colony is out running, every day. This leaves the houses unattended which comes to the notice of a group of thieves: and they conduct a spate of early morning robberies. The people of the colony, even after a couple of houses are robbed, continue their morning ritual - they can't stop, even after they know that their houses may be invaded any time. Padmarajan ostensibly wrote this seemingly absurd and Kafkaesque story to make fun of the urban animal, blindly following the latest fad. But he may have more true to life than he thought. Such is the power of habit. ------------------------------ This book by Duhigg, if you can get past the unnecessarily prolix prose, says a very simple but significant thing: habit is what drives you. From picking your nose to gambling away your life's savings, ingrained habits hard-coded into your brain makes you tick. It follows the "cue-routine-reward" loop as illustrated below: (Cue = a certain time; routine = eat a cookie; reward = diversion from work) Habits are not endemic to people alone - organisations and societies also have habits, which why they are so resistant to change. The key to getting rid of a destructive habit is to replace it with a constructive one. In the loop illustrated above, the cue and the reward would remain the same, but a different routine can be substituted. See below: (Here the routine of "have a drink" is replaced with "have a chat") This is easier said than done, however: it requires real effort to identify a habit, and great will power (which can be cultivated, according to Duhigg) to change it. But it can be done. Successful individuals have changed their lives by changing destructive habits: successful executives have turned around companies by changing corporate habits: and leaders have transformed societies. Examples abound in this book. And please note: supermarket chains and gambling dens monitor our habits and feed those which will drain our pockets and maximise their profits. ------------------------------ This book is well worth a read. I only wish that the author had cut the fluff and trimmed it down to a slimmer volume. But then, the HABIT of writing needlessly long books among American journalists is one that dies hard.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chad Warner

    This long-winded book explains how habits form in individuals, organizations, and social groups. Despite the intriguing premise, the verbose anecdotes left me screaming, “I get the point already!” A better book (or article) would have resulted from taking the appendix (a short, practical guide to changing a habit) and adding some of the psychological research and a few brief examples. (After I wrote this review, I discovered Charles Duhigg's New York Times article, which is basically what I described). The book’s moral(After This long-winded book explains how habits form in individuals, organizations, and social groups. Despite the intriguing premise, the verbose anecdotes left me screaming, “I get the point already!” A better book (or article) would have resulted from taking the appendix (a short, practical guide to changing a habit) and adding some of the psychological research and a few brief examples. (After I wrote this review, I discovered Charles Duhigg's New York Times article, which is basically what I described). The book’s moral is a respectable one: once you’re aware of a bad habit, it’s your responsibility to change it. My favorite case study was the one about Target using predictive analytics and behavioral research to personalize its marketing to each shopper’s habits. • A habit is a cue that triggers a routine that results in a reward. • Habits can’t be eradicated; they can only be replaced. • The Golden Rule of Habit Change: to replace a habit, keep the cue and reward but replace the routine. • “For a habit to stay changed, people must believe change is possible. And most often, that belief only emerges with the help of a group.” • Studies show that willpower is a finite resource; it's like a muscle that tires with use. Willpower can be increased by exercising self-discipline. Increasing self-discipline in one area of life increases it in other areas. • To introduce new habits, “sandwich” them between existing ones so they feel familiar. • Habits are most susceptible to being altered when your life changes. Having a baby is the event that produces the most habit changes.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Johnny

    Judging from the prologue of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, the first thing necessary in modifying one’s behavior is to note the actual components of that behavior. The author cites a visit with a military officer in charge of normalizing a village (Kufa) in Iraq. The officer started by observing video of how riots began and noticed that the trouble usually broke out after people had milled around for a while and food trucks and spectators arrived. He changed the behavior Judging from the prologue of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, the first thing necessary in modifying one’s behavior is to note the actual components of that behavior. The author cites a visit with a military officer in charge of normalizing a village (Kufa) in Iraq. The officer started by observing video of how riots began and noticed that the trouble usually broke out after people had milled around for a while and food trucks and spectators arrived. He changed the behavior by asking the mayor not to allow food trucks into the areas where people were demonstrating (p. 13 on Sony eReader, as will be all pagination in the remainder of this review). Something as simple as the presence of food trucks threw off a habit of violence and allowed some normalization. This seemed amazing, but something resonated strongly with this truth. The Power of Habits begins with anecdotal accounts of people who changed destructive habits in their lives and one account of a man who had absolutely no short term memory but was able to function as a result of habits already ingrained within him. The latter case demonstrated that there was something distinctive between one part of our brain and another. So, the author takes the reader on a tour of a lab at M.I.T. where scientists have been researching a golf ball-sized lump in the brain called the basal ganglia since 1990 (p. 25). Apparently, the basal ganglia stores habits while the rest of the brain works less and less because the “chunks” of actions stored in that section of the brain takes over (p. 26). Arriving at this understanding, researchers were able to use different experiments to ascertain a “habit loop.” They noticed that a certain cue triggers a set of automatic reactions such that the being feels rewarded. As a result of being rewarded, there is an even stronger response to the same cue on the next occasion (p. 29) Of course, if reward can reinforce the habit whenever one senses that cue, changing the reward can eventually extinguish that habit (p. 30) as the researchers discovered by moving the chocolate around the maze to mess up the behaviors. So, what kinds of “cues” work? The Power of Habits tells the story of Claude Hopkins, an advertising legend who “created” the demand for toothpaste by creating a “craving.” Hopkins noticed in dental research that there is a film that forms on our teeth. He decided to get people to “feel” the mucin plaques on their teeth by calling them “the film” and suggesting that “beauty” comes from eliminating the film (p. 40). By identifying a “cue” (the film that is almost always there) and suggesting a “reward” (getting rid of that film), he established a multi-million dollar product. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet, the book goes on to tell the story of Febreze, the air freshener that started out as a failure. Even though it was extremely effective in getting rid of odors, it wasn’t selling because people in odiferous situations became used to the odors. They weren’t getting the cue. So, there had to be a better way to cue the reward and that came to be with pleasant fragrances and the idea of “finishing” a task with beautiful smelling Febreze (a tactic that is still being used in dozens of new products in this product line to the present day (p. 56). The “habit loop” works even better when a “craving” is attached to it. It turns out that Pepsodent already had the craving element built in with the citric acid or mint taste that rewarded users with a tingling sense of feeling clean. It’s pretty masterful the way this author closes the loop in each chapter. Then, a chapter introduces the “Golden Rule” of habit change. It notes that you can never quite remove a bad habit, but you need to substitute a new routine between the cue and the reward (p. 61). In this chapter, Tony Dungy’s coaching philosophy of substituting a simpler playbook with more repetition for the old routine of over-thinking what one might be trying to do. In this way, the new routine would reside between the cue (hiking the ball?) and the reward (scoring a touchdown? Making a sack of the QB?) and more success would result (p. 62). Naturally, this chapter wraps Dungy’s experiences with turning around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts football teams around the history of Alcoholics Anonymous. Both Dungy as a coach and Bill Wilson who founded A.A. teach people to substitute new routines for the old ones (p. 68), bad football in the former and alcohol abuse in the latter. One of the keys to Dungy’s eventual success and one of the core tenets of A.A. (or any 12-step) program is that one must believe in something. Dungy complained early on that practice was going well and everything was coming together, but the training would disappear during the big games. When he heard the players saying that they went back to what they knew during critical games, Dungy said, “What they were really saying was that they trusted our system most of the time, but when everything was on the line, that belief broken down.” (p. 75) And, as one researching from the University of New Mexico noted, belief is critical in order for change to work in the long run (p. 78). The section on “habits” in business wasn’t as interesting to me, but even there I found some intriguing aspects. It was fascinating to read about how “keystone habits encourage widespread change: by creating cultures where new values become ingrained.” (p. 109) This section told the story of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’ Neill’s success at Alcoa. O’ Neill’s emphasis was safety. By placing the emphasis on safety, he gave the corporation something around which management (because of reducing lost work days) and unions (because of emphasizing the safety of the workers) could both agree upon. There was also an insight with regard to the gay liberation movement. Duhigg suggests that when the Library of Congress re-categorized books on homosexuality as its own subject matter rather than under mental illness, it provided a paradigm shift that fueled the movement (p. 100). It just shows how little shifts can have seismic effects, not only on individuals, but on society. Another corporate chapter used an experiment on willpower where half of the group was allowed to eat fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies while another group was forced to eat radishes. Sounds like the latter would have a healthy advantage when the group was asked to perform a complex problem which had no real solution! Sounds like they would be more mentally fresh! Wrong! Those who had eaten the radishes were most likely to quit after only a few minutes while the cookie eaters kept on for half an hour or so. Why? Researchers concluded that the first portion of the experiment had used up much of the finite willpower in the radish eaters (p. 119). A later study showed that using kindness to set up the willpower goals as opposed to ordering willpower allowed those who experienced kindness to concentrate longer (p. 130). Building on that idea, Duhigg recounted a Scottish rehabilitation study where the elderly patients who were most successful in learning to walk again in spite of excruciating pain had identified potential obstacles in advance and created their own ways of dealing with them. “Put another way, the patients’ plans were built around inflection points when they knew their pain—and thus the temptation to quit—would be the strongest.” (p. 124) Starbucks put this to work in what they called the LATTE method (Listen to the customer, Acknowledge their complaint, Take action by solving the problem, Thank them, and then, Explain why the problem occurred.) in dealing with irate customers (p. 126). Another chapter deals with destructive institutional habits: “There are no organizations without institutional habits. There are only places where they are deliberately designed, and places where they are created without forethought, so they often grow from rivalries or fear.” (p. 137) “Companies aren’t families. They’re battlefields in a civil war.” (p. 139) I was also fascinated with the chapter on consumer behavior. Did you know that almost everyone turns right after entering a retail establishment and that retailers stock their most profitable items on the right side of the store? (p. 157) Did you know that people’s buying habits change when they go through a major life event (marriage, having a child, divorce, moving)? (p. 162) And, in the facts are stranger than fiction department, Duhigg cites a company named Polyphonic HMI that statistically analyzes the mathematical characters of a song and predicts its popularity. (p. 167) Why is that strange? It’s because Norman Spinrad, a terrific science-fiction author, “predicts” it in his novel in the 1980s--Little Heroes. Sorry, Duhigg doesn’t cite Spinrad; that’s me. I was happy that Duhigg recounted a huge Polyphonic miscalculation. It also explained why I don’t listen to music on the radio very much: “Our brains crave familiarity in music because familiarity is how we manage to hear without becoming distracted by all the sound.” (p. 171) I actually listen to the radio for stimuli. The section on the habits of societies was particularly relevant to me because the first chapter dealt with churches, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Montgomery church and Rick Warren’s Saddleback Community Church. Starting with the idea of a social network of friendships and growing through informal ties (Duhigg calls them “weak ties”) and changing community habits, social habits turn on personal integrity and relationships. Duhigg pointed out how Rosa Park’s ties that transcended the social stratifications of the black community through her volunteer involvement with many groups on many levels enabled her to become the catalyst that she was (p. 184) The important insight that was new to me was: “The habits of peer pressure … often spread through weak ties. And they gain their authority through communal expectations. If you ignore the social obligations of your neighborhood, if you shrug off the expected patterns of your community, you risk losing your social standing.” (p. 189) Sadly, I was disappointed in the section on Rick Warren. The book makes it sound like Warren selected Saddleback Community from a long way away by citing Warren’s seminary education in Texas and work as a volunteer missionary in Japan. Strangely, it doesn’t mention the fact that Saddleback was only a little more 30 minutes drive from where Warren attended college in Riverside or that Warren’s father had been a professional minister in California prior to his retirement. I did like the emphasis on small groups as the key to creating a “sticky” environment that “…drew on already-existing social urges and patterns.” (p. 198) One significant section of the book was dedicated to the idea of whether we are responsible for our habits. By juxtaposing the tale of a gambler (if you listen to This American Life on public radio, you probably heard this story) who went to court with a major casino chain by insisting that the casino operators were responsible for her problem alongside that of a British subject who killed his wife during sleep terrors, Duhigg raises the issue but concludes by stating that he believes it is possible to change habits—any habits. The gambler protested that she just wanted to feel good at something (p. 208) and the killer protested that he honestly thought his wife was a male intruder assaulting his wife (p. 209). This section pointed out that, for example, sleepwalking is a reminder that sleep and wakefulness aren't that separate so that the brain can accomplish complex activities and nothing is guiding the brain except patterns. (pp. 210-211) Even more powerful are the behaviors described as “sleep terrors.” Sleep terrors are primitive neurological patterns (p.212). It even points out that a 2010 MRI study of gamblers discovered that, to pathological gamblers, brain activity was so high that it treated near misses as wins (p.220) when, in fact, they were losses. So, can such ingrained perceptions be changed? Duhigg cites William James’ decision to believe in free will as opposed to surrendering to suicide (p. 226). As James tried his 12 month long experiment, he discovered that habits were based upon exercising them (pp. 226-227) much like a well-folded paper or an old pair of well-creased slacks. And all of these great narratives point the reader toward the most useful part of the book, learning to change behavior by identifying the routine, figuring out the cue that triggers the routine and the craving underlying that cue by experimenting with different rewards (p. 230). If you can figure out what you really want and substitute a better routine to satisfy that craving, you will be well on your way toward changing that habit. That doesn’t mean you won’t fall off the wagon, but it means you will be on your way to shaping your actions by your will as opposed to ingrained behaviors.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters

    Our local book club read this a few years ago. I thought I had a review....perhaps it disappeared? Maybe it's still here? I saw a friend currently reading it. I thought this book explained some useful information: Talked about success through good habits - organizational skills ----addictions- habits hard to break and how to create new ones -- lots of repetition. ( some basic common sense - but also good tidbits and even validation in some areas) The personal stories of people's lives were Our local book club read this a few years ago. I thought I had a review....perhaps it disappeared? Maybe it's still here? I saw a friend currently reading it. I thought this book explained some useful information: Talked about success through good habits - organizational skills ----addictions- habits hard to break and how to create new ones -- lots of repetition. ( some basic common sense - but also good tidbits and even validation in some areas) The personal stories of people's lives were interesting.... and my favorite part about reading this book was the book discussion with the people in my book club group after.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business is a book by Charles Duhigg, a New York Times reporter, published in February 2012 by Random House. The Habit loop is a neurological pattern that governs any habit. It consists of three elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward. Understanding these components can help in understanding how to change bad habits or form good ones. The habit loop is always started with a cue, a trigger that transfers the The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business is a book by Charles Duhigg, a New York Times reporter, published in February 2012 by Random House. The Habit loop is a neurological pattern that governs any habit. It consists of three elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward. Understanding these components can help in understanding how to change bad habits or form good ones. The habit loop is always started with a cue, a trigger that transfers the brain into a mode that automatically determines which habit to use. The heart of the habit is a mental, emotional, or physical routine. عنوانها: نقش و قدرت عادت‌ها در زندگی؛ نیروی عادت: علت آنچه در زندگی و کارمان انجام می‌دهیم چیست؟ قدرت عادت؛ قدرت عادت : چرا ما در زندگی و کار اینگونه عمل می‌کنیم؟ قدرت عادت: علت کارهای که در کسب‌وکار و زندگی انجام می‌دهیم؛ قدرت عادت: دلیل هر آن چه در زندگی و کسب و کار انجام می‌دهیم؛ قدرت عادت: چرایی کارهایی که انجام می‌دهیم و چگونگی تغییر دادن آن‌ها؛ قدرت عادت: قدرت عادتهای اثرگذار در چرخه‌ی زندگی؛ ‬قدرت عادت: چرایی کارهایی که انجام می دهیم، در زندگی و کسب و کار؛ نویسنده: چارلز داهیگ؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه سپتامبر سال 2014 میلادی عنوان: قدرت عادت؛ نویسنده: چالز دوهینگ ؛ مترجم: پروین بیات؛ تهران: هورمزد، ‏‫1392؛ در 335 ص؛ شابک: 9786006958118؛ چاپ دوم 1393؛ چاپ چهارم تا هشتم 1393؛ 352 ص؛ چاپ دهم 1394؛ در 352 ص؛ چاپ چهاردهم 1396؛ چاپ پانزدهم و شانزدهم 1397؛ عنوان: قدرت عادت: چرا کارهایی را در زندگی و کسب و کار انجام می‌دهیم؟ نویسنده: چارلز دوهیگ؛ مترجم: سکینه تقی زاده؛ اصفهان، گاهداد، 1394؛ در 340 ص؛ شابک: 9786009382125؛ عنوان: نقش و قدرت عادت‌ها در زندگی؛ نویسنده: چارلز داهیگ؛ مترجمها: ندا نایب‌پور، محمدرضا مینایی؛ اصفهان: آمیس، 1395؛ در 207 ص؛ شابک: 9786005419795؛ موضوع: جنبه های اجتماعی عادت از نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 21 م‬ عنوان: نیروی عادت: علت آنچه در زندگی و کارمان انجام می‌دهیم چیست؟ نویسنده: چالرز دیوهیگ؛ مترجم: علی هداوند؛ تهران: پندار‌تابان‏‫، 1395؛ در 328 ص؛ شابک: 9786006895598؛ چاپ دوم 1396؛ چاپ سوم 1397؛ چاپ چهارم 1398؛ عنوان: ‬قدرت عادت: چرایی کارهایی که انجام می دهیم، در زندگی و کسب و کار؛ نویسنده: چارلز داهیگ؛ مترجمها: مصطفی طرسکی، معصومه ثابت‌قدم؛ ویراستار: طاهره خیرآبادی؛ تهران: نوین توسعه‏‫، ‏‫‏‏‏‏1395؛ ‬327 ص؛ شابک: 9786008738091؛ چاپ دوم و سوم 1396؛ چاپ هفتم 1397؛ عنوان: قدرت عادت : چرا ما در زندگی و کار اینگونه عمل می‌کنیم؟ نویسنده: چارلز دوهیگ ؛ مترجم: شهرزاد حکیم‌مختار؛ تهران: معیار اندیشه، ‏‫1398؛ در 288 ص؛ شابک: 9786005462746؛ ‬عنوان: قدرت عادت: دلیل هر آن چه در زندگی و کسب و کار انجام می‌دهیم؛ نویسنده: چارلز داهیگ؛ مترجم: الهام شریف؛ تهران : نسل نواندیش‏‫‬، 1396؛ در 344 ص؛ شابک: 9789642369119؛ ‬عنوان: قدرت عادت: چرایی کارهایی که انجام می‌دهیم و چگونگی تغییر دادن آن‌ها؛ نویسنده: چارلز داهیگ؛ مترجم: اصغر اندرودی؛ کرج: در دانش بهمن‏‫٬ 1395؛ در 342 ص؛ شابک: 9789641741794؛ چاپ دوم 1396؛ چاپ سوم و چهارم 1397؛ عنوان: قدرت عادت؛ نویسنده: چارلز دوهیگ؛ مترجم: فروزنده دولتیاری؛ تهران: چابک اندیش، ‏‫‏‏‏‏1397؛ در 352 ص؛ شابک: 9786005861259؛‬‬‬ عنوان: قدرت عادت؛ نویسنده: چارلز داهیگ؛ مترجم: طیبه شیخی؛ قم: دارالفنون بوریا، ‏‫1398؛ در 270 ص؛ شابک: 97862295661؛ عنوان: قدرت عادت: علت کارهای که در کسب‌وکار و زندگی انجام می‌دهیم؛ نویسنده: چارلز دوهینگ ؛ مترجم: زهرا شاه‌قلعه؛ قم: آوای بیصدا، ‏‫1398؛ در 368 ص؛ شابک: 9786009926459؛ عنوان: قدرت عادت: قدرت عادتهای اثرگذار در چرخه‌ی زندگی؛ نویسنده: کارلس (چارلز) دوهیگ ؛ مترجم: مرجان فرجی؛ تهران : رشد، ‏‫1398؛ در 440 ص؛ شابک: 9786003511248؛ کتاب قدرت عادت یکی از کتابهای موفق روانشناسی است که نخستین بار در سال 2013 میلادی توسط چارلز دوهینگ نوشته شد، و به سرعت جزو پرفروش‌ترین کتابهای نیویورک شد. «دوهینگ» در این کتاب بیان می‌کند، که این عادت‌های ما هستند، که زندگی ما را شکل می‌دهند، و قدرت عادت و تأثیر آن در زندگی انسان را توضیح می‌دهد. در ادامه این موضوع را بیان می‌کند، که اگر انسان بتواند عادت‌های خود را تغییر بدهد، می‌تواند رفتار و زندگانی خود را نیز تغییر دهد، و در نهایت نیز الگوهایی برای تغییر عادت‌ها ارائه می‌دهد. ا. شربیانی

  12. 4 out of 5

    Arda

    Enjoyable. The book presents a framework of understanding how habits work, and serves as a guide to show how to change habits. “Once you choose who you want to be, believe you want to change, and it becomes real.” “Visualize the kind of person you would like to become, focus on one habit you would potentially develop, and transform that into what would become natural; requiring no effort or thinking.” “To modify a habit, you must decide to change it. You must consciously accept the hard work of Enjoyable. The book presents a framework of understanding how habits work, and serves as a guide to show how to change habits. “Once you choose who you want to be, believe you want to change, and it becomes real.” “Visualize the kind of person you would like to become, focus on one habit you would potentially develop, and transform that into what would become natural; requiring no effort or thinking.” “To modify a habit, you must decide to change it. You must consciously accept the hard work of identifying the cues and rewards that drive the habit’s routines and find alternatives. You must know you have control, and be self conscious enough to use it.” And hence, the power of habit. So far so good. At this point I’m thinking “which one, which one!” I have a big list of those things I’d be more than happy to trash, and a bigger list of habits I’d like to build. According to Duhigg, the habit loop is made up of: cue → routine → reward. Let’s assume I have a habit of reviewing books on goodreads. This habit of reviewing would be a cue, which makes up the routine: logging into my account, adding books and reviewing them. Apparently, habits (cue and routine) often require a reward. What would my reward in this scenario possibly be? A like? A comment? I hardly get any of those. Perhaps the reward comes from the deeper craving I have to read more books. Craving apparently is what drives the habit loop. Hence: Cue → Routine → Reward. The driver is the craving. And the extra spices are belief, and will-power. (Self-discipline increases will-power.) The beauty of realizing this power is that “at first, the change comes with difficulty, then it is done more easily, then semi-mechanically or with hardly any consciousness.” Our actions are developed into habits when we stop thinking about them consciously. We just do them. Hence, we rebuild and transform them. Changing a keystone habit, like say, working out, can transform a person’s life, because with the habit of working out, one is going to simultaneously eat in a healthier way, possibly quit smoking, and live a better lifestyle which in turn could turn to a happier life. EUREKA! As based on the above, it would be fair to presume that due to my habit of writing reviews on goodreads, I will start to read more books, thanks to my craving, and this will in turn increase my reviews. I would have no idea what to do with those reviews, and so I might have a chance of reaching success and becoming famous by turning into a fraud replica of Manny who published a book about his reviews of books. And, to take it a little further, according to the habit loop, I may just as well meet the love of my life as a result of all this success, which would in turn stop me from eating so much ice cream. On a serious note, Duhigg generously provides diverse examples to explain the habit loop. The examples range from personal experiences, such as depression/addiction (alcohol, gambling, overeating, etc) and memory-loss. And yet, some of the success stories got on my nerves at a certain point. I was a tad annoyed, early in the book, that he draws inspiration from the US Military and the ways through which habits are instilled in soldiers. Moreover, he includes a section on radio/music, concluding that the reason Outkast’s “Hey Ya” turned out to be such a hit despite the public’s initial disdain is because “the unfamiliar was made to seem familiar” through playing it with familiar songs. “If you dress a new something in an old habit," he explains, "it is easier for the public to accept it.” (Which public?) He brings examples from sports games, shopping malls (like target) and coffee chains (like Starbucks) and others markets like Alcoa and Febreeze to display how the habit loop works. He mentions that "companies predict and manipulate habits” and briefly remarks on how some customers do not like to be spied on for marketing purposes, yet it still seems as though Duhigg uses his examples as success stories. He does not seem to mind the data-mining and tracking of records or ethical standards so much, and focuses instead on how to make success out of this “secret”. [Speaking of which, did you know pregnant women are the biggest shoppers?] I was a little taken-aback by his corporate-success-mindedness and the ways in which he measures success. This would be a little too similar to the mind-set one finds in other self-help books, although I was hoping this one would be different. Unfortunately, most of these types of books seem to promote the sensation of becoming a driven, ambitious, goal-oriented, go-get-‘em tiger. I couldn’t help escape the idea that this man partly measures success by a person’s pay-check and exercise regimen. That said, the book does have interesting viewpoints, particularly those related to how habits shape up societies. His take on habits within communities was eye-opening: He defines community as a giant collection of habits occurring among thousands of people that, depending on how they’re influenced, could result in violence or peace. He takes the example of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama in 1955, and states that it was not just an act of defiance that sparked the boycott, but that the successful boycott was also due to her varying and influential social circles. In this section, as in other sections, attention is given to the importance of social standing, which comes with obligations. Apparently, it is not just our friends who strengthen our social networks, but the friends of our friends [“weak ties”] too have a role in improving our chances for finding employment and improve our social standing. One of the integral points that will stand out for me from this book is that our actions are developed into habits when we stop thinking about them consciously. We just do them. Hence, we rebuild and transform them. Changing, or building, the most simple habit could have a direct impact on our mortal life. “However," Duhigg warns, "there isn’t one formula. Individuals are different, habits are different, and cravings are different. What this book aspires to do is create a framework of understanding how a habit works, and serve as a guide to show how to change it.”

  13. 4 out of 5

    Manuel Antão

    If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Chi Kung Ritual: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (original review, 2012) I was just thinking earlier this week about the 4 dimensions of rituals that Mervin Verbit, a sociologist, wrote about: content, frequency, intensity and centrality. And, although he was talking more about religious rituals, I think they apply to most other kinds of rit If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review. Chi Kung Ritual: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (original review, 2012) I was just thinking earlier this week about the 4 dimensions of rituals that Mervin Verbit, a sociologist, wrote about: content, frequency, intensity and centrality. And, although he was talking more about religious rituals, I think they apply to most other kinds of rituals in our lives too. And, I think that if our everyday rituals include these 4 dimensions in the right proportions, they can allow us pay more attention to what we’re doing and give us the space to be more creative. Note that I'm not suggesting that rituals, in themselves, can make anyone more creative - rather that they enable some of the right conditions for creativity.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This was an interesting collection of research about habits and routines. The book felt Gladwellian in that it combined a variety of case studies while arguing a central theme, just as Malcolm Gladwell tends to do in his books. I think my favorite sections were the ones on Starbucks' training programs, Procter & Gamble's attempts to market Febreze, the safety record at Alcoa, the applications of Hit Song Science, and the historic Montgomery bus boycott of 1955. The overall theme is about how This was an interesting collection of research about habits and routines. The book felt Gladwellian in that it combined a variety of case studies while arguing a central theme, just as Malcolm Gladwell tends to do in his books. I think my favorite sections were the ones on Starbucks' training programs, Procter & Gamble's attempts to market Febreze, the safety record at Alcoa, the applications of Hit Song Science, and the historic Montgomery bus boycott of 1955. The overall theme is about how habits shape our lives, and it is possible to change bad habits for positive routines. The trick is in identifying what is cueing you to the bad habit, to experiment with positive rewards, and then make a plan for how to adjust your routine. This material was also explored in Gretchen Rubin's charming book, Better Than Before, and I enjoyed revisiting the topic. Recommended for those interested in human behavior and popular psychology/sociology.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ginger

    I feel like I’ve just climbed Mt. Rainier. Why you ask? I finished a non-fiction book! So, I started this climbing excursion because I have bad habits. We all do most of the time. My bad habits are eating unhealthy food, drinking too much wine, not getting enough exercise or procrastinating at work. My hubby and I thought, let’s figure out WHY since we both have bad habits we want to stop. We started this buddy read in February. February?! And you're just finishing it? Now don’t let t I feel like I’ve just climbed Mt. Rainier. Why you ask? I finished a non-fiction book! So, I started this climbing excursion because I have bad habits. We all do most of the time. My bad habits are eating unhealthy food, drinking too much wine, not getting enough exercise or procrastinating at work. My hubby and I thought, let’s figure out WHY since we both have bad habits we want to stop. We started this buddy read in February. February?! And you're just finishing it? Now don’t let that sway you that it took over two months to finish this book. It’s not a bad read, I just took my time with it, it's non-fiction and of course, I read books in between. ;) hahaha So, did it answer some of my questions? Will I put down the bag of Cheetos next time I drink too much wine?! Yeah, I think it did. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business helped me understand that stopping a bad habit isn’t the easiest thing to do. Don't beat yourself up about it. They become routine, habitual and ingrained in your life. They are caused by stress, emotions and going back to creature comforts. The book addresses that one of the ways to break a bad habit is to replace it with a substitute. It’s one of the ways to make a lasting change. Technically, this book isn’t bad. The author jumps around a bit with stories, starting one narrative and then going to another. Depending on the subject matter, I was okay with this. When I was really into the subject matter, it annoyed the hell out of me. This book is also a good analysis about why people like what they do, buy from a certain store or buy merchandise. The businesses that are smart, they have tapped into the emotion of advertising and habits. This part of the book was fascinating and was interesting material to read. And it confirmed that a lot of our bad habits are subliminal because of ads, commercials and radio. Why 4 stars? I didn’t really need that much business data and could have used a bit more personal. We are creatures of habit and it’s really on to you and whether you can make the change or not. Belief plays a big role in our daily success. I hope that I can use some of the tips in this book to finally implement some changes.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    How do some of us wake up for 6 a.m. jogs every day? What leads people to develop gambling addictions? Why do people brush their teeth every day while never remembering to wear sunscreen? Charles Duhigg answers these questions and more in The Power of Habit, a well-researched book on what motivates us to make the decisions we do in everyday life and in business. Duhigg's background as a reporter shows in this book. He does a good job of stringing together a wide variety of topics to fit his How do some of us wake up for 6 a.m. jogs every day? What leads people to develop gambling addictions? Why do people brush their teeth every day while never remembering to wear sunscreen? Charles Duhigg answers these questions and more in The Power of Habit, a well-researched book on what motivates us to make the decisions we do in everyday life and in business. Duhigg's background as a reporter shows in this book. He does a good job of stringing together a wide variety of topics to fit his thesis that revolves around habit, and for the most part he writes about the cue-routine-reward cycle. To illustrate how that pattern works and what we can do to change it, Duhigg explores ideas like smoking addiction, sleepwalking, Target tracking down pregnant women, and more. His writing shines when he compares the man who murdered his wife while asleep to the women who lost an enormous sum of money to compulsive gambling: I still find myself thinking about the neurological and moral implications of the distinction he presents. However, the writing in this book faltered at times. In certain sections Duhigg would break up anecdotes and combine them in odd, confusing ways. Sometimes he selected scenarios that did not align too well with his arguments, like his exploration of how "Hey-Ya" became popular. The book as a whole veered more toward reporting than research, so bear that in mind if you decide to pick it up. Overall, a decent read I wanted a little more from when I finished. Recommended to those who want to get their feet wet when it comes to habit formation or psychology that deals with motivation. I will end with a quote from The Power of Habit that stood out to me in a good way: That, in some ways, is the point of this book. Perhaps a sleepwalking murderer can plausibly argue that he wasn't aware of his habit, and so he doesn't bear responsibility for his crime. But almost all the other patterns that exist in most people's lives - how we eat and sleep and talk to our kids, how we unthinkingly spend our time, attention, and money - those are habits that we know exist. And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom - and the responsibility - to remake them. Once you understand that habits can be rebuilt, the power of habit becomes easier to grasp, and the only option left is to get to work.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    The Power of Habit examines behaviors you may not even know you have and hands you the tools to make lasting change at home, at work and in your community... if you want it. "Each chapter revolves around a central argument: Habits can be changed, if we understand how they work." prologue xvii First, author Charles Duhigg goes into what makes a habit at the biological level. "Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. Left to its own devic/>"Habits,/>"Each The Power of Habit examines behaviors you may not even know you have and hands you the tools to make lasting change at home, at work and in your community... if you want it. "Each chapter revolves around a central argument: Habits can be changed, if we understand how they work." prologue xvii First, author Charles Duhigg goes into what makes a habit at the biological level. "Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. Left to its own devices, the brain will try to make almost any routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often." pgs 17-18 Duhigg describes how the brain creates a "habit loop" through cues, routines and rewards. These three elements feed on themselves until an ingrained habit is made. And, once it is there, it takes very little to upkeep. That's good news and bad news, because it works the same way for healthy and unhealthy habits. "But the reason the discovery of the habit loop is so important is that it reveals a basic truth: When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making." pg 20 The "golden rule" for changing a habit, Duhigg says, is to keep the same cues and rewards, but change the routine that leads to them. It sounds simple, but everyone is different with different motivations. So, it takes a bit of self awareness to discover what those unique cues and rewards are for you. But, once you know your triggers and motivations, that's when the fun begins of crafting a new routine. I found this book to be absolutely fascinating. It's also making me question the habits I've picked up in my own life. Am I certain that they are ones I want to continue? I can think of a few that could use a bit of tweaking. And now I know how. "This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be." pg 271 Let's cultivate the good ones then.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    Duhigg's Power of Habit offered a staggering statistic about our lives: 40% of what we do is habitual. 40 percent! That means that a huge majority of what we do in our lives is practically unconscious and habitually helping us progress or digress. The major takeaways for me include two main insights. First, identifying your habit's cues and rewards gives one understanding of why we do what we do. For example, when analyzing my habit of running, there are specific cues and rewards that both initi Duhigg's Power of Habit offered a staggering statistic about our lives: 40% of what we do is habitual. 40 percent! That means that a huge majority of what we do in our lives is practically unconscious and habitually helping us progress or digress. The major takeaways for me include two main insights. First, identifying your habit's cues and rewards gives one understanding of why we do what we do. For example, when analyzing my habit of running, there are specific cues and rewards that both initiate and reward my exercising. My cues revolve around clearing my head and feeling accomplishment. I run either in the morning (after I wake up) or after work (after a long day at school/work) to clear my head. Also, I desire to accomplish something everyday, and running fulfills that craving. If I run in the morning, then I feel that I've already accomplished something that day. The second takeaway from this book is the principle of small victories. When you have a series of small victories, then your days can't help but to be filled with successful habits. For example, I feel accomplishment with a morning run. After a great start to the day, other small victories come more easily. I'm more positive,I want to eat healthy, I have more patience, and I work more efficiently. It's just a balanced way to live life. Identifying Cues/Rewards and earning Small victories changes habits and subsequently 40% of your life.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nada EL Shabrawy

    Expect a video about this marvelous book soon.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    This book claims to explain how new science can help us stop bad habits. The advice on habit change ultimately comes down to the appendix with the author's personal anecdote about trying to lose weight. The conclusion is obvious and it's not science; it's just some dude's story. People looking for books on using increased awareness of thought loops to change habits would be better served reading something about cognitive therapy or meditation. Much of what he is talking about with automatic This book claims to explain how new science can help us stop bad habits. The advice on habit change ultimately comes down to the appendix with the author's personal anecdote about trying to lose weight. The conclusion is obvious and it's not science; it's just some dude's story. People looking for books on using increased awareness of thought loops to change habits would be better served reading something about cognitive therapy or meditation. Much of what he is talking about with automatic responses to external cues goes back to century-old findings about Pavlov's dogs, and one of the people interviewed even describes what they're doing as "Pavlovian" so that's not new. The actual new science is the fashionable brain biology stuff, which is still not very practical. It's like taking apart your GPS after a road trip to see if you had a good vacation. Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience One of the most basic concepts in science is to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, but the author mixes things up so much that it's like a fruit salad. Sleepwalking is a habit? Murder is a habit? Does "habit" mean anything??? Useful scientific advice on behavior change would tell us about controlled experiments of things that helped people. This book instead gives us lots of theories with a "loop" diagram that doesn't even make sense. According to the loop, you need an immediate reward to establish a long-term habit. But, for example, in the chapter about the Superbowl coach, nowhere is it explained what the immediate reward is for performing the correct behaviors thousands of times. Winning the game is the reward, but a losing team doesn't get that for years, if ever.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    I thought this would be a self-help book on tips of how to improve habits and it is much more than that. The author analyzes habits on different levels such as in individuals, organizations, businesses and societies. He uses real-life examples and historic events to describe behavioral habits. Since the book was not what I expected I started getting distracted 20% in but pulled through to the end. About half-way of listening to the audiobook I started to do the review of the book I was expecting I thought this would be a self-help book on tips of how to improve habits and it is much more than that. The author analyzes habits on different levels such as in individuals, organizations, businesses and societies. He uses real-life examples and historic events to describe behavioral habits. Since the book was not what I expected I started getting distracted 20% in but pulled through to the end. About half-way of listening to the audiobook I started to do the review of the book I was expecting but did not get. I apologize in advance for the rambling. I read this book looking for tips on improving my personal habits, mainly eat healthier & exercise more. These two are very common goals for a lot of people but even though I understand intellectually what needs to be done, the plan is hard to execute on a daily basis. Mainly, I lack motivation to exercise because... As I was reading the book I was looking for a structured plan about habit modification but it was mostly about understanding habits and willpower. However, I believe that just the fact that there is the intention of improving behavior sets the wheels in motion and makes it easier to start the process and continue it. At least I have a better idea of how to manage cravings and keep in track.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Eli

    There was nothing really new here but the writing style was very interesting and I loved how the author put a lot of random but fascinating information in it!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mary Helene

    What a great story teller! and these stories have been spreading. Every time I talk with someone about this book, they've already heard one of the stories! (Is Mr.Duhigg all over the airwaves or are his stories just re-tellable?) In light of the recent rebuke of American nuns, I'd like to point out to the bishops that these ladies pop up prophetically in remarkable places, including p.229 in this text. (I misread my notes. The nuns show up earlier; this is a section where the author underestimat What a great story teller! and these stories have been spreading. Every time I talk with someone about this book, they've already heard one of the stories! (Is Mr.Duhigg all over the airwaves or are his stories just re-tellable?) In light of the recent rebuke of American nuns, I'd like to point out to the bishops that these ladies pop up prophetically in remarkable places, including p.229 in this text. (I misread my notes. The nuns show up earlier; this is a section where the author underestimates the role and power of religious conviction.) I checked this book out of the library but we just may buy it. Worth reading again, lending out. p.s. The casino story: horrifying.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Yousif Al Zeera

    This book delves into some science behind the notion of "habits". It hands out the "scientific" process of changing habits. In between, there are interesting stories of how individuals, societies and companies can make the best use out of their habits or other people's habits.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Schmacko

    Charles Duhigg has three fascinating half-books here. They’re all joined by the theme of habits. He speaks of habits from a personal perspective. Then he talks about business habits, switching from cognitive psychology to organizational psychology. And finally, he talks about sociology. What unifying pattern do these three have? That same old model I learned back in college in 1991… The idea of cues, actions, and rewards is throughout this book. It’s not very new nor very strong; in fact, Duhigg Charles Duhigg has three fascinating half-books here. They’re all joined by the theme of habits. He speaks of habits from a personal perspective. Then he talks about business habits, switching from cognitive psychology to organizational psychology. And finally, he talks about sociology. What unifying pattern do these three have? That same old model I learned back in college in 1991… The idea of cues, actions, and rewards is throughout this book. It’s not very new nor very strong; in fact, Duhigg mentions that Claude Hopkins in his My Life in Advertising book first discussed this old, flimsy dusty model in 1927. So why does this book get 3 stars? Because Duhigg does find several fascinating stories about each section. He uses examples from AA attendees to overeaters to Target figuring out which person is pregnant and sending out the right kind of advertising without offending the person. This is some cool stuff, great fodder for cocktail conversations – scary in sort of a Big Brother way. (“We do not control ourselves!”) Duhigg could’ve made this book better, though. He says there isn’t enough research to say why some habits prevail and others are changeable. Why write a book then? Is this only a compendium of the most recent research? If it is, it misses some significant stuff. There are plenty of other sources he could’ve used as possible models. Malcolm Gladwell talks about how sociological influences because ubiquitous - social habit - in The Tipping Point (2000). Chip and Dan Heath talk about how to change when change is difficult in Switch (2007). I can also think of several other authors who’ve given more succinct processes to take the models and attempt to make them more useable. Duhigg seemed too scared to commit to some possibilities, some clear ways to influence the change of habit. He skirts it, and then he excuses himself, saying that habits are too multifaceted to offer possible models in detail. So his models are vague or old. He also doesn’t credit or discredit Gladwell or the Heaths or others who have had recent bestsellers talking about the same ideas. Then he writes three half-books that are barely bridged to each other. Still, his examples are good, and his style is infinitely readable. I would’ve liked to have him commit to some postulation that is more recent than Hopkins’ 1927 model. I also wish his bridge between the personal, organizational, and social was stronger.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joe Soltzberg

    A very good book about habit formation. My favorite parts were the various stories and anecdotes the author provided for each lesson about habits. The book is fairly cohesive and my only complaint is that the 'how to use this book' section at the end is a bit too simple and doesn't encompass the ideas in every chapter (such as incorporating keystone habits, etc.). Nonetheless, definitely worth a read. I didn't get this book to try and change any of my habits, but still learned a ton. Here's what A very good book about habit formation. My favorite parts were the various stories and anecdotes the author provided for each lesson about habits. The book is fairly cohesive and my only complaint is that the 'how to use this book' section at the end is a bit too simple and doesn't encompass the ideas in every chapter (such as incorporating keystone habits, etc.). Nonetheless, definitely worth a read. I didn't get this book to try and change any of my habits, but still learned a ton. Here's what you need to know: 1. Habits are controlled in your brain by the basal ganglia and happen subconsciously. 2. The habit loop has 3 components: the cue, the action, the reward. 3. To change a habit, you cannot change the cue or the reward, just substitute a different action for that cue that produces a similar reward. 4. Things we do out of habit we are better at and do more dutifully than those we must think about. 5. To get people to use your product, establish a habit loop.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mirek Kukla

    Review The “Power of Habit” is a frustrating book to review. At its core, it presents ideas that are both interesting and practical: this book will - or at least might – change the way you think about, form, and conquer habits. At the same time, it’s flooded with same fuzzy and irrelevant “case studies” that pollute your average pop psychology book. The first part of this book nicely summarizes recent findings in the field of psychology concerning habits – how they form, how they function, and how t Review The “Power of Habit” is a frustrating book to review. At its core, it presents ideas that are both interesting and practical: this book will - or at least might – change the way you think about, form, and conquer habits. At the same time, it’s flooded with same fuzzy and irrelevant “case studies” that pollute your average pop psychology book. The first part of this book nicely summarizes recent findings in the field of psychology concerning habits – how they form, how they function, and how they can – or can’t - be changed. This part of the book is, for the most part, rich in content and worthwhile. Duhigg summarizes legitimate findings, and there's more or less no bullshit. If only that could be said about the second part of the book, where fluff is piled high and irrelevance abounds. “The Power of Habit” is a prime example of an unfortunate recent trend in pop psych literature, where the author brings in “case studies” from business, history, and personal life to try and engage the reader and ostensibly make for more ‘interesting’ reading. Bullshit, I say: don’t waste my time. Duhigg’s “sample size of one” anecdotes are unconvincing and unnecessary. A CEO creates a “habit” of worker safety and increases revenue by X percent. So? How do we know there isn’t a CEO next door who tried to create similar habits, thereby driving his company into the ground? And what evidence is there that the proposed habit played any causal role whatsoever in our company’s eventual success, in light of the multitude of other changes that undoubtedly occurred at the same time? Correlation isn’t causation, Duhigg, and appealing to the evidence provided by a sample size of one, where the sample is obtained after the fact, no less (selection bias, anyone?), is dumb. To summarize: the first part of this book was fascinating – even if not exactly concise – and gets a solid 4 starts. The second part, on the other hand, is irrelevant and entirely unnecessary, and deserves no more than 2 stars. Thus, I’ll grudgingly average out my impression and give “The Power of Habit” a weak 3 stars. Maybe I’ve just read one too many pop psychology books. You might very well enjoy Duhigg’s long, detailed, and humanized case studies, but I came here to learn, and as far as content is concerned, “The Power of Habit” is a light contender indeed. Summary Duhigg’s thesis is that habits function in a self-reinforcing, circular manner. He calls this cycle “the habit loop”: first, there’s a cue that tells your brain to go into “habit mode”; then, there’s a routine, which can by physical, mental, or emotional; and finally, there’s a reward , which tells your brain this particular loop is worth remembering for the future. The Role of Craving Duhigg explains that craving plays a central role in the habit loop. In essence, the brain responds to a cue by creating a craving for the expected reward, which prompts you to begin the intermediate routine. In one study, researchers sat a monkey in front of a monitor and taught it to pull a lever whenever a certain symbol flashed on a screen. If the monkey pulled the lever at the appropriate time, it was rewarded with a shot of blackberry juice from a nearby tube. The researchers monitored the monkey’s brain patterns throughout the experiment. At first, brain activity spiked in response to the reward: the monkey saw the symbol, pulled the lever, got the juice, and – wham! The brain monitor registered a rush of endorphins. Also, at this stage, if the researchers opened the door to the experimental room, the monkey decided it had had enough and immediately left to play. Soon, the action became a habit, and the researchers started to notice something interesting. While the actions of the monkey didn’t change, its brain activity did: as soon as the monkey saw the symbol – wham! The brain monitor registered a rush of endorphins. Only then would the monkey pull the lever and get the juice. In other words, the flashing shapes became a cue to pull the level, and this cue created a powerful craving for the presumed reward. And when the reward didn’t come –when the researchers withheld the blackberry juice or watered it down – the monkey became increasingly agitated and “frustration erupted inside its skull.” At this point, if the researchers opened the door from the room, the money no longer ran out to play. It stayed, glued to the monitor, waiting for its next hit of blackberry juice. Duhigg explains that this is why habits are so powerful: “they create neurological cravings.” Overcoming Existing Habits First off, Duhigg explains that it’s incredibly difficult to overcome a habit – for all intents and purposes, we’ll call it impossible. Instead of trying to get ‘rid’ of a habit, aim to alter it slightly. Keep the old cue and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine. Of course, to do this, you first need to identify the cue and isolate the reward. First, find out what cues the craving. Why do you habitually eat cookies at work? Does it happen when you’re bored? Does it occur at a certain time of day? This process of discovery is sometimes called “awareness training,” and it’s is the first step towards habit change. Once you’ve discovered the cue, isolate the reward. This can be tricky. For instance, in our cookie example, it might seem that the cookie itself is the reward. Duhigg disagrees: the cookie is the routine. The reward is the reason you eat the cookie. Perhaps you’re bored at work, and the cookie gives you something to do, as well as a pleasant energy boost; or maybe the cookie is a routine that allows you to socialize with your coworkers in the cafeteria; or maybe you’re just hungry. In any event, try to figure out why you eat the cookie. Once you’ve exposed the habit loop, insert a new routine. Do you eat the cookie out of boredom? Go on a walk instead. Do you really just want to socialize? Walk over to a co-workers desk instead. Are you just hungry? Grab an apple, then. The point is, cues don’t disappear, and cravings won’t just go away. “Habits are most malleable when the golden rule of habit change is applied: if we keep the same cue and the same reward, a new routine can be inserted.” Creating New Habits Finally, how does one go about creating new, “good” habit? This time, we need to create a habit loop. To form a new habit, you have to first find a simple and obvious cue. Then, make to clearly define a definite reward. Finally, insert the desired routine. Before long, your brain will be ‘trained to crave’. For instance, studies show that people are “more likely to stick to a new workout plan if they choose a specific cue, such as running as soon as they get home from work, and a clear reward, such as a beer, or an evening of guilt-free television.” It also helps to envision and focus on your reward: the "most successful dieters... envisioned a specific reward for sticking with their diet - a bikini they wanted to wear or the sense of pride they felt when they stepped on the scale - something they chose carefully and really wanted. They focused on the craving for that reward when temptations arose, cultivated the craving into a mild obsession. And their cravings for that reward.. crowded out the temptation." Finally, examples of using rewards being to foster the formation of habits abound in the world of advertising. For instance, modern toothpaste includes mint oils that induce a cool, tingling sensation in your mouth, which you soon start to crave (try brushing your teeth with Toms ‘natural’ toothpaste, which doesn’t include the oils. It's... unsatisfying). Similarly, shampoo doesn’t have to foam, but the makers explicitly add foaming chemicals as a reward. Says one executive: “once the customer starts expecting the foam, the habit starts growing.” Forming “good” habits is hard, and altering existing “bad” ones is even harder. It's all easier said then done. But now you know – and in the words of the immortal G.I. Joes – knowing is half the battle.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    The title of this book may be misleading if you want to lose weight, stop procrastinating, or get to appointments on time. It would be easy to think you’d found a self-help book. Okay, maybe it could help a reader break an unwanted habit. Duhigg does try to analyze those behaviors. There are a few good stories of people who quit smoking or started exercising. But it is more accurately about patterns of behavior in groups as well as individuals: in corporations, the military, and the marketplace. The title of this book may be misleading if you want to lose weight, stop procrastinating, or get to appointments on time. It would be easy to think you’d found a self-help book. Okay, maybe it could help a reader break an unwanted habit. Duhigg does try to analyze those behaviors. There are a few good stories of people who quit smoking or started exercising. But it is more accurately about patterns of behavior in groups as well as individuals: in corporations, the military, and the marketplace. I had never thought of corporations instilling habits, but we hear all the time about corporate culture, and that is an amalgam of habitual behaviors. This book is broadly organized around the concept of habits (with a number of fun stories) and around the endlessly entertaining custom (habit?) of observing human nature. Duhigg told the following story, which he claims hooked him on the subject of habits. An army officer in Iraq observed that violence in the small town where he was stationed occurred in a particular plaza. People gathered, food vendors arrived, then someone would throw a rock or bottle. He asked the town’s mayor one evening to keep the food vendors away. The crowd showed up, got restless and hungry, and eventually left – defused – because the street vendors were absent. Duhigg, then a reporter in Baghdad, asked the officer how he had analyzed this situation. The US military, the officer said, is an experiment in habit formation. “Understanding habits is the most important thing I’ve learned in the army.” This story did not initially meet my usual understanding of what constitutes a habit. But the habit of a kebab dinner supported the assembling of a large and restless crowd. At least for the duration of this book, I broadened my definition of a habit. But in case you really crave the self-help part of this book, here is Duhigg’s description of personal habit formation: A cue triggers a routine, which is the behavior you may want to change. There’s a reward inherent in that routine. Figure out what reward you really want, then change the routine to get it. The cue (an emotion, a time of day) will still be present, but you’ll respond with a different routine. Corporations make appearances in a couple of ways. The story of Paul O’Neill at Alcoa is one in which he sought to transform a poorly performing company by instilling a culture of safety. Employees were led to respond to dangerous situations with ingrained safety procedures. In other words, they learned new habits of response. Altering one important habit of all employees, in a highly disciplined manner, changed the culture of the corporation. But corporations also want to know about customer habits. If you shop at Target, consider yourself warned. The store knows more about you than you can possibly imagine. Uncomfortable territory. Your habits are known!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Franz

    If you are looking for a how-to book, in the strict sense this isn't it. But if you want to change your habits you can glean how to do so from the main text, and Duhigg provides specific hints in an appendix. Duhigg does tell us how habits form without our awareness (every habit follows the pattern of cue-response-reward loops with cravings--expectations of the reward--thrown into the mix) and why they form (the brain's method of saving effort by turning any routine into an unthought habit) and If you are looking for a how-to book, in the strict sense this isn't it. But if you want to change your habits you can glean how to do so from the main text, and Duhigg provides specific hints in an appendix. Duhigg does tell us how habits form without our awareness (every habit follows the pattern of cue-response-reward loops with cravings--expectations of the reward--thrown into the mix) and why they form (the brain's method of saving effort by turning any routine into an unthought habit) and where in the brain (the basal ganglia) they are stored. Simply put, changing habits begins with recognizing the pattern of a particular loop and then changing the response to the cue. In this well-researched and well-written book Duhigg talks to scientists about how rats memorize a maze. He describes how a man with extensive brain damage but whose basal ganglia is intact can still form new habits without recalling anything he does. He shows how real people with bad habits such as alcoholism can overcome them by changing the cue-response-reward loop; this is essentially how Alcoholics Anonymous works. Therapists train elderly patients to exercise after hip surgeries by manipulating the loop in such a way that the patients persist in exercising despite the pain instead of giving, greatly improving the quality of their lives. Duhigg describes Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps habitual routines that enabled him to win a race at the Chinese Olympics with his goggles filled with water, swimming virtually blind. He also explains how a social movement such as the civil rights movement depends on the same cue-response-reward loop. Corporation such as Target and the gambling industry exploit the loop to bring customers through the door and spend money without realizing that they are being manipulated. Fascinating and fun to read. The only caveat is that in the last chapter when Duhigg discusses the implications of habits on the issue of free will. There he too quickly judges that that we cannot be absolved from bad behavior due to irresistible habits in some cases while we are absolved of responsibility for our behavior in others. He may be right, but I wasn't convinced.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Whitley Birks

    This is a review of an ARC received through a First Reads giveaway. For most of my adult life, I have struggled with bad habits that have kept me unemployed, ineffective when I was employed, unable to do the things that I want, and generally unhappy. About once a year I try and reinvent myself, and it'll work for a few days and then fail. Still, I have done quite a bit of research into habits and how to change them, and I've collected a lot of tidbits of information that float around in This is a review of an ARC received through a First Reads giveaway. For most of my adult life, I have struggled with bad habits that have kept me unemployed, ineffective when I was employed, unable to do the things that I want, and generally unhappy. About once a year I try and reinvent myself, and it'll work for a few days and then fail. Still, I have done quite a bit of research into habits and how to change them, and I've collected a lot of tidbits of information that float around in my brain. This book doesn't really impart any new information. If you're like me, however, it will give you what you know in a different way. This is not a self-help book. It will not give you platitudes or a list of steps on how to change or any promises of any kind. It does deliver a fascinating narrative on how our brains process habits and give context to the million bits of advice that can be picked up anywhere. It helps you understand the mechanics of what's going on, through case studies and vignettes, and brings it all together into a cohesive whole. I loved this book. It is probably the first thing I've picked up that has made me take an honest, detailed look at my life and make a plan on how to change it. I have no idea if I'll succeed or fail, as I have so many times before, but this is the first time I feel like I have more behind me than just some dottering, inexact advice. On a technical level, this is a moderately good book. The author does tend to mix his stories, starting one narrative and then leaving it hanging while he starts another, only to come back and finish the first. I'm annoyed by this style of writing, but the bits were still engaging enough that I kept through it. Then again, I was emotionally invested after the first chapter, so those that are reading for curiosity's sake may be more annoyed by it. Honestly, though? That's the only complaint I have with this book. It's a fast, entertaining, and fascinating read.

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