Friday, August 26, 2016


Just finished reading the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Very interesting and recommended. The book is about how habits are formed and how they can be leveraged for change. 

Key thoughts were:
  1. to use the cue that gets you started toward a bad habit but insert a new action or reward or better habit
  2. the importance of believing in something and how that enabled you to transform other parts of your life. “Belief was the ingredient that made a reworked habit loop into a permanent behavior."
  3. "As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives—in the gym, or a money management program—that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything."
Consider this:

"Oaten and Cheng did one more experiment. They enrolled forty-five students in an academic improvement program that focused on creating study habits. Predictably, participants’ learning skills improved. And the students also smoked less, drank less, watched less television, exercised more, and ate healthier, even though all those things were never mentioned in the academic program. Again, as their willpower muscles strengthened, good habits seemed to spill over into other parts of their lives."

and this:

“That’s why signing kids up for piano lessons or sports is so important. It has nothing to do with creating a good musician or a five-year-old soccer star,” said Heatherton. “When you learn to force yourself to practice for an hour or run fifteen laps, you start building self-regulatory strength. A five-year-old who can follow the ball for ten minutes becomes a sixth grader who can start his homework on time.”

The book talks about habits in organizations and how people believe that their organization is making decisions based on rational choices but really, they are operating with long-help habits and have emerged through thousands of decisions made over time. And the book talks about movements and how they emerge and advance where they are based on social habits, friendships and strong and weak ties across a group or community.

Overall the book is fascinating and recommended.

1 comment:

  1. This subject is always interesting to me! I just finished Life on Purpose. Most of the things I already knew, but I still enjoy reading about it.