The Power of Habit

Have you ever wondered what triggers you to perform an action and what motivates you to keep performing an action day after day? In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg analyzes how habits form and he presents a simple yet transformative way to replace bad habits with good habits. Although each habit has its unique path and development, Duhigg breaks down a habit into three steps: cue, routine, and reward. The cue is what precedes the routine, and the reward is what makes a habit stick in your brain. An important lesson I learned from this book is that you can’t end bad habits. Instead, you change your habits by replacing the routine that still yields the same reward.

When the author introduced this idea in the beginning, it changed my perspective on habits radically. The main reason I kept repeating the same bad habits was I never consciously asked myself why I did it. When I read the book, I noticed that I bad habit I had was snacking. Eating is one of the examples Duhigg talks about and one of the reasons people did it was because it provided comfort and distraction. By using the book’s ideas, I was able to identify that the reward wasn’t to satisfy my hunger but to take a break and distract myself. Like the author who had a problem with eating cookies, I decided to replace my routine (eating) with talking to my brother. This still provided me a way to relax by socializing. Now, talking with my brother is equated with taking a short break from school work.  

Initially, I read the book because I wanted to learn how to improve my well-being. Although I have improved in terms of my relationship with technology, I still had room to grow in other areas such as my physical health and diet. The experience of reading this book was out of my expectations because the author presents captivating anecdotes that demonstrate how habits not only play a major role in a person’s life but also corporations and communities. As cheesy as it may sound, this section of the book inspired me significantly to become a leader that promotes habits to improve the dynamics of a group.

Overall, I strongly recommend this book for people that are tired of their normal lives and want to start a new chapter in their journey. If you enjoy reading other contemporary psychology or self-help books, The Power of Habit is a well-suited book. Duhigg truly does a wonderful job in convincing readers that no matter what background they are coming from, the fact they are reading the book suggests that they have the potential to improve their lives.  

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