Book Review: The Power of Habit

I loved “The Power of Habit”.

Have you ever wondered how habits are created? Brushing our teeth. Watching our favorite television show. Attending a business meeting and always sitting in the same chair. These are all examples of habits that are developed over time. Where do they come from?

Award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg researched all of the science on habits and shares his discoveries in a narrative format in his best-selling book “The Power of Habit”. As a result, I now have a much better understanding of how habits are developed, nurtured, and even broken.

Several key takeaways from the book:

  • Approximately 40% of the actions people perform each day are habitual.
  • Our brain can’t tell the difference between a good habit and a bad habit. As a result, habits can be as much a curse as a benefit.
  • The Habit Loop. It starts with a “cue”, followed by a “routine”, and ends with a “reward”. Example: brushing my teeth. The cue is getting out of bed in the morning and going to the bathroom. The routine is the actual brushing of my teeth. The reward is having clean teeth and fresh breath.
  • The Golden Rule of Habit Change is to keep the old cue, deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine. The bad habit doesn’t go away, it just gets replaced with a new habit.
  • Individuals have habits. Organizations have routines.
  • There are many more great takeaways in this book. Lots of great examples and stories, and easy to read and digest.