The Power of Habit

power of habit-book-coverRemember when I was telling you about new research that shows that our brain actually powers down when we’re doing something out of habit? Crazy helpful, right? I started reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and man is it ever fascinating! The first few paragraphs of the Prologue had me hooked. (I’m so glad I found the epub on loan from the library!)

A young woman walks into a laboratory. Over the past two years, she has transformed almost every aspect of her life. She has quit smoking, run a marathon, and been promoted at work. The patterns inside her brain, neurologists discover, have fundamentally changed.

Marketers at Procter & Gamble study videos of people making their beds. They are desperately trying to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, on track to be one of the biggest flops in company history. Suddenly, one of them detects a nearly imperceptible pattern—and with a slight shift in advertising, Febreze goes on to earn a billion dollars a year.

An untested CEO takes over one of the largest companies in America. His first order of business is attacking a single pattern among his employees—how they approach worker safety—and soon the firm, Alcoa, becomes the top performer in the Dow Jones.

What do all these people have in common? They achieved success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives.

They succeeded by transforming habits (from the book’s website).

Not only is it super interesting, it offers incredible insight into how we can change our habits and instinctive responses to be so much more healthy or positive. I’m learning about replacing old habits with new ones using the same triggers etc. I’m confident it will be revolutionary for developing a lifestyle that helps me achieve my goals.

On the flip side, after reading this you might feel like you’ll never have a legitimate excuse to not change your poor habits, unless you have a medical issue.

My Kobo reader tells me I’m 23% into the book and it just does not stop being interesting. That is, if you like psych studies and marketing research etc. Unrelated: I always thought Febreeze was a total gimmick but apparently it actually works on a chemical level. It was an accidental discovery. I learned this from the book.

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