I expected more self help and less stories. Although the stories are supposed to be examples, the didn't actually cover the lesson on how to change habbits which I was looking for.
1) Awful - I couldn't wait for the book to end. I don't understand why this book rated so highly. Basil ganglia aside, the book DOES NOT fulfill its promise of explaining Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. His central premise is that most of what we do is on autopilot, so were not responsible for our actions. When Charles Duhigg run out of things to say about what Neanderthals we all are, he meanders into database marketing and rails against the gaming industry. Ridiculous. sophomoric snival.
2) Boring - The points are often so drawn out that you think to yourself, does the author have to spell out ever detail as if he's talking to a 3 year old about staying away from the hot stove?
3) Predictable - I could have cut out half the book and knew exactly as much. I actually felt less intelligent when I finished this book.
4) Regrettable - Regret that I spent all that time listening. I kept thinking there must be some redeeming value, so I kept reading. No such luck. The book was a disaster from page 1 clear through to the end. It reminds me of the CHILDHOOD FAIRYTALE of the Emperor who had no clothes. This emperor HAS NOT INFORMATION WORTH READING.
Learn good habits. The author gave a great overview of how habits are formed, how they affect our daily lives and how we can work to change them when they are not good. He offers real life examples of good and bad habits.
Read with feeling, easy to listen to.
If you want to understand why you repeat behaviors you don't want to or why you fail to do what you want to do, this book can help.
The writer expands the meaning of "habits" to cover most all of human behavior. The connections between some of his stories and how they relate to habits are weak. It's also annoying how he jumps from one story to the next without reaching a conclusion to the previous story and then comes back to it later. One story at a time please! The book was a lot longer than it had to be. It can all be summed up in a couple sentences...
Habits start with a cue and end with a reward. Identify the cue and reward and work hard to change the habit in between.
He doesn't even give methods on how to apply his ideas. Nothing helpful. Nothing groundbreaking.
This book consists of a dozen of case studies presented in a story telling manner. While It is true that research papers provide you with all the information you probably need, but where is the fun in that?
The beauty of novelistic case studies is that they involve you in the process, you find yourself analyzing and interpreting, growing your perception; and not just that, they are also very entertaining, you find your hands glued to the book (craving) for more.
Duhigg has broke some stories up, stopping one to start another and then coming back to it later, which made the stories even more exciting.
The stories have bits of neurology, psychology, sociology, and marketing in them, not too much though, just the right amount.
Wish it would have given more specifics on all the methods to create and change habits. Gave too many habit stories that didn't feel like I connected with.
This was a really interesting look at how a habit is created and maintained, how marketers use our habits against us, how organizations can change their employees' habits to change the business culture, how and why we make certain decisions that result in habits, how habits are changed and broken, and how important a single decision can be.
I really enjoyed this book and I will use several points from it. The most important concept that I gained is the importance of single, momentary decisions and their relation to addictions. I will forever remember the story of the housewife who gambled for the first time on a personal vacation and became an addict. I will also remember that one of the best ways to break a bad habit is to replace it with a new habit that is healthier and that fulfills the same basic needs as the old habit. Decisions made in advance of a bad situation as to how to react to a given temptation have so much power. Charles Duhigg uses the example of the Starbucks training model to illustrate this concept very clearly.
Mike Chamberlain did a decent job of narrating, but I found him a bit slow, so I listened at 2x speed.
I'm not going to pretend that this book will change your life in five minutes or help you out of an addiction, but it will certainly give you pointers about how to change at least a few thought patterns that you want to change. And as the author illustrates throughout the book, one small change at a time can lead to big change.
Good books and peaceful days...
I got this book because, after years of having unusually high levels of self-discipline, I seemed to lose it (the discipline) after three major surgeries that resulted in a years' long recovery period. What happened, I thought? It wasn't that I didn't want to accomplish more goals; in fact, I have alot I wanted, needed, to do. So I began to read about HABITs. This book, The Power of Habits, is worth the read. And yes, there is a solution.
Researchers used to believe that the ability to be 'self-regulating' , e.g., not eating that tempting cookie, was merely a skill. Then after a decade or so more of studies, researchers found that habits are not only triggered by something in our lives, but that once we become aware of our personal 'triggers' that we can 'swap' the bad habit with a healthy one. Trigger-Response-Result. Of course, the goal is to create healthier, more productive habits. So how do we do that. And that's what you'll learn from this book. Everything from seeing how the brain works, how that understanding helps our process of changing habits, how to use this info if we're a parent, coach, CEO, there are case studies for Everyone. And they're really quite fascinating. About the obstacles Michael Phelps had to overcome, the positive habits his coach had him focus on to help him to relax, since all Olympian athletes have perfectly formed bodied (for their sport, at that level, so it was all about calming the mind, pretty much). And that case study was compelling to read. Also one about a well-known CEO of Alcoa, who used this info to change the entire process involved at Alcoa, in a most clever way (while getting everyone to hop on his bandwagon, which we know is virtually impossible at the corporate, heck, the family level!) Those are just two of the many references to specific situations that could be applied to your own personal/professional lives.
The point being, creating a new habit, or swapping a unhealthy habit with a healthy one (i.e., people who start exercising may reduce smoking); or people who start keeping a food journal one day per week, lost twice as much weight as the people who didn't (keep the journal); these are just of few of the studies which are fascinating. The beginning of the book spends maybe a bit too long on the guy who lost his memory and what they did to help him (it's related to the brain and referring to past habits), yet once you slog through that, you'll see how important it was and the rest of the book goes much faster.
Change one habit in your life and, as this book shows, it'll have a ripple effect, a positive affect on creating more and more positive habits throughout your life.
Support, by the way, is also important factor for anyone wanting to create new habits; so make your life easier by finding just one person who's interested & committed to meeting for a half-hour a week, 15 minutes for each to discuss solutions, what are your challenges and how to surmount them. It'd also make an interesting blog, for anyone who wants to change something in their life while discussing the ideas in this book and how you're applying them (to your situation). Help others while helping yourself. Or as the saying goes, "When you help another to get her canoe across the river, you also end up being across the river too." Or something like that, ha.
Back to The Power of Habit. Yes, we all have triggers in our life because the feelings that cause 'triggers' to overeat or smoke or drink, etc., are universal. We all feel these feelings. It's when we isolate, which many do, that our triggers may result in these unhealthy Responses and Results. (The book called Toughness talks about building up 'toughness', as if that's a muscle too. It's not as good a book as this, is mostly sports oriented, but well worth it for anyone realizing how important 'mental toughness' is.) The book, The Power of Habit, is also about building up a form of 'mental toughness', teaching us that, yes, we can use this information to respond to the difficult things/feelings in life IF we learn the skill and practice so as to strengthen the muscle.
Feelings that are hard to feel, such as loneliness, anxiety, stress, etc., that, in large part, is what this book is dancing around, without focusing directly on 'feelings'. Learning how to respond to our life in a way that's healthy, instead of destructive.This book explains how the brain works, illustrates with well-known people and case studies, and offers practical solutions for a wide variety of situations. Yes, it's definitely worth getting, and learning, again and again, until we 'get it'. As long as that takes.
The material is arranged in an easy-to-follow order and the narrator is pitch perfect, as well.
Want to change your life? It's about taking self-responsibility. And this book shows that it's not only possible, but feasible. Support is good, maybe necessary. And the more you/we all bring our best Self to the table, the more we'll all be able to contribute. It's about living life with meaning, not at the mercy of our parents' bad habits or our own. Yes, we can have more control over our lives. And isn't that alot of what happiness is. To make a difference, to be the person we're most capable of being? To connect with others and have something like this to share, because we were able to achieve it ourselves?!
If you're drawn to this subject, it's definitely worth your time.
The studies, themselves, were pretty good and interesting. However, the writing itself got a little repetitive, going over the points over and over again. I also disliked the spreading out of the lead story of each chapter, structurally.
The facts presented were a bit reductive. Both Habit and Culture are a bit more complex than presented. I guess for a layman, the book is good, but for someone looking to delve into the subject of habit as a psychological function then it falls short.
What the book actually does is explain habit to a layman and a bit about what makes them form, and so on. It's not self-help. It is not highly academic. In trying to make it simpler it does make a few minor factual errors. Culture is not a series of habits. And Habit is more complex than just culture. Separate things.
For that, I removed two stars. I liked the reading a lot though. It was very well done and pleasant to listen to.
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. —Wayne Gretzky
The Power of Habit is a very interresting book. It's title says much about it. It is about the good and bad habits we acquire during our lives, the psychology and physiology behind them, put in a way anyone can understand.
The main idea behind it is that our lives to a great extent is made of habits, and most of the time we are only partially aware of them. So we live our lives happily or perhaps not so much, reacting to cues and not being able to get out of a nasty reinforcing vicious circle. How did you react the last time your better half came nagging at you? Did the quarrel resemble all the others?
The book by itself is a good listen but if you take what you learn here and apply to your personal life, you can probably change or get rid of the habits you dislike in yourself. Although I'm not entirely sure it would be useful in modifying someone else's behavior, since people would probably feel like Lab rats. It might be worth trying,