Sunday, August 9, 2015

Book Report The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit  
By: Charles Duhigg
Angela D’Adamo

General Overview:
Within this book, Charles Duhigg a New York Times staff writer and author of Power of Habit describes the secret behind habit formation among individuals, companies, and groups of people. Charles describes habits and how they form in 3 parts in the book. In Part one of the book Duhigg describes the habit of individuals, Duhigg goes on to explain how rats react when they find a piece of chocolate in a maze and how there brain reacts and how animals and humans have a three-step loops. The cue to go after the chocolate the routine of finding the chocolate and the reward is the rat eating the chocolate. In order to make habits become of themselves you need start the cue in order to receive  the award.

In part two of the book, is the habits of successful organizations. One of the organizations Duhigg spoke about was The Aluminum Company of America also known as ALCOA. They had a lot of injuries during work, and the new CEO wanted to figure out a way on how to lower injuries during work, and a safer environment for the workers. The new CEO,  Paul O’Neil decided to start a new habit for the workers, if someone got injured they would report it to the unit president and then report it to O’Neil within 24 hours and then present a plan to ensure this certain injury would not happen again. People who did this routine got promoted, and this also promoted a healthy habit within all the workers at the company. Over time the ALCOA company was one of the safest places to work in America.

In part three of the book Duhigg describes, the habit of societies and the neurology of free will, in simple terms are we responsible for our own habits. The answer is yes, if the person is aware of the habits they are forming then they should be aware and know the consequences that will come out of the situation that is present. Duhigg describes a housewife who lives in Iowa had a gambling addiction and lost her house because of that situation. When she went to court she was held liable because the Iowa housewife knew she had a gambling addiction which explained her being responsible for loosing all the money and the house she once previously owned. This book was useful for people trying to change their habits and make new positive habits. 

Favorite Part:
My favorite part of this book was when Charles Duhigg described how Febreze made millions but at first, no one was buying the product. They introduced the Febreze spray as something to cover up odors but the reason why no one was buying it was everyone was immune to most of the odors in their house. Most people bought the product in the launch of selling the product but over time, every one simply forgot the product was on shelves in the grocery stores. So the group of people who made Febreze had to think of another idea. They watched a House wife clean her house and she used the Febreze at the end of cleaning each room to spray it. She said it was the finishing touch and made everything smell good. So they knew the perfect idea, the cue to clean, cleaning the room, and the reward was spraying the amazing smell of Febreze as the finishing touch. This relates to the motivation it takes to form a habit, without the motivation the positive habit will not occur.

In our class we discussed impulsivity and self control. Impulsive decisions usually lead to conflicting outcomes. This discussion about self control and random impulses relates to The Power of Habit because you need to make self control a habit because if you do not have self control over situations a negative habit comes out of it. Such as alcohol consumption if you make it a habit to drink over five beers every time you go out, the habit becomes a drinking problem over time.  Also self control relates to The Power of Habit because, you need to control the actions you do. If your phone goes off and you constantly have to check it, this habit becomes negative and your cellphone will consume your life.

Ted talk with Charles

This book overall was a great read. It explained a lot of positive and negative situations and how to end bad habits and how to start positive ones. I learned a lot from this book and how a lot of products in our industry became popular and what inventors did to start the cue routine and reward three step loop idea. The three-step loop idea became very interesting to me and I know use it in order to start more positive habits in my life. This book describes issues such as alcohol anonymous and how they create good habits in people to stop drinking. The good habits are switched with the bad habit of drinking.  This is a real world problem and with the Power of Habit, this can save a lot of peoples lives, and bring family and friends back together.

1 comment: