Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Power of Habit: Book Report

   In life we function, breathe, live, and survive out of natural habit. Charles Duhigg has described habit in three parts: individuals, successful organizations, and societies. All three cover real issues and related stories, and allow you to understand the neurology and psychology of habits and the way patterns work within our lives, societies, and organizations. This book breaks habits down into parts, and help us rebuild them to our specifications. Charles convinces his audience that it is possible to transform a habit, and understand why and how. 
   This book was so good, it is hard to pick a favorite part, every part of was great knowledge and extremely interesting to learn so many of the tragic things that happen in the world now and in the past. However, "Starbucks and the habit of success," had some very interesting points, that all businesses should follow. This chapter described how Starbucks gives their employees tons of training, to ensure they are prepared for all scenarios that they encounter during the course of their shift. It was very empowering to learn that a guy who came from a hard life and much of nothing, was able to turn his whole life around just from a job. Starbucks ensured they taught their employees to regulate their emotions and compartmentalize their self-discipline to enhance their customer service. This type of learning, encourages people to find their self-commitment, understand it, and encourage others to follow the same habits, to ensure a happy workplace. 
   Addiction comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and if one person is affected everyone involved is. Lecture slides covered being addicted to drugs or caffeine, Charles incorporates a story in a chapter named "The neurology of free will- are we responsible for our habits?." This chapter first covers a story about a husband who killed his wife in his sleep, from having a night terror. He was not charged after being on trial, and his lawyer defended him by explaining how he was unaware at the time of the crime and shouldn't be responsible for it. On the other hand, a housewife developed an addiction to gambling, realized she had a problem, and moved to get away from the environment which led her to gambling. That did not work, because after her parents died they left her 1 million dollars, and after she begin to visit her old home town. This housewife, used gambling as a copping mechanism to help ease the pain of her life struggles. This story was very familiar, considering I've lived in a gambling society all of my life, and I cannot understand how people gamble it all away, no matter who they hurt in the long run. I learned that most people become addicted from "almost" winning. It is more likely a person will continue playing if they "almost" win, than if they just lose or win. That story was extremely sad, and I hope her life is much better today. 
The remote is something that controls more than just our televisions, and to all television watchers it is something we could not possibly live without. Out of habit the remote is used to do everything; such as turn the volume, power on or off, and numerous other functions. Sometimes I find myself reaching for the remote out of habit, but I'm less than two feet away from the television. The time I take to find the remote, I could have already achieved what I set out to do. Habits: they control our lives, without even noticing. 

Habits of societies, discussed how habits can influence a movement, and how strangers impact others. Charles incorporated the Rosa Parks story and how her situation moved others, and influenced others to stand up for their rights. He also mentioned she was involved in organizations, that made her the person she was. For most of my life I sticked to what I was used to; and that included friends, home, and the workplace. So for my first semester at Stockton, I decided to try to join every organization I possibly could, just to be a part of something. Being a part of an important organization, is essential in life to me, because it brings you closer to some things or people that may not be a part of your regular routine. Going outside of the routine, will bring exposure to many rewards that may not be accessible if you stay under a rock. This story, reassured me that it's ok, to join organizations to become a part of a movement, which may change the world.

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