Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Power of Habit Book Report

General Overview:
Habits are a part of every person’s life, and many do not realize just how powerful these routines and practices are. “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business”, by Charles Duhigg, provides all of the information one would need to understand habits, how they work, and how they can affect our lives. Divided into three parts, the habits of individuals, the habit of successful organizations, and the habits of societies, Duhigg’s book dives into how habits can affect not only our personal lives, but also our professional and social lives as well. Starting at square one, the author explains how habits work and how they form, with routine being the reason behind many habits. Identifying and examining the rewards behind every habit can help a person to understand which “bad” habits can be modified to equal success in a quicker and more sufficient way. “The Power of Habit” gives examples of influential habits for successful companies such as Target or Febreze, successful superstars such as Tony Dungy, and even everyday people such as a pastor or a housewife. This book motivates the reader to take control of their life and habits and transform themselves into their utmost potential. Who knew we could do all of this just by understanding habits?
Favorite Part & Related:
Although I found numerous parts of this books intriguing, my favorite part was from section 2 of part 1: The Craving Brain. Page 51 discusses exercise habits to explain the power of cravings in creating habits. The reason this was my favorite part is because this was a topic that had already sparked my interest from our class lecture “Drugs”. I personally had a friend who had an exercise addiction so reading this section in the book “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business”, helped me to understand the reasoning behind her habitual exercising. The book explains that a study was done on individuals who worked out multiple times a week, and results showed that a majority of people worked out originally to handle stress. Our lecture notes describe this as a negative reinforcer, using exercise as a relief from stress. However, the reason so many people continued to work out was because they began to crave the sense of accomplishment that they felt, and also the exercise high or “feel good” feeling. From our lecture notes this is considered a positive reinforce. If someone wants to start working out more, creating this as a new habit, the book explains that it is as easy choosing a cue and a reward. This is something I hadn’t considered with my friend, maybe she had made a habit out of this and felt rewards from working out. Of course this doesn’t justify having an unhealthy addiction that leads to reliance, but I just personally appreciated that one of our lectures and a part of this book not only connected with one another but also to a personal part of my life.
            For the creative segment of my paper, I found five websites that pay you to kick your bad habits that I wanted to share! Just as my favorite part of the book explains that you need to choose a clear reward in order to create a habit of something, I felt like ending a habit could be a new habit especially if there was a reward coming out of it!
·         Nexercise.com: This company has an app for Iphones that rewards the user when they partake in physical activity for 15 minutes or longer!
·         Earndit.com: This app also rewards you for exercising, it just tracks your distance through a GPS and gives you points that can later be redeemed for prizes.
·         SafeCellApp.com: This app sends you gift cards based on how many miles you drive without texting. Rewarding to the users and others on the road!
·         ClinicalTrial.gov: This website helps you to find studies in your area that will pay you to stop smoking.
·         RecycleBank.com: This website helps to kick your bad habit of leaving lights on and wasting energy. You can receive rewards for pledging to turn your lights off.

            This book was very “motivational” and I appreciated how well it tied into our class and many things that we learned this semester. “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business”, relates to life in multiple aspects and gave advice that I will take to help better my own. Sometimes it is hard to understand why people surrounding you have bad habits such as alcohol abuse or exercise addiction. This book helped me to see their side, and how it might have become a habit for multiple reasons such as certain rewards and just becoming used to a routine of things. Duhigg explained the good and bad that can come with habits and how one can change things to better themselves. The habit loop was enlightening for me, and I hope to use it to get on top of my exercise by remembering cue, routine, reward. Clearly this book can solve many real-world problems because people deal with issues regarding habits every day. I believe that this book can save a lot of people’s lives, and make many happier and healthier.

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