The Power of Habit
https://byrdnick.com/archives/9951/addiction-vs-habit-infographic (picture above)
“The Power of Habit,” by Charles Duhigg helps us understand why we do what we do. He makes us aware that the habit is a three step loop. The first step in the process is the cue. It tells the brain what habit to use. Next, is the routine that is either physical or emotional. The last step is the reward which is when the brain determines if this habit loop is worth remembering. The book gives many examples and explanations that are worth the read. They teach readers that in order to change a habit, we must change the routine first. This is a non-fictional book that gives us a deeper understanding of how habits work and can transform our lives.
The book is broken down into three parts. Part one is the habits of individuals and talks about the habit loop I previously mentioned. It also talks about creating habits and how to change habits. Part two is habits of successful organizations. This gave different examples from personal experience. Part three talked about habit of societies. This mainly helps readers recognize that we are responsible for our habits and how they can affect our personal lives. I personally believe this book helps you realize that you are in control of your life and your decisions. It made me realize that I have to make the changes I want to see.
I really enjoyed many parts of this book. It was very easy and interesting to read. My favorite part of this book was actually one of the examples of how to change a habit. It proves that you must believe in something if you want to make a change. They told a story about an alcoholic named John. When the woman he was having an affair with ended it, he continuously drank throughout the workday, went and got his children from school, and drove into a stop sign. His son broke his arm and John decided to go get help. After about two years of being sober, he got some bad news about his mom having cancer. The news had led to him drinking. Eventually, his wife moved out and he got introduced to coke. When he went to go get his kids from school again, he got into another accident that would have killed his son if he was in the car. He got charged with a DUI. He began to get help again and was taught that he needs to admit to being powerless in order to change. Although he did not believe in God, he began to believe in a higher power. Now when he wakes up and feels like he may relapse, he calls his sponsor. They talk about life and things that are not related to drinking. He learned that replacing the habit is what had helped him. John learned to replace alcohol and coke with socialization. Talking to his sponsor and believing in himself and a higher power is what made a difference in his life. I believe that after reading this, changing his routine saved him. From class, I learned that when you are unable to control your actions, the habits you have can negatively affect your life, as they did in John’s case before he got the help he needed.
Relation to Class:
This related to class because I learned that he was craving his addiction. It was an overwhelming, uncontrollable urge to drink. He became dependent on the way alcohol made him feel when he received bad news. I think this book also related to self-control. Like I mentioned from my favorite part, when you are unable to control your actions, the habits you have can negatively affect your life. It is important to switch out your negative behaviors with positive ones. Craving the reward form the habits was something I related back to our lecture notes as well.
I enjoyed this book because it taught me how to change my own habits. I have always wanted to look and feel better about myself. Instead of going to the gym and eating better, I would just complain and expect something to change. This book has given me a better outlook. The book talked about small wins making you feel more motivated to continue your habit. Now, instead of wasting time complaining, I go to the gym or go for a run. Doing this, feels like an accomplishment to me. I changed my routine to benefit myself and my goals. My end goal was always to look and feel better. Although complaining never got me to my goal, I was expecting to look better somehow. I attempted to draw out a plan like the examples in the book.