Sunday, August 8, 2021

Book Report: The Power of Habit

    “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business” by Charles Duhigg  explores how habits work and how they affect our lives. Duhigg divides this book into three sections: how habits emerge in individual lives, habits of successful companies and organizations, and habits of societies. He tells how habits can affect our personal lives as well as our careers. Using dozens of anecdotes describing tendencies in businesses, worth ethic, and personal life, the author details different habits that rise within them: good and bad. By being able to pinpoint cues that cause our habits, you are able to change your negative habits into positive ones. Duhigg provides an insight to how habits form and how by identifying rewards that come from them can lead to changes that will help you become successful more efficiently and reach your goals. This book leaves readers with a newfound understanding of habit loops, and encourages them to take control of their potential.

    My favorite part of the book was chapter 2, “The Craving Brain- How to Create New Habits.”  This section of the book describes how habit loops are applied to daily life. A habit loop is broken into three sections: cue, routine, reward. A cue triggers an automatic mode telling which habit to use, routine can be emotional or physical, and the reward is the outcome of this routine. The reward helps your brain determine which loop is worth remembering for the future. This is one of my favorite parts of the book because I can apply it to my own life.  The author provides the example of, “if you want to start running each morning, it is essential you choose a simple cue and a clear reward.” The first few days of this are tough until your body begins to crave the endorphins given off by exercising.  In high school I played field hockey in the fall. During preseason in the summer, we would have practice every morning at 7am. The first week or so of practice was always dreaded, but as practices went on it became much easier to wake up and get on the field. It became a great way to start the morning because you felt a sense of accomplishment from working out and starting your day early. This is relatable to the reinforcers that came along with exercising discussed in lecture. Positive reinforcements from this exercise habit loop included improved physical and mental health as well as goal achievement. I would experience an exercise high after these practices and it was a nice way to start the day. I no longer wake up and work out early, but this chapter has absolutely inspired me to break out my running shoes again.

    Outside of class, this book can help to understand individuals with addiction. Individuals can be addicted to a variety of things including drugs, alcohol, or even gambling. Through this book, Duhigg provides steps and examples that can help lead to breaking bad habits. By identifying the habit loop they are stuck in, they can begin to help themselves break out of it. By actively substituting their routine, they will achieve different outcomes or rewards. Later on in the day they can award themselves with something for acknowledging the loop their in, and beginning to change their actions. This reinforcement can help those with addictions over time.

    In this link, the author of the book describes “The Power of Habit” and how we can modify our actions to become more efficient and successful in our daily lives.

The Power of Habit: Charles Duhigg at TEDxTeachersCollege - YouTube

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