Book: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation. Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.
I’ve been trying to read more non-fiction lately. It’s never been a genre I’ve prioritized, and to be honest it’s never been a genre I’ve loved. But lately, I’ve been seeing some interesting topics out there! Like The Power of Habit. I mean, it’s something we never really think about, isn’t it? How much of what we do is really a habit? Maybe sometimes we think it’s a conscious choice, but it is really a habit. And don’t we all have habits we wish we could change? There are so many different interesting angles to this topic.
One downside to most non-fiction books is that they aren’t very easy to read. Sometimes they can be quite hefty, with so many ideas propped into it that it’s hard to follow. While The Power of Habit is based on a lot of research, different cases and examples, it was never hard to follow. Each point and case was explained thoroughly. It even had drawings in it to clarify the meaning of each conclusion or finding.
I have learned so much in this book. Not just about my own habits and how to change them, but about the true capabilities of the human brain. I think some of these cases would surprise everyone. Like Eugene’s, who had a stroke and couldn’t remember anything. If you’d ask him where the kitchen was in his house, he wouldn’t be able to tell you. But if you’d ask him what he would do when he was hungry, he’d get up and walk straight to that same kitchen. He couldn’t remember where it was, but the habit was so ingrained in him that he could walk there. Isn’t that amazing?
I would really recommend this book. Not only because it teaches you about the capabilities of that grey matter in your skull, but because this is truly a non-fiction book that was amazingly written. I’ve been in a slump for a whole month now, yet while I was reading this I didn’t want to put it down. When I had to put it down, like in the car because I get carsick when I read, I was mulling over the ideas presented to me. I like to think that I’m much more conscious about my habits now. I truly try to think about each one, because as Charles Duhigg says: you can’t change a habit if you can’t identify it, or the cue, reward and craving behind it.
As I said, I highly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend this book to anyone. Even if you don’t like non-fiction, give it a try! You never know whether you’d enjoy it after all.