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The Power of Habit

Welcome to my The Power of Habit summary!

One-Sentence-Summary: In the aptly named book, Charles Duhigg provides a framework for understanding how habits, which are not only a skill but a muscle, work; it’s necessary for success, and it’s a finite resource.

I read The Power of Habit while I was in Basic Training in the military. Books are banned during that training, but I snuck it in anyway. I also got caught. But nothing really bad happened to me, I’d like to believe because I was top of the class.

booboo real-time book rating: ★★★★☆ (percentage of books with this rating: 34%)

Want to change a habit?

Below is taken from the appendix.

“When I see CUE, I will do ROUTINE in order to get a REWARD.” (p. 285)

  1. Identify the routine
    • There is a loop at the core of every habit, consisting of a cue, a routine, and a reward (ie you see a sexy photo on Instagram, you watch porn, you ejaculate)
  2. Experiment with rewards
    • To determine which craving is driving the routine. (ie go for a walk, grab a coffee, call a friend, etc. to determine if you’re really interested in a break from work, are you bored, lonely, etc.)
    • During the experimentation phase, jot down three words that you feel after each broken routine, then ask yourself 15 minutes late if you still wan to go through with the original routine
    • Goal: identity what you are actually craving to redesign the habit.
  3. Isolate the cue
    • all cues fall into one of five categories: location, time, emotional state, other people, immediately preceding action
    • Write down answers to these five questions to isolate the cue
      • Where are you?
      • What time is it?
      • What’s your emotional state?
      • Who else is around?
      • What action preceded the urge
    • After a few routines, you will see at leat one of these five answers remaining consistent (ie I am looking at the suggested page of Instagram)
  4. Have a plan
    • Like everything in life, if you don’t have a plan, you are being used by someone with one. Don’t look at that page of Instagram. If you do, have a plan to take a walk around the block, or call a friend. Do whatever the experimentation phase told you works besides the original routine.

“Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, or there’s less power left over for other things.” (p. 137)

This blog will contain both my summary and review of the book The Power of Habit.

“To change people’s diets, the exotic must be made familiar. And to do that, you just camouflage it in everyday garb.” (p. 205) The quote is related to convincing Americans to eat organ meat during WWII, but this can be applied to anything, including creating habits. Make a new habit easily fit into an existing habit.

Interestingly, radio stations do this for new songs, which they place in between two existing favorites.

You are reading my book review and summary by Charles Duhigg. Be sure to check out my digital bookshelf for 100+ book summaries.

“If you dress a new something in old habits, it’s easier for the public to accept it.” (p. 210) The government uses this often to dupe the public. IT’S FOR NATIONAL SECURITY AND YOUR FREEDOM, DAMMIT!

Did you know I’m an author? I wrote four books on real estate investing, travel, and language learning.

In chapter 8, there is a short expose on Rosa Parks which said that she was not sitting in the white section, but in the middle of the bus, in seats that either white or black could sit in.

Thanks for visiting and thanks to Charles Duhigg for writing The Power of Habit!

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