I recently read the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It was a true eye opener and chalked full of interesting stories of people and companies who created great habits to change their lives or their companies. He even throws in a few stories about people with bad habits who didn’t change. It’s very well-written with an intellectual, conversational style instead of dry facts. There seems to be a type of formula. He’ll introduce a new perspective of a habit, then take us through different people and companies that will take us back to that new perspective. When he first introduces the new perspective, he moves on to another story making you think he might have abandoned the idea without explanation. However, several stories later, we come full circle to his original point.
One of the biggest things he mentions in his novel is that we all live within this cycle of habit. These habits can be good and bad, but they all share the same pattern: trigger, habit, reward. Something in our lives or in our brains triggers the habit, we perform the habit, and we receive the reward from performing the action. An example from the book included a young gal who bit her nails so badly they would sometimes bleed and be very sore. She eventually discovered that her fingertips would tingle before she had the urge to bite her nails. Then she would perform the habit of biting, and her reward was that a hangnail or ripped fingernail would be gone. But she never stopped at just one. Once she discovered her trigger, she was able to create a new, better habit to replace the old one. Duhigg argues that changing habits can be hard, but it’s really hard when you try to change everything about the habit. However, if you leave the trigger and reward in place and only work on changing the habit itself, it’s much easier to deal with.
We all have good and bad habits. It’s certainly nice to know that the bad ones can be changed with a little insight into what triggers the habit to occur. It also shows you that you can be strong enough to change your bad habits. There is no time to tell yourself you can’t do it. People have changed their lives by replacing bad habits with good habits. They are no different from you. They aren’t smarter or better. They just figured out how to do it. I’ve given you a great tool to change your habits. It’s up to you to use the tool. Figure out what your trigger is and create a new, better habit to help you create the life of your dreams.
I highly recommend reading the book for full insight on the power of your habits. Again, it’s very interesting reading and uses stories to help explain the meanings of his findings. You won’t believe how our habits allow companies to advertise to us!
If you’ve read the book, tell me your take on it. If not, what is a habit you would love to get rid of?