Dimitris Hall's Reviews > The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business

The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg
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bookshelves: non-fiction, self-improvement

This is one of the two clippings I saved on my Kindle while reading the book.

One paper published by Duke University researcher in 2006 found that more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren't actual decisions, but habits.

I wonder what percentage today's research participants would reach? They didn't have auto-scroll and auto-playing videos of targetted commercials back in 2006...

I would have also saved a clipping of the toothpaste story and how clever people made a lot money by making brushing your teeth more pleasurable for people (by adding the minty burning sensation into it), but then I got carried away

What I got from this book is that habits are incredibly powerful - what can one not do with the power to manipulate people by affecting their capacity to (not) make conscious decisions? The relevant stories that demonstrated historical and social instances of the true power of habits in individuals and across societies, while admittedly interesting, were preaching to the choir, and the part I was waiting for that would help me get rid of my own annoying habits was frankly underwhelming.

First, find a simple and obvious cue. Second, clearly define the rewards.

So, according to Mr. Duhigg, if I identify when I start my ritualistic microbehaviors (opening Reddit when I'm bored of working, for example) and what I might be possibly getting from it (satisfaction of curiosity?), I should be in the clear. Alas, after reading the book, I was no closer to shooting down my own pesky time-sinks and their questionable rewards.

Replacing unwanted habits with others that fire at the same cues but have more satisfying, productive and beneficial rewards has everything to do with discipline and creativity. But how does one actively build these skills? I have some ideas, but I guess that's a topic for some deeper introspection - and a different book.

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Reading Progress

June 15, 2020 – Started Reading
June 21, 2020 – Shelved
June 21, 2020 –
July 7, 2020 – Finished Reading
September 11, 2020 – Shelved as: non-fiction
September 11, 2020 – Shelved as: self-improvement

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