On The Power of Habit

I’ve just finished reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg . It’s great. It’s exactly about what the cover says: how habits work, what they can make you do and how to create or change them.

Personal level

First part deals with habits on a personal level - exercising, smoking, eating unhealthy, etc. All the petty stuff we’d like to change to hack our lifestyles and become superhuman. I’ve recently made an experiment with getting up early (successful!) and found myself nodding along when reading, finally figuring out why changing the waking habit worked for me this time.

There’s plenty of inspirational stories showing what kind of change is possible, the basic theory how does it work and general guidelines how to make it happen. Don’t expect any fast & easy formulas, though. Forming habits usually takes a month of conscious effort and there’s no real way of side-stepping this process.

Higher level

Second part deals with habits in organisations - basically companies. It talks about how you can influence the so-called “company culture” and how it’s nothing else than a group of shared habits.

Finally, the third part deals with change in the society. I found it most hand-wavy of the whole book, but it didn’t bother me much. I bought it for the personal habits stuff anyway.

Self-discipline

One of digressions in the book that particularly resonated with me treats about self-disciplne. Quotes studies that determined it works more like a muscle that you can train by making small effort everyday than some genetical pool of resource that you can draw from.

In practise it means that you can slowly, but surely et the strength to bend body to your mind’s will. Or any impulses to conscious effort. I found this whole idea hugely interesting. (As probably would anybody who’s into collecting experience points to upgrade his game character.)

Summary

All in all, it’s a wonderful book. 5/5. 5 stars. 3 cookies. Awesome. You should read it as soon as possible and change your lifestyle for whatever you want it to be. One habit at a time.

tl;dr

You should read The Power of Habit. It’s good for you.

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