The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a fascinating book by the noted author and journalist Charles Duhigg. It explores the psychology of habit formation and then reworks the same concepts to apply to business. Duhigg begins the book with an overview of habit – the physical act of putting something into your mouth and doing it repeatedly, whether for dental care or brushing your teeth. He notes that habit can be hard to break, as many people have the mental picture of always doing things the same way. Changing your habits can be both challenging and rewarding.
The Power of Habit traces the roots of the habit that has plagued society and business for centuries and provides examples of creating better habits for success. At the heart of the book, Duhigg lays out the principle of reciprocity. This principle is at the root of most of our conduct patterns and is the basis for successful habits, so Duhigg’s book provides numerous case studies to illustrate the power of this basic principle.
A simple habit, for example, is waking up early enough to get a good night’s sleep. A habitual person in this area may wake up at three o’clock in the morning and go right back to sleep. If you do not take the time to get a good night’s sleep, you will find yourself with poor memory and poor performance in the classroom or at work. The Power of Habit addresses this problem by providing a list of positive activities to perform in the mornings and evenings to get the brain thinking and functioning optimally.
The book discusses why some companies can attract top professionals without paying a fortune in corporate gifts. These firms understand the psychology of “selling” their employees. They know that a company with a strong “sell” attitude attracts the best professionals. This is true even in some of today’s hi-tech businesses. Indeed, it is true of most companies with sales forces, as it is to any employer who wants to retain good workers.
Another important lesson from the Power of Habit is to use positive imagery to help us form new positive habits. One of the most effective ways to form new positive habits is to visualize the action you want to take, then mentally picture yourself. Imagine that feeling before you have your actual experience of it. The visualization is enough to trigger the subconscious mind to act on that desire. The Power of Habit does not focus on behavior modification techniques, but the techniques are easy to apply in this way and are well worth learning.
Charles Darwin was a believer in positive images. He felt that it was essential to look at nature positively to view it in its true lessons. For example, he once said that “The greatest discovery of science… is the power of forethought.” He went on to say, “All progress depends upon the thought.” I would have to agree with him, especially when it comes to business.
A businessperson can easily set himself up for failure by practicing bad habits. Habits such as: thinking too much, overworking, having unrealistic goals, and complaining excessively. These same habits can lead to an unsuccessful career and a life filled with debt and unhappiness. Charles Darwin knew that these were habits that could lead to misery, so he recommended that you “train yourself to see the difference.”
The Power of Habit by Charles Darwin shows us how to create the habit of success that we need in our lives. It shows us how to use the power of habit to be successful in all of our endeavors. It provides countless examples of habits that have been used over time to achieve tremendous results. I highly recommend this book to everyone. In my opinion, everyone should read this book and apply the principles that are taught within.