Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg

400 pages

Every day, we do thousands of things out of habit, even without realizing it. Without habits, our minds would be overwhelmed with mundane decision making. Still, habits can be a disadvantage when we get into a routine that is bad for us, whether it's personally, physically, or professionally. Duhigg argues that in order to change our habits, we have to understand how they work. He does a good job of explaining that, with plenty of examples from all kinds of situations. He makes it all easy to understand. I do wish there were more practical suggestions for changing habits, though. The focus is definitely on how our brains work when it comes to habits, not on what to do about it. Duhigg is right; it's useful knowledge, and sometimes just being aware of what your brain is doing can help you get out of a bad routine. For more entrenched habits, however, a little more is needed. Still, this is an interesting and useful book that make me more conscious of the things I do without thinking.

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