The Power of Habit By Charles Duhigg

 

 This is a great book to understand human factors and mechanisms of our behavior, our friends behavior and behavior of people we see around us. This book is full of interesting anecdotes from different fields ranging from medicine, fields like mental health, hospital’s organizational behaviors to the behavior of large organizations like Starbucks and Target. The book goes de-route into some recent advances in data-science as how organizations collect data to predict the “Habits” of it’s customers and once it understand’s the Habits, they know that they are not dealing with the rational self-controlled individual, but with more primitive part of the brain so they can easily have their way with them. There is a whole organization effort put into this and huge lot of science and tools built on top of this theory, namely to make customers purchase the product even when they dont need it, but their habit will make them buy it. Organizations are earning scores of the profit in this way.

He advises isolating the cue. Pay attention for several days to see what proceeds your impulse to turn on Facebook while doing your homework, etc. Then try responding in different ways. For example, get a drink, set a timer to go off fifteen minutes from then, etc. Record how the different responses work out. What is the reward? Did you complete the HW in that additional fifteen minutes so you feel accomplishment as well as guilt-free while you’re surfing? Were you merely bored and a drink of water gave a very brief constrained break? If you choose the right response, the reward might be readily apparent. Or you might have to set up a reward system until your response becomes habit. Of course, none of this can be happenstance. You must have a plan and record how these all play out if you’re truly dedicated to making the change.

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