Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CBR IV: Book 19: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business - Charles Duhigg

I'm three books behind on my reviews, and I'm determined to catch up before the end of today.  These will be rushed, and frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

Nearly everything we do in our day-to-day life is based on habits we have formed.  Our habits help us brush our teeth, make our coffee, and drive to work when our brain goes on autopilot.  If our brain didn't form habits, we would probably go insane from the million decisions we have to make in a day.  Charles Duhigg describes a three-step loop called "The Habit Loop".  In "The Habit Loop" there is first a cue, which triggers your brain to go to automatic mode and which habit to use.  Then there is the routine which is the activity, thought, or emotion.  Lastly, there is the reward which helps reinforce the habit if it is necessary.

Marketers have used this for decades.  The earliest example in the book was getting Americans to make brushing their teeth a daily habit.  Target now uses your purchase history to determine if you are pregnant so they can be the first to get that target demographic.

I'm a sucker for pop-psychology or quirky science books.  I have read much more non-fiction this year than I ever have before.  This book was pretty interesting, but the last twenty percent of it was footnotes.  While that does show the author's dedication to research, I felt like it was just excessive.  However, this was a quick, entertaining read, and it has helped me to create a couple of good habits and ditch a couple of bad ones.

4/5 Stars.

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