Monday, July 30, 2012

The Power of Habit

I've been reading a lot lately, but mostly books related to marketing for work.  I read an article about The Power of Habit in the New York Times, and it intrigued me.  I decided to read it, even though I wasn't sure how applicable it would be to my job.

I was wrong.  In fact, after I read it, everyone at work wanted to borrow it!

The Power of Habit is all about the science behind how habits are formed, and how we can change them.  Ever wonder how some people can quit smoking cold turkey, while others end up smoking their whole lives?   Ever wonder how some people fail at diets and stay obese, and others undergo incredible transformations?

This book is just fascinating... and it really made me a bit more introspective.  For example, I have always had issues with portion control.  I eat too much, too fast.  It started when I went to West Point, and we only have 15 minutes to eat.  We used to say, "Eat now, taste later!" as we hurried off to classes.  Well, I gained weight consistently from that point on, with the exception of my semester in France where I ate more slowly to fit in, and a year in Iraq where I made working out a part of my daily routine.

The more we learn about our habits, the more easily we can change them.  I learned that my brain creates habits so that I can make fewer decisions later on, keeping my brain alert and ready for other more "urgent" decisions.  So if I ate four slices of pizza, I would continue to eat four slices of pizza because my brain said so... until the day I experimented by eating that pizza with a knife and fork to slow down.  I ate TWO slices and was full.  You have to make a conscious effort to stop yourself from succumbing to built-in habits!

I'd recommend this book to anyone... smokers, those trying to lose weight, marketers, curious intellects, or those trying to change their lives.

1 comment:

  1. In his bestselling book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg, a business reporter for the New York Times, conveys his research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience to provide a scientific approach to understanding habits.

    If you are interested in learning more about the ideas introduced by Charles Duhigg but you are not able to spare the time to sit down and read the THE POWER OF HABIT, then why not read the shorten version?

    THE POWER OF HABIT…in 30 MINUTES is the essential guide to creating change, breaking habits, understanding willpower, and comprehending the main ideas behind Charles Duhigg’s bestseller. You can grab a copy on Amazon for $4.99:

    Best of luck in changing your habits!


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