The Galley Way: The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do and How to Change It, by Charles Duhigg

In this entertaining and scientific look at habits, Duhigg answers once and for all how our habits are made, how they can be broken, and- most interestingly- the power of habits in our lives. While Duhigg uses many scientific studies to prove his point, the book is not dense or overly cerebral, even someone like me (who could barely pass high school physics) can easily keep up.

While Duhigg’s insights about habits don’t seem to be ground-breaking (oftentimes they are things that we have already suspected or could be taken as common wisdom, such as: to break a bad habit you must replace it with a new habit), the joy of reading this book comes with the many real world examples that are provided.

One of my favorite anecdotes is how Coach Tony Dungy of Superbowl fame (so famous even I knew who he was!) used habits to make the Tampa Bay Buccaneers go from zero to hero in just a few years. Instead of creating dozens of complex plays to out-fox the other teams, Dungy had his players memorize just a few- and then had them practice the plays over and over and over again until their actions on the field were automatic habits that could be carried out faster than other teams. For fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point, this book is another great look at these powerful forces in our lives, and the greater society, that we somehow constantly overlook.

Note: I received this book as a giveaway from Shelfawareness

Goodreads rating: ****

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