Are you able to say which book in your entire life caused that sometimes you still come back to it? If yes, wonderful. Put another to the kitty because after reading Charles Duhigg’s ‘The power of habit’ you will come back to this book faster than you think. There will be process of changes open, you will open intern private workshop – starting with breaking your habits into small components like the best mechanic, you will play poker with them and… win your life. You + Duhigg’s book = understanding that all activities which you do every day, aren’t a coincidence but only a consequence of your previous actions. Some of them, sometimes all of them, seemingly trivial, can significantly lower the comfort of your functioning and disturb a sense of satisfaction. How to avoid decline and fall? Let’s start!


The power of habit – for who and what for?

For you. For your relatives. Friends, acquaintances. For us. For everyone. For those who run fully stressed in the morning to catch the bus with huge fear to not miss it. For those who take care of procrastination like of cute puppy. For those who wonder why their friend got down the London marathon’s course once again, while they stopped themselves on picking proper running shoes. For those who wrongly accuse the power of habit and possibilities of changing of cheap coaching from the backyard and American fashion for everything.

In the prologue we can read:

‘All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits’ – William James wrote in 1892. Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits. And though each habit means relatively little on its own, over time, the meals we order, what we say to our kids each night, whether we save or spend, how often we exercise, and the way we organize our thoughts and work routines have enormous impacts on our health, productivity, financial security, and happiness. One paper published by a Duke University researcher in 2006 found that more than 40 percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t actual decisions, but habits. William James like countless others, from Aristotle to Oprah spent much of his life trying to understand why habits exist. But only in the past two decades have scientists and marketers really begun understanding how habits work and more important, how they change’.

Thanks to Duhigg’s book you will get to know what habit loop is and how it influences your life. You will convince yourself that your everyday life is being determined with habits, frequently with bad ones and it’s impossible to root them up, but it is possible to gain new, better ones. Removing the habit isn’t easy, but it’s getting easier while transforming or turning it to another. At the end you will calm down – the knowledge about the power of  habit will make you aware, that you can do everything according to your dream plan and there’s nothing what can stop you with achieving your goals. You will believe this that it is really never too late in order to put a bit of freshness into your life (it means new rituals). What’s more, thanks to starting with yourself, you will become permanent motivation for others – you will inspire for changes, you will notice significant improvement in relations with family and friends as well. Win win!

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Start with small steps to feel surprised with result. The book is divided in such parts to allow readers getting through all stages of change.

The first section focuses on how habits emerge within individual lives. It explores the neurology of habit formation, how to build new habits and change old ones, and the methods, for instance, that one ad man used to push toothbrushing from an obscure practice into a national obsession. It shows how Procter & Gamble turned a spray named Febreze into a billion-dollar business by taking advantage of consumers’ habitual urges, how Alcoholics Anonymous reforms lives by attacking habits at the core of addiction, and how coach Tony Dungy reversed the fortunes of the worst team in the National Football League by focusing on his players’ automatic reactions to subtle on-field cues.

The second part examines the habits of successful companies and organizations. It shows company examples which were close to the fall and then turned into great business with top index in stock market. It describes why even the most talented surgeons can make catastrophic mistakes and how to eliminate that risk in the future. 

The third part looks at the habits of societies. It recounts how the civil rights movement succeeded, how they functioned and what was their goal.

‘This book draws on hundreds of academic studies, interviews with more than three hundred scientists and executives, and research conducted at dozens of companies. It focuses on habits as they are technically defined: the choices that all of us deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about but continue doing, often every day. At one point, we all consciously decided how much to eat and what to focus on when we got to the office, how often to have a drink or when to go for a jog. Then we stopped making a choice, and the behavior became automatic. It’s a natural consequence of our neurology. And by understanding how it happens, you can rebuild those patterns in whichever way you choose’.

Remember: you can change your habits, if you understand how we create our habits, often unconsciously. Each paragraph in this book is about this elementary argument. This is why we are able to start changing our life for the better. You have a choice. Choose wisely.

Authors: Patrycja Sikora and Dariusz Chrapek