The Power of Habit: A Review

When we understand our minds and how they work, we begin to understand how to change our behavior. Behavior modification is, in some aspects, a good thing. It is what teaches us to work out and eat right daily, among other things. On the other hand – behavior modification must be taken in moderation just as everything else, for when we are too strung out on modifying our behaviors, we become obsessive. Using the same example as before, we create a destructive habit – such as working out too hard or purging when we don’t eat “correctly.”

Educating ourselves on habits can alter the [bad] ones we have. (photo by hmvh)

Educating ourselves on habits can alter the [bad] ones we have. (photo by hmvh)

What inspired me to write this post is a book worth checking out. I have mentioned it in the past, with this article, as linked here. The book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg, explains a grand tale of habit. I feel that once we can identify where our faults are, we can grow from there. Correct those things. Though the book makes it seem simple to believe that with this knowledge, you will be able to change yourself by the drop of a hat – Duhigg even goes on to say in a chapter earlier on in the book that the intentions are not to belittle the successes of recovered drug addicts, but instead, offers to us a better understanding into the mind we all have.

Even comparable to the teachings of Christianity – basically, “The problem is never really the problem, instead it is masked. We must find the root of it and present it to Jesus.” This book, instead, errs more on the side of self-help ideology than anything else. As the author of Good to Great and Built to Last states on the back cover of the book, in praise, “Charles Duhigg…confront[s] the root drivers of our behavior, accept them as intractable, and then channel those same cravings into productive patterns.” In essence, The Power of Habit says, “The problem is never really the problem, instead it is masked. We must find the root of it and then change it, by our own power.”

Nonetheless I feel as though – even though I, myself, have Christian roots, the book is not controversial, it is simply informative. No matter how you want to eradicate a negative problem from your life – the findings are effective.

The book reveals “the power of habit” through extensive example. From using the story of Olympic gold medalist, Michael Phelps, to telling the marketing strategies that caused Pepsodent and Febreeze to become so huge! If anything, the stories given made me feel inspired – not necessarily to become an Olympian, but to look into the career field of marketing – it intrigued me so much!

If anything, you must give this book a try. I was being forced to read it in my AP Psychology class, and I begrudgingly did. Now I don’t want to put the book down!

 

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