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The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg Thoughts

On 15, Jan 2013 | No Comments | In Productivity | By Daniel Kao

It’s only been a couple of weeks since I read this book, but many of the principles are becoming pretty evident.

Learning how to make and break habits is a very powerful thing. Habits emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.

Habits are made up of a three step loop, the cue, the routine, and the reward.

The cue is what prompts the routine. Generally, cues are divided into five different categories: location, time, emotional state, other people, or an immediately preceding action. The routine then, is the set of actions that a person executes as a response to the cue. And finally, the reward is the feeling or result of performing the routine.

Understanding how to take control of the habit loop is they way to build new habits or change existing ones. Reading this book made me even more aware of habits I never thought of. Toothbrushing only became a regular practice when the minty, refreshing flavor was introduced, leveraging the reward of brushing your teeth. Many little habits form a person’s behavior, whether they realize it or not.

Reading this book made me realize how passion alone is not enough. While structure is something that can become dry or ineffective without passion, the most effective people use passion in order to intentionally create structure in the form of habits in order to achieve their passion. And when the habit is formed, people can use those habits to their advantage without even thinking about it.

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