The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
3 words: informative, inspiring, thought-provoking
To a confirmed self-improvement book junkie, this book was as tantalizing as a rabbit to a greyhound. I just couldn’t get enough of it.
Duhigg harnesses the power of story to convey big truths about habit formation, and he’s a darn good storyteller.
He’s selected anecdotes that clearly illustrate each concept, so even if a person (that would be me) tends to forget the details, simpy recalling the story helps to bring the details back into focus.
For me, the biggest takeaway is the concept of keystone habits — the habits that create an avalanche effect on other habits.
With a keystone habit, once you change one habit, lots of other good habits follow, almost of their own accord. It’s like giving yourself a master key that unlocks all the doors.
And I really loved this part:
One of the biggest, most consistent keystone habits is exercise.
Once a person starts exercising, she tends to start eating more healthfully and getting better sleep. And exercise creates some really great benefits that fuel other good things that help a person stick with a habit: increased energy, improved mood, endorphins. It becomes the best kind of feedback loop.
As a running junkie (a habit even more deeply rooted than the reading of self-improvement books), it was fascinating to read this analysis, which so clearly explained many of the reasons that once I started running, I really started smiling.
Last fall I read Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before. While The Power of Habit covers the same topic, they’re quite different books. And I like them both so very much. They complement each other well.
If you’re into the self-improvement stuff, oh, guys… pick up this book.