- File Size: 4767 KB
- Print Length: 418 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385669763
- Publisher: Random House (February 28, 2012)
- Publication Date: February 28, 2012
- Sold by: Random House LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0055PGUYU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,480 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$17.00|
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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business Kindle Edition
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|Length: 418 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
While the 1st part is circumscribed to the individual level of analysis, on parts 2 and 3 the author takes the analysis from the micro to organizations (meso-level) and societies (macro-level). The author describes “the power of weak ties” of social networks, and claims that it helps understand the rise of social movements —which it clearly does. But in his explanation, networks are rebranded as “the habit of peer pressure”. Networks —as well as peer pressure, or culture— can be powerful forces for change, undoubtedly. But networks are not habits —as per his own definition. Different phenomena are conflated into the concept of habits, and in doing so the concept loses elegance and consistency.
Intellectually, the book is revealing. On a personal level, it is incredibly useful —and I’m thankful to the author for writing it. I would have limited the book claims to the phenomena it can explain beyond any reasonable doubt. By taking the concept of habits beyond what it can solidly explain, parts 2 & 3 detract a bit of value and credibility from the book. Were it not for that, I would have given 5 stars to the book. In balance, this is still a great book that --with the caveat expressed-- I strongly recommend.
The science is interesting, but shallowly covered. Basically the book is one big series of stories about how people changed habits to succeed in life.
If you are looking for help yourself in this area, look elsewhere. The author offers a small bit of useful advice:
Basically, you look for the cues/triggers that are starting the routine/habit that you are not happy with but cannot seem to stop. Then you determine what is the reward you are getting. Are you eating the candy because of low blood sugar or because you eat with friends and need a chat or because you are nervous and it calms you, etc.?
Discovering the triggers and rewards takes time and introspection--all left up to you. The book cannot help you there.
But once you do, you change the routine/habit by force of will every time you encounter the cue/trigger, making sure that the reward is the same. The cue and reward must be the same. So, instead of eating candy, you just go chat with friends on purpose, or you eat a better form of food to satisfy low blood sugar, or whatever.
When you feel like engaging in the "bad" habit, ask yourself what you get out of the habit beyond the superficial and obvious. Then replace that habit with a new one you desire to do that gives you the same type of reward/outcome/feeling. Do this over and over until it becomes . . . a habit.
So, there you go. Saved you money. Unless you enjoy random success stories. Then the book is a good read for you.
I wish I had not purchased this book, but you live and learn.
The new information presented in this book is straight forward. The habit loop has a trigger, an action, and a reward. Combined with scattered assurances that habits are quite important to every aspect of our lives, the rest of the book is filled with the stories of how habits have affected certain individuals.
Not many new pieces of data or paradigms of thought. So it loses a star.
Some people took off more stars because of this. I only took off one because I think short stories about individuals is how to most effectively make the point of how powerful habits are (see book title). If you want raw reports with lots of studies and data, this book isn't for you. Otherwise, telling narratives that have an emotional impact does a better job of driving the point home that habits make people who they are.
I thought this book was great. It changed my view on how habits shaped my life. But is by no means a manual or comprehensive study.
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