The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – by Charles Duhigg | Summary Review by Stephen Diagram

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – by Charles Duhigg

  1. Bad habits are often formed through comfort
  2. You cant ever completely erase an old habit : this is why old habits are easy to sink back into
  3. People often replace one bad habit with a second bad habit : now they have two bad habits to back back into. For example, people who replace a smoking habit with a drinking habit
  4. Loser friends often try to offend you, saying things like “you’ve changed”
  5. People with bad habits often point out others and their bad habits

Habits are a 3 step process

  1. Cue
  2. Routine
  3. Reward

Habits are delicate in the sense that you need a cue to trigger them.

Cues fall into 1 of 5 categories

  1. Location
  2. Time
  3. Emotions
  4. Others
  5. Last Action

When you start forming a habit, dopamine spikes around the time you receive the reward, but over time the dopamine tends to spike around the time you receive the cue. This causes a dopamine craving.

To increase your chance of forming a new habit

  • plan around “inflections points of pain”
  • know and expect these inflection points of pain to occur
  • These are bumps in the road and tiny obstacles
  • Push through them.

Use Keystone Habits to your advantage

Some habits help spawn even more habits.

For instance, if you make a habit to fill your calendar and check it often, then you will be in a better place to form new habits. If your calendar tells you to make your bed or brush your teeth every morning, then the initial habit of checking your calendar will push you toward brushing your teeth / making your bed.


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