Haley Scholars Fall 2012 Reading Groups
By Danielle Hall
In the prologue section of The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg ushers readers into the world of patterned behavior. Drawing largely from scientific research, interviews, and academic studies, Duhigg discusses the notion of how changing just one habit in our daily routine has the power to not only shift, but to transform other aspects and routines in our daily lives.
At one point, Duhigg tells of how a U.S. army major stationed in Kufa, Iraq, recognized the significance of understanding both personal and organizational habits and how they impact one's daily life (xix). The army major suggests that it’s necessary to “create triggers” in order to develop a routine or habit.
Based on the prologue, what was one idea or scene concerning “habit formation” that drew your interest? Why or how so?
I was very much so intrigued by the fact that one choice lead to so many other positive outcomes. Most people say that nicotine addiction is by far the most addictive substance to try to quit. I was wondering if someone really and truly made up their mind to quit smoking cigarettes, what other bad habits would they be able to refrain from? I also was very interested in the aspect of brain development. Lisa Allen's experiences prove that as individuals, we are constantly growing. It is never to late to make a change.
Before reading this prologue I knew the choices that I make impact my life, but I never thought how those choices impact results which then in turn impact another choice and the cycle goes on and on. You have to make sure that you make educated decisions when deciding to do something. I also thought the part where Duhigg discussed the development of the brain was really interesting along with addiction.
I was extremely intrigued when I read how habits can go unnoticed but once you make a decision to change it and are able to restrain yourself, then it is possible to reach success. This really hit home for me because I have gained bad habits such as not eating all day but hadn't noticed until I started to get underweight. I also had the bad habit that most students share, procrastination. I feel that reading just the prologue has helped me take note of my bad habits and try to make a conscious effort to change them into positive actions.
Duhigg made a very powerful point of how habits indeed CAN be changed and how much it will affect almost every other aspect of life. This is great to read and comprehend because he also heightened my awareness of certain habits that go unnoticed. We go everyday not realizing that certain actions are actually habits- which can be for the better or for worse. A simple change can result in a humongous change. It was striking to hear about the subtle change of habits Lisa Allen made to completely change her life around to be a healthier woman. I am looking forward to reading Duhigg's analysis of Michael Phelps and Martin Luther King Jr.'s influential lifestyle as well.
When I first saw the title of the book, my thoughts started turning. "The power of Habit." Every choice you make affects your future, and if you’re not careful, can form habits. Some habits can lead to success, but can deviate you from that path in a devastating way. These are things that you must abolish from your life. Sometimes it is hard though, because they go unnoticed, slowly growing and developing, until the blossom into a horrible habit. Negative habits can be blocking a valuable space in your life were success should be residing.
The part that interested me the most was the idea of brain development. Many people believe that they cannot change, but Lisa Allen proves that change is possible, as we see her change her whole life. We are constantly growing and reshaping ourselves. The part about addictions also struck my attention. I have known many people with various addictions, and those are indeed the hardest habits to break. Nevertheless, it is never too late to make a positive change, and reshape your lifestyle. One just has to have the will power to do so.
I was very intrigued by the idea that one simple choice that changes your routine slightly can have a major impact on your entire life. For example Lisa decided to give up smoking and that one decision sparked a series of changes in her life such as lisa starting to jog.
Then jogging turned into Lisa being more health concious and running Marathons.This just shows that one choice can have a ripple effect on your entire life not just the factors of your life directly related to the choice you made.
I was interested in two things: Lisa's life changing story and the major claiming that him and his wife had a habit plan in their marriage and that is how their marriage functioned. Lisa's story interested me because that's how a lot of people change their lives, by hitting rock bottom and becoming desperate for a change. I think it is easier to change your habits when you feel like You have no other viable option.
The idea of incorporating habits into your marriage at first sounded boring and too routine but now that I am thinking about it more, it makes sense. A lot of marriages fall apart because people stop doing what made each other happy when they were dating. If they make those things a habit, it could help.
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