Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Power of Habit [Chapter 3]

Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups 

By Cindy Lyles

No matter how much people try, they cannot extinguish a bad habit; will power fails to conquer the power of an in-built habit. “The Golden Rule of Habit Change” details this concept in depth, but there’s hope. The way to override an undesirable habit is to change or replace it with a new one, as examples from NFL coach Tony Dungy and Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson reveal.

Dungy’s and Wilson’s respective examples demonstrate how each man succeeded in habit reform. They both understood a fundamental concept. As Duhigg explains, “If you use the same cue, and provide the same reward, you can shift the routine and change the habit. Almost any behavior can be transformed if the cue and reward stay the same” (62).

How did Duhigg’s formulation alter or confirm your previously held beliefs about transforming behavior or longstanding habits?


Jacquelene G said...

Author Duhigg brought up a good point about transforming behavior. His key point was that there is one thing that has to accompany a shift in routine and that is belief. After giving it some thought, I found this to be true. If someone doesn’t have belief whether it is in God or in the hope that things will be better sometime later, they will not be able to change a current “bad habit”, because they have nothing to keep them going. The author shows how the habits of one specific AA participant only succeeded in the program when belief in God was accompanied by new habits.

Jac`quelene G.

Phillip L. said...

I have heard a lot of old saying, some taken straight from scripture, like the having faith the size of a mustard seed and being able to move mountains. Or, “you can’t think your way into better actions, you have to act your way into better thinking.” I like that one; I like that one a lot. I know it to be true.

The author puts forth the idea that with changing bad habits through the power of replacement and reward a key ingredient is the belief that your efforts will effect change. For many of us that is a hard proposition, as with the football players, when the pressure is on people tend to want to rely on their own power of thinking. That’s what distinguishes us from other species, our ability to think.

For me there is nothing wrong with a little brain washing and conditioning, when done to evoke positive change or action in someone’s life. All that said, I guess he didn’t alter my beliefs at all, we were already on the same page…..

Monique Williams said...

I especially found this chapter interesting. So often I feel as though we try to take control of peoples lives and change them or break their habits for our sake. But changing of habits has to be motivated by the person wanting to change or break those bad habits, like the guy in AA. I had a friend that was in a bad relationship for a couple of years. People constantly told her that she needed to get out of this relationship. I always told her that we could tell her everyday how bad the relationship was for her, but SHE has to be the one to make that decision for herself only. That day finally came, but on her own time. I person cannot be forced to change or break habits. They need to do that to better themselves and for themselves.

Ke'Asha jones said...

It changed my veiw of habits because O always assumed as the old saying goes "you cant teach an old dog tricks" I felt that your habits were just as they were and unchanging but after reading how he puts it I see it totally different I think of it as the saying there is more than one way to skin a cat the process or habit n which you have grown accustom to can change as long as you still get the desired outcome. Your old habit may get the results but it may not be good for u while another habit could give you those same results and be good for you making you more drawn to it