Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Power of Habit [Chapter 5]

Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups

Cindy Lyles

Making willpower an automatic act is the topic of “Starbucks and the Habit of Success” from Charles Duhigg's book. The chapter follows Travis Leach -- once an emotionally unstable high school dropout with drug addicted parents, who conquered his shortcomings after joining the Starbucks team. The coffee giant trains employees in life skills that help in both professional and personal lives. “At the core of that education,” notes Duhigg, “is an intense focus on an all-important habit:
willpower” (131).

Psychology expert Mark Muraven explains that willpower was once understood as a skill. However, further research shows that it operates as a muscle, “‘like the muscles in your arms or legs…’” (137). It seems the more willpower is exercised over time, such as biceps or triceps, the stronger it becomes.

Of the different scenes and instances associated with willpower mentioned in the chapter, which one drew your attention? Why or how so?


Jessica L.W. said...

Muraven’s idea about how willpower is a muscle drew my attention in this chapter. This was interesting to me because I before reading about willpower in this chapter I associated it as a skill. Although, through reading the comparisons and the reasoning behind why Muraven associated willpower as a skill, I found it to be not only interesting but also true. The experiment conducted by Oaten and Cheng using the four-month money management program demonstrates how once willpower is strengthened in one part of our life, it can spread into other parts of our lives as well. I will keep this in mind as I continue to focus on making adjustments in my life while remembering that willpower is a muscle and through exercising it I can increase my self-control.

Kizzy Hopkins said...

The Scottish study gained my attention. Planning, setting goals, and journaling allowed the paticents to exercise self- control and strengthen their willpower muscle.
The story on self control was my favorite. when people have a sense of self control they gain self regulation. Much like the story on page(151),allowing people to feel like their opinion matter for the betterment of their job can add positive energy to their work.The employees wanted to do better because they were apart of their work not just working and taking orders from a boss. in return this gave the employees the willpower they needed to carry on throughout the day. There are many aspects to willpower, but the most important for me to remember is willpower is a muscle and the more I exercise this muscle the more I gain control over my emotions, actions, and behaviors.

Hilary Conrad said...

The part that I found most interesting was the part when the British psychologist studied the elderly people who just had surgery and how the ones who wrote down weekly goals for themselves had a higher rate of complying with their doctors' orders. I could relate to this part because it is hard to have will power to push through something that is physically painful. But I write out my goals for the track season and that helps me to fight through the pain.

Tia Borders Baptist said...

I feel alot of my life i use willpower to deal with things. Esp when it comes to money.So when the experiment on money management was discussed i def could understand it cause i use that alot. As a college student it is difficult to save money or even manage it. So this experiment was def a eye opener. Even though i am known for always saving money and manage it well, it still help to know that it is okay to so this. I know later in life that it will benefit me in the end.

Jessica J. said...

Prior to reading this chapter, I thought of willpower as a skill. While reading about the different experiments, I agree that willpower is like a muscle. The more we show that we have control the stronger our power will grow. The experimnt about money was interesting to me because I love money. The more I save the save the more willpower I will have as I get older. As you strengthen the muscle of willpower you set yourself up for a type of healthy living.