Review: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit by Charles DuhiggA few years back I read an interesting article in ‘The Times’ about how the US superstore Target is recording, analyzing and using its customer  habits to increase their sales. It was a lengthy yet very interesting article and made we wonder if their was any privacy left in this world. That article was actually a chapter taken from the upcoming book “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change” by Charles Duhigg.

I made it a point that I would read the book whenever it is released but it took me a lot of time to get my hands on that book. But when I finished reading it, it was all worth it.

InThe Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change Duhigg reveals to us as to how we are all but slaves to our habits. And habits can be used in both a constructive manner and a destructive manner. An alcoholic, even after exerting his will power ends up picking the glass. The book sheds light on human nature and how habits exists and how new habits can be developed and can be used in a positive manner.

Duhigg presents several case studies from big organizations failing to cope despite numerous attempts, why alcoholic anonymous works, how Olympian Swimmer Michael Phelps went on to win many golds in his career  and many other such stories which proves that we are what our habits make us. But he also proves that we can change our habits and by practicing good habits can achieve success and greatness.

The book keeps you engaged till the end. The case studies picked are great and are picked from all walks of life. Some stories are real eye opener and it opens a whole new world of data gathering and analysis which can alter human behavior.

In the end the author deals with a moral question that if we are all a slave of our habits then can a sleepwalker be held accountable for any crime that he commit during his sleep-walking and if not then why does a gambler who is also gambling out of the bad habit is demeaned in the society.

In all an The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change is an excellent read and highly recommended if you have interest in topic of human behavior or habits.

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