The Power of Habit

the-power-of-habit

This post is based on the book, “The power of habit” by Charlies Duhigg. I actually read this book awhile ago but I haven’t written a post on it until now because it is very difficult to write a post that has less than a thousand words when the book is so compacted with information.

Anyhow, I shall try my best.

Basically, in the core of every habit, there is a cue -> routine -> and reward. Something has to happen and trigger you to do a task. In addition, we don’t want to do it unless we are getting a reward from it.

For example: You’re upset (cue), and then you start to eat (routine), then you feel better (reward).


Rewards from drinking?

“Often, intoxication doesn’t make the list. Alcoholics crave a drink because it offers escape, relaxation, companionship, the blunting of anxieties, and an opportunity for emotional release. They don’t necessarily crave getting drunk.” 

To me, this is very interesting because I know a lot of people struggling from addiction and I always want to provide ways for them to quit. However, the golden rule of habit change is that you can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.

And how do you do that?

You have to change the routine but understand that the cue  (For example: stress) and the reward (feeling less stressed) will be the same. 

So, first, you have to figure out the cue. Ex. You know that you want to drink because it makes you feel less stressed.

Now that you’re aware of what triggers your behaviour, it is easier to control.

Is there anything else that makes you feel better when you’re stressed? As long as you can find an activity that can give you the same reward (feeling less stressed), you will be able to change your habit.


Another interesting part about the book was the story about Febreze. For those of you who live in North America, you are probably familiar with the brand Febreze. Febreze is a brand of household odour eliminators manufactured by P&G.

Basically, when P&G first created this product, they thought it would be a massive success. They thought, “Wow! We have such a great product! People will buy it because they wouldn’t want their homes to stink!”

But they were wrong.  Continue reading “The Power of Habit”

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