Ah. Such a great read. It’s about pathways in our brains that cause activities to become habits. He approaches the topic from a personal, community, and organizational perspective. I found it interesting to read up on how the culture and subculture of large companies grew from (seemingly) small occurrences that eventually became the norm.
From simple activities like why we go to the cafeteria at the same time every day- to casual gamblers becoming full-fledged addicts who spend their life savings and then some in the casino, the book is presented in an easy to read way, mixing anecdotes with research.
It was a quick read and really got me thinking. I don’t want to summarize the whole thing so I’ll just talk about the basics.
The basis of every habit is a habit loop:
cue —> routine —> reward
This really got me to look at my behaviors, and think about the cues that cause them (taking pretzels from the pantry, or going out to get a diet coke) and why. What reward am I seeking. Am I really hungry? Do I need caffeine? Am I bored?
While the habit loop is simple, the author does not suggest that changing habits is easy to navigate because (obviously) everyone is unique. We have different triggers and emotions tied to our habits that can make them more or less difficult to break.
However the simplicity in the habit loop does create clear guide for how to start a new habit. He used the example of leaving running shoes right by the bed. You see them every morning (cue). You go for a run (routine). You feel accomplished/ endorphin high, etc. (reward)
In order to begin a new and lasting habit, we need to identify cues to remind us of the habit, and it’s equally,if not more, important to have your routine attached to a reward. That reward keeps us coming back for more, and our brain craves it!
ANYWAY…I def recommend. I couldn’t stop yacking about it to my husband while I was reading it!
Have you read it? What did you think?