The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg


This is probably going to be one of my shortest reviews. This book has been lying on my shelf for more than a year before I got myself to pick it up. Like many books of this kind, it picks up a single idea and presents it from multiple angles. This often leads to repetitive elaboration of the same idea. The Power of Habit is no different. Its core idea is summarized in a three point diagram – reproduced multiple times through the books: our behaviour is determined by a habit loop consisting of Cue, Routine and Reward. It is a simple enough idea which is then presented with various anecdotes – both for individuals and organizations. It then suggests ways to change habits by influencing one or more of the three steps. Some of the discussion around drug abuse, civil rights movement etc felt like force-fits to me.

There is a 12 page appendix at the end on how to use these ideas. Unfortunately, I did not find even one-two key takeaways that would stay with me after the book is read.

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