I cannot speak highly enough about The Power of Habit: why we do what we do in business and life by Charles Duhigg. From page 1 through the notes and acknowledgments, I was hooked. So much so that I was moved to email the author telling him so! (Actually I told him that my fiance hated this book because every 30 seconds I was reading aloud passages, gasping, or otherwise making very distracting noises that were distracting Shane from his own reading experience.)*
The book is not a self-help book, like my dear sister initially accused me of reading. No, it is more an exposé of the research conducted on habits in people, companies, and society. And the people and companies he discuss are so fascinating! For example, a group of feds realized that infant mortality rates were so high because mothers were lacking the right nutrients. They lacked the right nutrients because they were never taught proper nutrition. They were never taught proper nutrition because “many high school teachers in rural areas didn’t know enough basic biology to teach nutrition.” So this is what Duhigg writes,
So the government had to remake how teachers were getting educated in college, and give them stronger grounding in biology so they could eventually teach nutrition to teenage girls, so those teenagers would eat better before they started having sex, so those teenagers would eat better before they started having sex, and, eventually, be sufficiently nourished when they had children, (p. 119).
And? The infant mortality rate is lower today by 68% than it was so many decades ago. WHAT?! What awesome facts! This book is FILLED to the brim with this kind of awesome information. Oh, and don’t get me started on how Febreeze went from nothing to a BILLION dollar industry in only a few short years. Nuts!
This book is absolutely worth every minute it would take you to read it. The author made it very read-able, so don’t think that because it’s non-fiction that it will be over your head. Since I first cracked the spine on this book, I have been recommending it and re-telling the amazing stories I’ve read. I highly recommend this book to people who are interested in learning, bettering themselves (because Duhigg does delve into how to change your habits, which starts with figuring out what the cue is…such as a smoker or overeater being bored, or a gambler being lonely).
Read. This. Book.
*Charles Duhigg wrote me back within an hour and wrote: “Thank you so much, April! I really appreciate your note – it makes all of the writing and reporting worth it. And please let your fiancé know that I apologize. :)” LOL