We had a small group to discuss Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit (probably due to the fact that we had a bunch of thunderstorms that evening) — but we still found a lot to talk about, and had a great discussion. Here are some of what was said:
- Everyone liked the book. One person said she had really been looking forward to reading it, and it didn’t disappoint. Another reader said he hadn’t finished it yet, but was surprised by how much he was enjoying it.
- We had some general discussion about how Duhigg makes the point that the ultimate thing behind making change is in changing behavior. We also talked about how Duhigg brings up different examples to compare, like the gambling addict and the man who killed his wife while sleepwalking. Some readers weren’t sure if these last two people were really comparable, but it made for some good discussion about the differences in the two.
- We also had some general discussion about the changes made at Alcoa, which were started when the new CEO focused on reducing accidents in the workplace.
- We talked about how many of us found it reassuring that Duhigg makes it clear that small changes can lead to larger change. Readers talked about their own experiences with making changes, and how difficult it could be to try to change something big, all at once, and how it would be easier to take it in small steps.
- One reader brought up how she feels that today’s culture generally looks for instant results. People should take it slow and steady when it comes to change, but she thinks a lot of people want quick, easy results, and then are discouraged. Looking at change as a process is key.
- We also discussed Duhigg’s writing about willpower, and how, like exercising a muscle, it gets stronger, the more that you exercise it. This led to some discussion about how crisis can throw someone back into bad habits, like with the example of the gambling addict.
We all felt this was a good read, and a book which lent itself to some thought-provoking discussion.
If you have read the book and would like to add your comments, please do!