top of page

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - 3 Big Ideas

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

Transcription Below


This book made me feel, intrigued, encouraged and eager.

Quick Intro

(Copied from Amazon)



NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal • Financial Times

So... What are 3 things we can use from this book?

3 Things You Can Use

1. The Process of a Habit

A habit is defined by Charles Duhigg as something that starts with a cue > which leads to a routine > which, upon completion, activates a reward.

It is not a habit unless this entire process is achieved.

It works for good habits:

Cue: wake up > Routine: workout > Reward: feel healthy

and bad habits:

Cue: eat lunch > Routine: smoke a cigarette > Reward: feel a buzz

You can use this to your advantage. Use this process to design good habits for yourself.

Quick tip:

-after a bad habit cue, insert a good habit routine to replace your bad habit.

ex: in the bad habit example above; normally after you eat lunch you would smoke a cigarette to feel a buzz. Instead, replace the smoking a cigarette with chewing nicotine gum.

Charles Duhigg goes into how to manipulate this process a lot more in the book.

2. Keystone Habits

Keystone habits are habits that change your life.

Implementing a keystone habit will domino through your other habits and change you for the better.

Examples of some keystone habits:

Exercise- obviously. If you implement an exercise routine you will stress less, feel better and probably eat healthier. That's what he means. The effect exercise has on your life is so profound, that you can't help but implement other good habits.

Another example:

Small Wins- There is a psychology aspect to this. Start with a small win and get a little dopamine bump; nudging you to get more things done.

Duhigg suggests making your bed for a small win to start your day. I've also heard this recommended by Tim Ferriss. I do this in the morning and, if anything, it's just nice to have a made bed when you walk in at night.

3. Willpower

This all starts with that darn marshmallow test.

I have heard this marshmallow test, conducted in the 60s, mentioned at least 5 times this week. It was a test of delayed gratification and it went like this.

They would sit a young child, between 4 and 6 years old, at a table and place a marshmallow on the table. The scientists would then tell the child that if they waited 15 minutes without eating the marshmallow, they would get to eat two marshmallows.

When they started the experiment some kids would, "cover their eyes with their hands or turn around so that they can't see the tray, others start kicking the desk, or tug on their pigtails, or stroke the marshmallow as if it were a tiny stuffed animal," while others would just eat it as soon as the researchers left.

In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait the 15 minutes for the better reward tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI), and other life measures.

This test is often cited to describe the benefits of willpower as the kids who were able to will themselves to shun the instant gratification in place of the delayed gratification ended up having better life outcomes.

Use your willpower to push through and strengthen the first phases of your habit creation.

Want to Read it?

Audible Free Trial

The Power of Habit (Audible Version)

The Power of Habit (Physical Copy)

^(affiliate links)^


Punching Sounds (in video) by: Mike Koenig

6 views0 comments
bottom of page