The Power of Habit - Deepstash
How To Break Bad Habits

Learn more about habits with this collection

Understanding the psychological rewards of bad habits

Creating new habits to replace old ones

Developing self-discipline

How To Break Bad Habits

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The Power of Habit
by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success are about understanding how habits work. By harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.


4.2K reads

Here’s what you’ll learn about in this summary:

– How cravings create and power new habits.

– How to apply the golden rule of habit change.

– Why the brain tries to make routines into habits.

– What “keystone habits” are and the importance of them creating a new routine.


3.57K reads

Crucial quotes

Crucial quotes

“When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. It stops working so hard or diverts focus to other tasks. So unless you deliberately fight a habit—unless you find new routines—the pattern will unfold automatically.”


3.4K reads

<p><em>“Willpower isn’t just a...

“Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.”


3.34K reads

<p><em>“This is how willpower ...

“This is how willpower becomes a habit: by choosing a certain behavior ahead of time, and then following that routine when an inflection point arrives.”


3.18K reads



This book is grounded in so much sound scientific evidence it’ll make your head spin. From case studies to interviews, to on-sight research projects at some of the world’s greatest companies—Duhigg worked hard not to leave any stone unturned when it came to helping us understand the mechanics of habits.

Habits, by definition, are choices that we all make deliberately at some point—and then stop thinking about but continue doing, often every day.


2.34K reads

At one point, we all consciously decided how much to eat and what to focus on when we got to the office, how often to have a drink or when to go for a jog. But then we stopped making a choice, and the behavior became automatic. It’s a natural consequence of our neurology…

And by understanding how it happens, you can rebuild those patterns in whichever way you choose.

So, are you ready to dive into learning how to make that happen? Let’s begin with our first big idea…


2.2K reads

Lesson 1: Habits work in 3-step loops: cue, routine, reward.

Habits are your brain’s way of saving energy. Given you spend around 6 of your 16 waking hours doing things you’re not aware of, it might be worth understanding what happens here.

Duhigg discovered that at the root of all habits, like drinking your coffee every morning, lies a simple 3-part loop.

The cue is what triggers you to do the habit. e.g:- sitting down at your kitchen table to have breakfast every morning at 7 AM.

The routine is the behavior you then automatically engage in, which, for drinking coffee, might be to go over to your coffeemaker, turn it on and press the “large cup” button.


2.16K reads

Lastly, you’ll receive a reward for completing the routine, such as the rich smell of your coffee, its hearty taste, and getting to watch the steam rise from the cup as it sits on your kitchen table in the sunlight (I really love coffee, can you tell?).


2.25K reads

Lesson 2: You can change your habits by substituting just one part of the loop, the routine.

Lesson 2: You can change your habits by substituting just one part of the loop, the routine.

Naturally, the more often you reinforce a habit, the more embedded in your brain it gets.

In the case of the coffee, you might crave it the second you sit down at your kitchen table, and when you can’t have it that day, because the machine broke, you’ll probably get very grumpy and buy one later at work.


2.13K reads

The trick to changing a habit then is to switch the routine and leave everything else intact.

Duhigg calls this the golden rule.

If you’re trying to get off caffeine, the tweak is incredibly simple: switch to decaf (like my “friend” Replacing Rick).

You’ll still have the entire experience from A to Z, but instead of pressing a button you’re now pouring hot water over decaf coffee powder, and voilà, you won’t miss caffeine for even a single day.


1.99K reads

Lesson 3: Your most important habit is willpower, and you can strengthen it over time in 3 ways.

Lesson 3: Your most important habit is willpower, and you can strengthen it over time in 3 ways.

Not all habits are created equal and Duhigg says willpower is by far one of the most important ones, as it helps us do better in all aspects of life.

Having been to the moon and back in terms of willpower research, I don’t want to tell you to eat right, sleep enough and exercise regularly. My friend Colin is much better at that.

Instead, here are 3 uncommon ways in which you can grow your total willpower capacity over time:


1.89K reads

A. Do something that requires a lot of discipline. For example, a tough wake-up regimen or strict diet will make you constantly practice delaying gratification and thus give you more willpower to exert throughout your day.

B. Plan ahead for worst-case scenarios. Even just thinking about your boss yelling at you before it ever happens will help you not lose your cool when it does.


2.17K reads

C. Preserve your autonomy. Yesterday I learned that autonomy was a major part of living a passionate life. Today I learned that if you take it away, your willpower also goes down the drain. When you’re assigned tasks by someone else, which you must do, your willpower muscle tires much quicker.


2.24K reads



Book summaries mostly ...


You can’t possibly call yourself a habit junkie and not know this book. It’s THE BEST book about habits.

Curious about different takes? Check out our The Power of Habit Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.

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