Book: The Power of Habit (for Catman)

Posted in the Columbus Forum

Enzyte Bob

Reynoldsburg, OH

#1 Sep 27, 2013
Catman:

I thought you might like to download this book I've been reading. I heard about it from an interview on the radio. I found it and downloaded it for free last year.

I'm only at about Page 80, but it is a fascinating book. It has a very nice write-up about Alcoholics Anonymous in Chapter 2 or 3. It changed my mind a little bit about telling you to try the Sinclair Method.

Here is the book, if you can't find a download, get it from the library.

"The Power of Habit"
Charles Duhig.

http://goo.gl/L4QNZE
Enzyte Bob

Reynoldsburg, OH

#2 Sep 27, 2013
I've been struggling to force myself to run consistently and the book sounded very interesting from a radio interview I heard. I started reading it and it is fascinating.

Here's why.

They described various scenarios where the same exact principles of habit and how the brain works were applied:

o Cutting down on violence during the nation building phase in Iraq - read how they stopped violence in one town square by study of habit;

o Product marketing and advertising - build habit to sell product;

o Creation of a new industry (toothpaste) and how Pepsodent dominated that market for over 30 years - the book describes how nobody used toothpaste until Pepsodent came along (previous products were a flop) and how habit was used to create demand;

o Introduction of Febreze, which was originally a flop - Febreze was a technological breakthrough product that removed all smell (and still does) but wasn't a success until they added a scent to it (consistent with what we know about habit);

o Tony Dungy used the same principles to win the Super Bowl;

o How fast food marketers get you to eat fast food through habit theory;

And finally:

o How Alcoholics Anonymous uses the exact same principles and how it taps in to the way your brain works neurologically.

The way the book described how AA came about is fascinating to me. AA came about long before scientists studied and knew about brain neurology and many in the scientific community used to poo poo AA because of its spotty success and the reliance on God. But on closer examination the book says the 12 steps are basically consistent with brains and altering habits and neurological science.

One university study (I think it might have been Harvard) also showed the God/belief aspect of AA was crucial to being successful at it.

The author was a war correspondent in Iraq and stumbled onto this whole habit science stuff in his dealings with the army.

This book is fascinating to me because how all five seemingly different situations listed above are rooted in how the brain reacts to habits.

Fascinating book. Read it like you would read a textbook for school. I found it very interesting.
Enzyte Bob

Reynoldsburg, OH

#3 Sep 27, 2013
Here's the radio interview from NPR:

The 'Power' To Trade Naughty Habits For Nice Ones
December 24, 2012 1:00 PM

Talk of the Nation 30 min 18 sec

How is it that some people are able to change their bad habits and reinvent themselves, while others try and fall short? As part of our annual series on the books we missed, New York Times investigative reporter Charles Duhigg discusses his book The Power Of Habit and about the science of habit formation.

http://www.npr.org/2012/12/24/167977418/the-p...
Enzyte Bob

Reynoldsburg, OH

#4 Sep 27, 2013

“Bee Hive Jive”

Since: Apr 10

Location hidden

#5 Sep 28, 2013
Enzyte Bob wrote:
I applaud you for your compassion and concern, and taking the time to help someone,(Dave!)
Enzyte Bob

Columbus, OH

#6 Sep 28, 2013
BizzyBee wrote:
<quoted text>
I applaud you for your compassion and concern, and taking the time to help someone,(Dave!)
Being a lawyer, I've been exposed to addicts more than I was in my previous life where I was sheltered with this stuff. I know several these days and I know how they struggle with this stuff so I automatically try to look for patterns in the people I know and the one patter I see (and why I tend to get along with these people) is that they are a little off the wall, which is one aspect I really like.

The aspect I don't like about addicts is that they tend to be self-centered and narcissistic. A lot of them pretend it isn't about them, but in my experience it usually is.

That said, some of the reviews I was reading on Amazon criticize the book for not being detailed enough, but this isn't some college course on psychology. There was enough in that book that I could relate to and if it can help Dave, I thought I'd pass it along.

Thank God I don't have a lot of these destructive impulses. I'm just a semi-sedentary middle aged paper pusher who is trying to consistently exercise and get himself back in shape. I think NPR had this interview late last year around New Year's Resolutions time.

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#7 Sep 28, 2013
Bob, keep up the running or jogging. Wonderful for you body as well as your mind. And a good brisk walk will give you the same effects. I walk 4 1/2 miles every morning.
I think the dog does 8.:-)
Enzyte Bob

Columbus, OH

#8 Sep 28, 2013
Seriouslady wrote:
Bob, keep up the running or jogging. Wonderful for you body as well as your mind. And a good brisk walk will give you the same effects. I walk 4 1/2 miles every morning.
I think the dog does 8.:-)
I can relate to a lot of the concepts I've read in that book so far because I innately look for little tricks and triggers to get me started on doing things I don't want to do. I've found that if I can make a game out of things, things I don't want to do become a lot easier. After 15 years of doing the stuff I do, my work is incredibly boring to me (but it pays the bills) so I am trying to get more efficient at it so that I can do with the rest of my day the things that I like doing, since I have that freedom.

You are absolutely correct about walking, except what my thing is that I go to the treadmill for about an hour in the afternoon and then usually hit Wendy's or some other place with my paperwork. It is amazing how alert I feel and how much work I can crank out at a table at Wendy's and guzzle Diet Coke. I wish I could bottle that feeling it is so good.

So, using the principles in the book about habit theory, they say you need a "cue" or trigger and a "reward". You go through your routine in anticipation of the reward ... and if the "reward" is rewarding enough, once the habit becomes ingrained it becomes a "craving".

Dungy had two interesting observations in the book: 1) He wanted to turn things into habit because the more automatic a behavior is the more accurate you are. The less automatic something is, it causes you to think and thats where there is inefficiency and where you screw things up. 2) You can't change habits as they are ingrained. What you can do, however, is use the same "cue" and "reward", but change the behavior it triggers to get to the same reward.

So, applying habit theory here ... I force myself to go to the gym without any kind of a cue but out of guilt/obligation. I force myself because I have to go because I know I have to and I want to make sure I live a long life. Most of the old people in my family lived to 90 and beyond, but they were farmers and didn't lead a sedentary lifestyle.

My "reward" though is something that might be compelling enough to turn this into a habit. After the treadmill, I feel like I'm on top of the world. I sit at a table at Wendy's, guzzle diet pop and crank out an unbelievable amount of paperwork with an unbelievable amount of alertness.

Now, I have to think of some kind of a "cue" that will force me to do this at 6 am in the morning instead of at noon or 3 pm so I can make use of all this energy and great feeling in the morning. If I can get my boring stuff done in the morning, I can enjoy the rest of my day.

Overthinking this for sure, but if this was such an easy thing to force yourself to do we wouldn't be the most obese country in the world. I also love it when there is a scientific explanation for things you do instinctively.

They talked about a girl who had a problem biting her nails and how they used the same theory to get her to stop.

Fascinating stuff to me anyway.

“Cats rule.”

Since: Dec 09

Chardon Ohio.

#9 Sep 28, 2013
Enzyte Bob wrote:
Catman:
I thought you might like to download this book I've been reading. I heard about it from an interview on the radio. I found it and downloaded it for free last year.
I'm only at about Page 80, but it is a fascinating book. It has a very nice write-up about Alcoholics Anonymous in Chapter 2 or 3. It changed my mind a little bit about telling you to try the Sinclair Method.
Here is the book, if you can't find a download, get it from the library.
"The Power of Habit"
Charles Duhig.
http://goo.gl/L4QNZE
I do appreciate your concern. There was a time when all you did was pick on me because of the way I live. I was in AA for 13 years, "the best ones of my life". Then when everything was going very well for me, I got this crazy notion in my head that maybe I could drink normally again. Needless to say, they were right and I was wrong, very wrong. During the past week, I have had discussions with both of my bosses about what to do. They and I all know that I don't really want to stop, so they will help me at limiting my intake. It's been working well for me so far. I cant hide things from my female boss, so I am not even going to try. I feel great right now and am getting lots of work and fun done. I just got done blowing leaves for 4 hours straight, and then took my mini-bike and motorcycle for a ride. That was fun.

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#10 Sep 28, 2013
Enzyte Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
I can relate to a lot of the concepts I've read in that book so far because I innately look for little tricks and triggers to get me started on doing things I don't want to do. I've found that if I can make a game out of things, things I don't want to do become a lot easier. After 15 years of doing the stuff I do, my work is incredibly boring to me (but it pays the bills) so I am trying to get more efficient at it so that I can do with the rest of my day the things that I like doing, since I have that freedom.
You are absolutely correct about walking, except what my thing is that I go to the treadmill for about an hour in the afternoon and then usually hit Wendy's or some other place with my paperwork. It is amazing how alert I feel and how much work I can crank out at a table at Wendy's and guzzle Diet Coke. I wish I could bottle that feeling it is so good.
So, using the principles in the book about habit theory, they say you need a "cue" or trigger and a "reward". You go through your routine in anticipation of the reward ... and if the "reward" is rewarding enough, once the habit becomes ingrained it becomes a "craving".
Dungy had two interesting observations in the book: 1) He wanted to turn things into habit because the more automatic a behavior is the more accurate you are. The less automatic something is, it causes you to think and thats where there is inefficiency and where you screw things up. 2) You can't change habits as they are ingrained. What you can do, however, is use the same "cue" and "reward", but change the behavior it triggers to get to the same reward.
So, applying habit theory here ... I force myself to go to the gym without any kind of a cue but out of guilt/obligation. I force myself because I have to go because I know I have to and I want to make sure I live a long life. Most of the old people in my family lived to 90 and beyond, but they were farmers and didn't lead a sedentary lifestyle.
My "reward" though is something that might be compelling enough to turn this into a habit. After the treadmill, I feel like I'm on top of the world. I sit at a table at Wendy's, guzzle diet pop and crank out an unbelievable amount of paperwork with an unbelievable amount of alertness.
Now, I have to think of some kind of a "cue" that will force me to do this at 6 am in the morning instead of at noon or 3 pm so I can make use of all this energy and great feeling in the morning. If I can get my boring stuff done in the morning, I can enjoy the rest of my day.
Overthinking this for sure, but if this was such an easy thing to force yourself to do we wouldn't be the most obese country in the world. I also love it when there is a scientific explanation for things you do instinctively.
They talked about a girl who had a problem biting her nails and how they used the same theory to get her to stop.
Fascinating stuff to me anyway.
Over thinking is a big problem. Gut instincts are usually the best barometer. Well, I do have an advantage as I live in the country where I grew up, have a walking buddy (the dog) who 'triggers' me, and I do feel the rewards of walking OUTSIDE. Even my skin is better, let alone the tight muscles. And it invigorates me for the day in center city.

My work is rarely boring, but all jobs are at some time or another. I also can work with distractions around me.

Spend very little time in any fast food places. Arby's is O.K. But I eat my share of junk at home.

I have a rowing machine and exercise bike downstairs but I haven't touched them in years. I've always been an outside girl.

Don't beat yourself up. We all have bad and good habits. And you don't have to live a long life, just a good and happy one.
Che Reagan Christ

Lodi, OH

#11 Sep 28, 2013
Catman Dave wrote:
<quoted text>I do appreciate your concern. There was a time when all you did was pick on me because of the way I live. I was in AA for 13 years, "the best ones of my life". Then when everything was going very well for me, I got this crazy notion in my head that maybe I could drink normally again. Needless to say, they were right and I was wrong, very wrong. During the past week, I have had discussions with both of my bosses about what to do. They and I all know that I don't really want to stop, so they will help me at limiting my intake. It's been working well for me so far. I cant hide things from my female boss, so I am not even going to try. I feel great right now and am getting lots of work and fun done. I just got done blowing leaves for 4 hours straight, and then took my mini-bike and motorcycle for a ride. That was fun.
You might save some time if you let them fall off the trees before you blow them.

“Keep your policy period. LMAO”

Since: Sep 13

The 57th state

#12 Sep 28, 2013
Che Reagan Christ wrote:
<quoted text>
You might save some time if you let them fall off the trees before you blow them.
Ah, you are an expert at blowing eh.

I am not surprised.

More than likely you make a sizable portion of your income from it.

“Cats rule.”

Since: Dec 09

Chardon Ohio.

#13 Sep 28, 2013
Che Reagan Christ wrote:
<quoted text>
You might save some time if you let them fall off the trees before you blow them.
Now that was funny. I have probably 60 acres to clear every year, and I like to keep up with them as apposed to letting them all fall and then picking them up. Way too many big trees here to do it that way anymore.
Wait what

Dublin, OH

#14 Sep 28, 2013
Che Reagan Christ wrote:
<quoted text>
You might save some time if you let them fall off the trees before you blow them.
Honest to God, I was enjoying a perfectly decent conversation and learning a few things when you had to butt your way in and ruin it. You lead a sad, sad life, Che. What do you lack that you crave such negative attention?

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#15 Sep 28, 2013
Catman Dave wrote:
<quoted text>I do appreciate your concern. There was a time when all you did was pick on me because of the way I live. I was in AA for 13 years, "the best ones of my life". Then when everything was going very well for me, I got this crazy notion in my head that maybe I could drink normally again. Needless to say, they were right and I was wrong, very wrong. During the past week, I have had discussions with both of my bosses about what to do. They and I all know that I don't really want to stop, so they will help me at limiting my intake. It's been working well for me so far. I cant hide things from my female boss, so I am not even going to try. I feel great right now and am getting lots of work and fun done. I just got done blowing leaves for 4 hours straight, and then took my mini-bike and motorcycle for a ride. That was fun.
Those of us that know you, we all care about you, Dave. And I know you care for us. You've always been there for me.

“Cats rule.”

Since: Dec 09

Chardon Ohio.

#16 Sep 28, 2013
Seriouslady wrote:
<quoted text>
Those of us that know you, we all care about you, Dave. And I know you care for us. You've always been there for me.
Thank you. I just got done talking to people in Arizona and the United Kingdom on my radio. That is cool.

Since: Oct 10

Location hidden

#17 Sep 28, 2013
Catman Dave wrote:
<quoted text>Thank you. I just got done talking to people in Arizona and the United Kingdom on my radio. That is cool.
That is cool. But don't make me jealous.:-)
Che Reagan Christ

Lodi, OH

#18 Sep 28, 2013
Wait what wrote:
<quoted text>
Honest to God, I was enjoying a perfectly decent conversation and learning a few things when you had to butt your way in and ruin it. You lead a sad, sad life, Che. What do you lack that you crave such negative attention?
You are the one who is negative. I was simply trying to help.
Spook here trolls suck

Chicago, IL

#19 Sep 28, 2013
Che Reagan Christ wrote:
<quoted text>
You are the one who is negative. I was simply trying to help.
Want to help, go play in traffic.
sidekick

Columbus, OH

#20 Sep 29, 2013
Che Reagan Christ wrote:
<quoted text>
You are the one who is negative. I was simply trying to help.
Your advice proves why failure is a waste of time.
If you assumed any talent rolled around in your hopeless head, don't expect more than minimum wage.

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