As our focus for June has been a focus on habits, I would like to take this opportunity to recommend a book that I have read recently about the subject called ‘The Power of Habits: Why we do what we do and how to change’ by Charles Duhigg.  I first became aware of this book when I read a list of the best books that should be read over the past decade as reported by the Guardian. 

Given this book is not written by a specialist in the area but an award-winning New York business journalist, the information presented is easily accessible to the general reader rather than being only understood by those with knowledge in the field.

The book is divided into three areas: How habits are formed in the individual, in businesses and industry and in the community.  The book explores how and why habits are developed on those three levels.  The scientific information is interjected with fascinating human examples which strikes the right chord between science and ‘real life’ examples.  For example, the neurology of habits and what happens in the brain is interweaved with the story of an individual with only a 2 minute memory who could not tell you where the kitchen is in his house but could get a glass of water whenever he is thirsty.  Amazing. Or how Rosa Park sparked a revolution in the USA in the 1950’s but this form of discrimination was nothing new, so what was different that sparked this change?  The stories just add so much more interest and depth to the information.

As fascinating as this information is, the real strength of this book is that it ties up all this information into a bow and shows you how to use this information to make real and positive change in your life. It provides real examples of what you can do to break old habits and create new ones, whether it is for losing weight or giving up smoking, to staying motivated in maintaining those new habits.

I thoroughly recommend this book.

Darren West

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