As someone who is all too enthusiastic about the self-help section of the book store, I was excited to receive The Power of Habit in December. Although the book certainly provided a lot of interesting examples of how habits permeate all aspects of our everyday lives, I felt it underwhelmed when it came to the most important part: how to take control of those habits.
Perhaps I’m a little bit picky. This book intrigued me because it seemed like it would hold the secrets to mastering unruly tendencies, and whole reason I’m so into self-improvement style books is because they tend to be chock full of new things to try. I’ve found a lot of great books that fulfill that expectation. This was not one of them. Though I finished it feeling fully informed about things like “keystone habits” and even learned the basic process for honing a habit, after the last page I was still waiting for the section where the cool knowledge gets paired with life-changing strategies.
Perhaps I’m to blame for my own disappointment. I expected advice from a book that classifies itself as being simply psychology. It seeks to educate, not call to action. Maybe I should have read the subtitle better and noticed the key word, “why,” where I was craving a “how to change.”
Disappointments aside, I do think the book has a lot of cool case studies (some of which I already knew from marketing and organizational behavior classes – #womp). You can tell the author, Charles Duhigg, is a reporter from the hefty bulk of footnoting in the appendix, but he’s certainly done a good job of compiling a comprehensive look into how much of what we do is purely due to habit.
Have you ever expected something more out of a book and been disappointed? What book was it?