Literary Loves | The Power of Habit

Power of HabitAs 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?

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3 thoughts on “Literary Loves | The Power of Habit

  1. I definitely know what you mean – I picked up the book “Maine” to read a couple of Christmases ago, thinking it would be a great read that could take me to a beachy story and fantastic characters. I don’t know what set me off, but I ended up REALLY hating the book. And for a long time I was afraid to buy books, because I didn’t want to spend money on one that was as disappointing as “Maine.” I’m crazy, I know… I’ve since overcome this childish fear, haha. But I hope your next book makes up for this last one!

    • Hahah uh oh, “Maine” is actually sitting on my bedside table because my mom bought it for me for Christmas! I’ll have to review it and see. Thanks for the hopeful wishes – glad you’re back to buying books!

  2. Pingback: Literary Love | Insight vs. Delight | Newport State of Mind

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