The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg: Summary and Notes

“To modify a habit, you must decide to change it. You must consciously accept the hard work of identifying the cues and rewards that drive the habits’ routines, and find alternatives.”

Dan Silvestre
9 min readDec 9, 2020


“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”

Rating: 9/10

Related: Atomic Habits, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Switch, Smarter Faster Better, The Willpower Instinct

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The Power of Habit Short Summary

The Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg is a book that explores the nature of habits. Topics covered include the origins of habits, why some habits stick and others don’t. The habits of organizations, consumers, and society. Duhigg also offers a framework for changing habits at all of these levels. A must-read book on the power of habits and their enormous influence on our lives.

What Is A Habit?

Humans are creatures of habits. Who we are and what we do can be nailed down to habits that were formed long ago. Such habits include brushing our teeth, socialization, making our beds, and so on.

Because habits guide most of our actions, they are very influential. They determine our success or failure in life. They even determine how organizations and entire societies react to different situations.

In recent years, scientists have spent considerable time and energy understanding habits. Insights from findings are now used by marketers, psychologists, politicians, priests, CEOs, and anyone else interested in harnessing the power of habits.

Part 1: The Habits of Individuals

The Habit Loop: How Habits Work

Habits are guided by a three-step loop that comprises a cue, a routine, and a reward.

The cue is the trigger that tells the brain when to go to automatic mode. The routine is a set of actions that are physical…



Dan Silvestre

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