Autor: Charles Duhigg
Pokud se alespoň trochu zajímáte o sebezdokonalování, není možné, abyste o této knize ještě neslyšeli.
The Power of Habit Charlese Duhigga je zmiňována napříč touto oblastí na nespočtu různých blozích. Jedná se tak o ověřenou klasiku, což po jejím přečtení pouze potvrzuji.
Čekal jsem prosté vysvětlení toho, co jsou ty zvyky vlastně zač, jak si je vytváříme a jak toho využít ve svůj prospěch.
Dostal jsem toho ale daleko více.
Kniha je totiž souborem mnoha studií, rozhovorů a dokonce i soudních procesorů. Nejde však o žádné nudné přepsání. Duhigg to totiž pojal až románově.
Příběh střídá další příběh a já se tak několikrát přistihl, že se od čtení nemůžu odtrhnout. Přibližně 280 stran tak uteklo jako voda.
(Celkem má kniha přes 400 stran, ale poslední stovka jsou jen poznámky a vysvětlivky k uvedeným zdrojům.)
Čtivou formu stranou, kniha je opravdu nabitá informacemi.
Autor začíná u toho, jak moc zvyky ovlivňují samotného člověka (třeba i takového, který si nedokáže vytvářet nové vzpomínky), plynule přechází k tomu, jak jsou zvyky využívány v marketingu (a proč si díky nim Američani čistí zuby), jak s nimi pracují společnosti (zajímavý příklad se Starbucks) a jak se s jejich pomocí dá přetvořit celá společnost (příběh Rosy Parksové a Martina Luthera Kinga).
Pokud hledáte knihu, která by vám měla pomoc změnit nebo alespoň poupravit váš každodenní život, vřele vám doporučím právě tuhle.
K dokonalosti už ji chybělo jen více praktických příkladů, jak změnit nebo vytvořit zvyk v poslední části knihy. Na druhou stranu se v ní zmiňuje, že ačkoliv existuje obecná formulka (cue – routine – reward), každý z nás bude reagovat na něco trošku jiného.
At one point, we all consciously decided how much to eat and what to focus on when we got to the office, how often to have a drink or when to go for a jog. Then we stopped making a choice, and the behavior became automatic. It’s a natural consequence of our neurology. And by understanding how it happens, you can rebuild those patterns in whichever way you choose.
Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. Left to its own devices, the brain will try to make almost any routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often.
First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future:
Over time, this loop—cue, routine, reward; cue, routine, reward—becomes more and more automatic. The cue and reward become intertwined until a powerful sense of anticipation and craving emerges.
When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. It stops working so hard, or diverts focus to other tasks. So unless you deliberately fight a habit—unless you find new routines—the pattern will unfold automatically.
However, simply understanding how habits work—learning the structure of the habit loop—makes them easier to control. Once you break a habit into its components, you can fiddle with the gears.
So what, exactly, did Hopkins do? He created a craving. And that craving, it turns out, is what makes cues and rewards work. That craving is what powers the habit loop.
First, find a simple and obvious cue. Second, clearly define the rewards.
As the monkey became more and more practiced at the behavior—as the habit became stronger and stronger—Julio’s brain began anticipating the blackberry juice. Schultz’s probes started recording the “I got a reward!” pattern the instant Julio saw the shapes on the screen, before the juice arrived:
The habit only emerges once Julio begins craving the juice when he sees the cue. Once that craving exists, Julio will act automatically.
This is how new habits are created: by putting together a cue, a routine, and a reward, and then cultivating a craving that drives the loop.
What they found was that many of them had started running or lifting weights almost on a whim, or because they suddenly had free time or wanted to deal with unexpected stresses in their lives. However, the reason they continued—why it became a habit—was because of a specific reward they started to crave.
If you want to start running each morning, it’s essential that you choose a simple cue (like always lacing up your sneakers before breakfast or leaving your running clothes next to your bed) and a clear reward (such as a midday treat, a sense of accomplishment from recording your miles, or the endorphin rush you get from a jog). But countless studies have shown that a cue and a reward, on their own, aren’t enough for a new habit to last. Only when your brain starts expecting the reward—craving the endorphins or sense of accomplishment—will it become automatic to lace up your jogging shoes each morning. The cue, in addition to triggering a routine, must also trigger a craving for the reward to come.
But only once they created a sense of craving—the desire to make everything smell as nice as it looked—did Febreze become a hit. That craving is an essential part of the formula for creating new habits that Claude Hopkins, the Pepsodent ad man, never recognized.
Want to exercise more? Choose a cue, such as going to the gym as soon as you wake up, and a reward, such as a smoothie after each workout. Then think about that smoothie, or about the endorphin rush you’ll feel. Allow yourself to anticipate the reward. Eventually, that craving will make it easier to push through the gym doors every day.
Want to craft a new eating habit? When researchers affiliated with the National Weight Control Registry—a project involving more than six thousand people who have lost more than thirty pounds—looked at the habits of successful dieters, they found that 78 percent of them ate breakfast every morning, a meal cued by a time of day.32 But most of the successful dieters also envisioned a specific reward for sticking with their diet—a bikini they wanted to wear or the sense of pride they felt when they stepped on the scale each day—something they chose carefully and really wanted. They focused on the craving for that reward when temptations arose, cultivated the craving into a mild obsession. And their cravings for that reward, researchers found, crowded out the temptation to drop the diet. The craving drove the habit loop.
Cravings are what drive habits. And figuring out how to spark a craving makes creating a new habit easier.
Rather, to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine. That’s the rule: If you use the same cue, and provide the same reward, you can shift the routine and change the habit. Almost any behavior can be transformed if the cue and reward stay the same.
Belief was the ingredient that made a reworked habit loop into a permanent behavior.
You don’t have to believe in God, but you do need the capacity to believe that things will get better.
“At some point, people in AA look around the room and think, if it worked for that guy, I guess it can work for me,”
Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.”
This is how willpower becomes a habit: by choosing a certain behavior ahead of time, and then following that routine when an inflection point arrives.
Whether selling a new song, a new food, or a new crib, the lesson is the same: If you dress a new something in old habits, it’s easier for the public to accept it.
… once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom—and the responsibility—to remake them. Once you understand that habits can be rebuilt, the power of habit becomes easier to grasp, and the only option left is to get to work.
- Identify the routine
- Experiment with rewards
- Isolate the cue
- Have a plan
To figure out which cravings are driving particular habits, it’s useful to experiment with different rewards.
Experiments have shown that almost all habitual cues fit into one of five categories:
- Emotional state
- Other people
- Immediately preceding action