Book Review: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The mission at Nunn Design is: Through collaborative relationships, Nunn Design Inspires and Nurtures Creativity.

For me, this mission isn’t just a sentence. It drives me both personally and professionally. I’m crazy about art, artists, beauty and understanding the creative process.

I often hear people say, “I’m not creative, but I wish I was.” I believe that all of us are creative to our core. Some of us have been nurtured along the way and have made creating a habit. Others of us have not been nurtured creatively and have been told in one way or another that we weren’t good enough. From those experiences, it is easy to buy into the belief that “creativity just isn’t for me.”

Besides being creative, I am also a major analyzer. I love data presented through a storytelling approach. I was an instant fan of Charles Duhigg’s writing style when I read his book Smarter Faster Better. He has such a great way of taking a TON of researched data and breaking it down into an easy way for my brain to process and absorb. After reading Smarter Faster Better, I immediately started reading his other book, The Power of Habit.

The book is described on Amazon in this way:

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.”

So, of course, I was curious on how this would apply to creativity and art. I have found myself thinking and rethinking how I teach and how I present information as a result of this great read.

Here is a video of Charles talking about how habits are triggered and the routine of them. He breaks it down into a simple example of breaking the habit of eating cookies during afternoon break at work.

So, if the cue, routine, reward process that happens around habits is true for breaking the habit of indulging in cookies, how can this apply to our habits that we have formed that make us less creative than we would like? The truth about creating is that YOU HAVE TO DO IT! So if you find yourself with a little time on your hands and you pick-up your phone to be inspired by Instagram or Pinterest, how could you change that habit to have a different routine and reward? How can you change your habits so that you have the creative life that you want?

I really enjoyed this book. If your life and business revolves around being creative, as mine does, I highly recommend The Power of Habit to anyone who wants to understand “Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.”

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One thought on “Book Review: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

  1. Joan Wescott says:

    Thank you Becky again for sharing Nunn Designs “Mission Statement ” of collaborative relationships in creating! I love talking with others about their art process & work not to “steal” their work but because it is interesting & fun to simply share! I have met some fun & interesting people this way which nurtures me not just with creativity but the shear firm of kindness & giving:) All in all it is simply very enjoyable to share ideas & find new friends! Thanks you Becky ?

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