The Power of Habit [Review]

I am someone who believe that habit can be formed, shaped and trained.

So, when I read this book, I'm excited. I'm encouraged and also eager to try it out. People who know me well enough will know that I'll do things...crazy things to prove myself.


Anyway, reading this book helps me to see some things with a clear perspective. In forming a habit, there must be a cue (surroundings that stir an automatic response), rewards and how cravings help the habits to continue in good and bad times.

One of the best illustration from the book is how alcoholics tend to continue in their drinking habit. There is a cue, a reason why alcoholics will want to drink despite of them knowing how bad it is to them. Most of the time, it's because of the need to forget about some bad experience, the bad emotions that they had and the struggles in lives (sometimes too heavy to bear). Others include passing by a bar or seeing advertisement on the billboard on the great taste of alcohol. This cue stirs an emotion and need to crave for the alcohol. Without knowing it, they would toast with a buddy and had a bad hangover the next day. But the reward was met....the need to forget about those horrible feelings were met. Most of the time, the reward of an alcoholic is not the hangover but the feeling that they are on their own world...the escape from reality is the reward to them. 

The book talks about replacing the bad habit with a good one...for example, if there is a craving for the escape from this reality, people join the AA group (Alcoholic Anonymous). In this support group, there are people who could support them, help them through this bad times. They find acceptance and space to share things...most of the time, people managed to overcome alcoholism with this help....

But the problem comes when something big happens to them. When a crisis occurs...or when it matters most....these alcoholics tend to fail. And the reason was the failure to believe. This last ingredient is so important that it's shown in almost all sporting great teams won in the big will probably have to read the book to understand further. But people who have replace an old habit with a new one will find it difficult to overcome these old habits when a crisis or moment of truth come upon without belief. That's why most people with strong affiliation to a religion find it easier to overcome alcoholism. Because they believe.

Honestly, reading this gives me so much energy. If we can reshape our habits...retrain our brains and our lifestyle, whatever that we can achieve is unimaginable. 

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