Summary

Our lives are made up of a “mass of habits.” We can change our lives by changing our habits. We change habits by learning the structure of a habit, which is; Trigger, Routine, and Reward.

Pragmatic Application 

The gem this book offers is “Competing Response Therapy.” See Chapter 3 for my notes on how to implement Competing Response Therapy.

Book Notes

“All of our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.” – William James

Classical definition of Habits: the choices that all of us deliberately make at some point, then stop thinking about but continue doing, often everyday.

Chunking – brain converts a sequence of actions into an automated routine.
Habits exist because brain’s instinct is to look for ways to save effort. (Instinct)
Studies show that our brain activity decreases when we perform a habit. (almost Unconscious)

Habit Structure
Cue/Trigger
Routine/Behavior
Reward

Cravings – Cravings are the life energy of habits. They arise from instinctual needs.

The Golden Rule of Habit Change – You cannot extinguish a cue and reward, but you can change the routine.

Habit Reversal Training
Awareness Training
Identify the Habit Routine
Become aware of context and reward of habit routine
Use Index Card Technique

Determine the Keystone Habit to focus changing

Willpower as the Keystone Habit

“Willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.”

Make Willpower a Habit.
Willpower can be taught and learned. Willpower is also like a muscle, it must be trained and can be drained.
To make Willpower a habit, those who plan out in detail what they will do, AND THEN plan for how they will react around inflection points, do the best.

Inflection Points: Where people are most likely to fail in the creation of a new habit. Create a detailed plan on how you will act when you meet an inflection point.

Three Willpower Improvers
Exercise program,
Money management program
The Daily Pages

Three parts of a Social Movement
Starts due to the social habits of friendships and the strong ties between acquaintances.
Grows because of the habits of a community, and the weak ties that hold neighborhoods and tribes together
Endures due to leaders producing new habits in followers.

——————————-

Part One : The Habits of Individuals

Chapter 1 – The Habit Loop

Chunking – brain converts a sequence of actions into an automated routine.
chunking and habits emerge because the brain is always looking for ways to save effort.

The Pattern of Habits
Cue/Trigger
Routine/Behavior
Reward

A cue causes the mind to “power down” and engage in a habitual routine. The reward signals the end of the unconscious state. I think I see the mechanism hypnosis hijacks.

When a cue starts a habit, the brain stops fully participating in decision-making. And our habits don’t go away completely. The way to change them is to tinker with the routine that links the cue and the reward.

Identifying the cue and the reward helps us change the habit.

Removing cues can help with habit change.

Chapter 2 – The Craving Brain

Cravings are what power habit loops.
(Create a product that fits into this loop. Hooked will help this.)

This book is saying that cravings are created after a habit loop is formed, but i think the instinctual need needs to be triggered by the habit loop in order for the behavior to become a habit loop in the first place.

We must identify which cravings are driving our behavior.

Muse: Advertise the product’s use hinged on an external cue
eat Quaker every morning
brush teeth before bed
drink tonic at first sign of symptom.

The more universal the que, the better

Two Rules for Product
Find a simple and obvious Que
Clearly define the rewards

If you are making a product, you must create a strong craving.
Creating a simple and clear reward helps create a craving.

Chapter 3 – The Golden Rule of Habit Change

The Golden Rule – You cannot extinguish a habit, but you can change the routine.

Studying AA is a good way to understand habit change. (J. Scott Tonigan studied AA for 10 years.)

Habit Reversal Training
Awareness Training – becoming aware of what triggers your habit
Next, describe why you perform the habit?
What is the reward?
TASK: Carry an index card with you, make a tick each time you feel the sensation. (Do this for a week).
NEXT TASK: Come up with Competing responses, and when the cue comes, insert the competing response.
Ex. nail bitter will kock fist on wood or pinch her arm or clap.
Crowley would cut his wrist if he said “I”
TASK: Next week, same index card task, but add a # whenever you successfully insert the competing response.
Sometimes, Belief is needed to help aid in the habit change. People need to believe change is possible, and be in a group that supports.

Part Two: Habits of Successful Organizations (Companies)

Chapter 4- KeyStone Habits

80/20 principle and the ONE thing both fit into the Keystone, all are same thing explained differently.

Like people, Companies have habits; routines are the organizational version of habits.

Three major Keystone Habits
Exercise Routine
Eating Dinner together
Damn, I forgot the third

Look for “small wins.”

Companies Cultures grow out of KeyStone Habits. Now your Mission!

Chapter 5 – Starbucks and the Habit of Success (Willpower)

Mark Muravan studied Willpower.

“Willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.”

Make Willpower a Habit.
Willpower can be taught and learned. Willpower is also like a muscle, it must be trained and can be drained.
To make Willpower a habit, those who plan out in detail what they will do, AND THEN plan for how they will react around inflection points, do the best.

Inflection Points: Where people are most likely to fail in the creation of a new habit. Create a detailed plan on how you will act when you meet an inflection point.

Task: Determine where inflection points occur, and outline how you will act when this inflection point arrives. This is critical.

Three Willpower Improvers
Exercise program,
Money management program
The daily pages

Chapter 6 – The Power of Crisis (creating habits through accident vs design.)

There are no places without institutionalized habits, only places that have them out of accident, or by design. (Same goes for people.)

“Much of a firm’s behavior is best understood as a reflection of general habits and strategic orientations coming from the firm’s past.” (Also applies to the individual.”

Every company has an invisible rule book that is made up of the unspoken habits and rules that emerge naturally within the company.

Chapter 7 – How Target Knows What You Want Before You Do

To get someone to adopt a forighn habit, make it seem like it is familiar.

YMCA – new and nice facilities and equipment brought people there but friendliness and employees learning people’s names got them to stay.

Part Three – The Habit of Societies

Chapter 8 – How Movements Happen

Three parts of a Social Movement
Starts due to he social habits of friendships and the strong ties between acquaintances.
Grows because of the habits of a community, and the weak ties that hold neighborhoods and tribes together
And endures because a movement’s leaders give participants new habits that create a fresh sense of identify and a feeling of ownership.

Social groups, their peer pressure help us through difficult moments.

Introducing the positives of religion to atheists can be done by using the language of science and logic.

This chapter can help with the Muse, and my Life’s Purpose

The way I write my books are aimed at turning each reader into a self-propelling advocate.

Chapter 9 – The Neurology of Freewill (Our we Responsible for our Habits)

If you are aware of a addiction or habit, we can change it. It may be hard, but it can be changed.

Thank You

Metaprogramming will never run on advertisements. I'm able to do what I do because of support from readers like you on Patreon.

Everyday, I share one scientific study or insight with my email list. Periodically, I publish podcasts and in-depth articles. If you’d like to join the tribe, subscribe below. Namasteezy.