The book that restarted it all


High school was a lot.All I really cared about were my friends, girls, playing sports, and listening to music. I felt guilty that I didn\’t know what I wanted to do with my life, class seemed like a necessary side hustle. I quit my other side hustles – chess and jazz trombone – because \”I had no time\”, but the real reason was that I did not think I was good enough at them for it to be \”cool\” that I continue them in high school.\"\"I held onto books because I loved to learn new ideas. However, I would rarely actually open one to read it, again because \”I had no time\”. I convinced myself that class-assigned books were sufficient, although I didn\’t even read most of them, so I went through a Dark Ages of Books for a couple of years. Then in my junior year, I read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and the proverbial light bulb turned on. The premise is simple enough: habits determine everything – understand why and how they work to make them work for you, your organization, and your society.By reading this book, I gained a new appreciation of my power to improve myself, and the certainty that books could help me do so. I have since read more in-depth books on habits and systems, but The Power of Habit will always be the book that got the ball rolling. I recommend reading it to those who are looking for a good starting point. Here are some of my notes and quotes from the book:

\”All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits\” – William JamesThe habit loop: 1) cue – something that signals a craving for parts 2 and or 3. 2) routine – the action required to feel part 3. 3) reward – the desirable feeling that increases the craving in part 1.\”Habits are often as much a curse as a benefit\”\”The habits that matter most are the ones that, when they shift, dislodge and remake other patterns\”\”you can never truly extinguish bad habits. Rather, to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine\”\”Belief is easier when it occurs within a community\”\”You don\’t have to believe in God, but you need the capacity to believe that things will get better\”

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