AirTalk for March 6, 2012

The habits of success – or failure

By Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business

Our habits say a lot about us, and knowing how people go about their daily lives can prove to be useful information.

How did Proctor and Gamble turn Febreze from a flop into a necessity? By studying videos of people making their beds and shifting their ad strategy to accommodate a simple pattern.

How did a military strategist in Baghdad prevent crowds from rioting? By banning food vendors from the public square – hungry protesters eventually dispersed in search of snacks.

How did Michael Phelps win eight Olympic Gold Medals? By transforming and focusing on his race-day routine.

Patterns of human behavior based on cues, triggers and rewards can rule our lives, causing us to stop at Starbucks, reach for that 3:00 p.m. snack or cigarette, wake up early even on weekends. Many of our most basic actions are not the products of well-considered decision-making, but outgrowths of habits we don’t even realize exist. Understanding the science behind our habits can give us the power to transform them – and ourselves.

What habits do you have? How do they affect your job, your relationship, your decisions? Would you change them if you could?

Guest:

Charles Duhigg, investigative reporter for The New York Times and author of “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and in Business” (Random House).

Excerpt from "The Power of Habit":


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