31 Charles Duhigg Quotes (The Power Of Habit)

Duhigg writes that companies often try to manipulate our brains with a reward mechanism to get us to want to have more of what we don’t need.

‘The Power of Habit’ is a really great book about how habits work.

There is a reason that the people of the American Midwest prefer a warm bottle of milk to a cold bottle of beer.

American cities have been a laboratory of experiments in local power. In the 1880s New York’s new political machines allowed the city’s big business to consolidate power in a way that made it impossible for the average citizen to challenge it.

The story of how the world’s richest man came to own a town in Louisiana, and then made a deal with the state for the right to dump industrial waste there, was one of the most famous examples of corruption in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

31 Charles Duhigg Quotes

It’s not just the feeling of autonomy, it’s also feeling that your job will be meaningful. If you’re going into a company where employees are having their choice in their role, you’re going to feel a sense of control and power, and you’re going to want to go to work to be a part of that.

2. “When you hire for a specific skill or passion, you can get the best out of people by giving them the ability to excel.

The best [people] understood the importance of routines. The worst [people] were headed by people who never thought about it, and then wondered why no one followed their orders.

There is no “best people” and “best agencies”.

Willpower is a habit. If we have a routine and stick to it, we can make it a habit. We should always go full throttle on our goals and stop being so lazy.

There is a theory that willpower, like muscle, gets tired, but people with more willpower tend to work harder, so that they can use their willpower for longer, and have more willpower to get things done.

The power to make positive changes becomes stronger by working on one part of your life. The better you become at that one, the more strength you will acquire, and the more effective you will be at anything else.

Great leaders seize opportunities to transform organizations by making changes and implementing new tools.

If you believe that you can change something – if you make it a habit – it will.

Building a tiny advantage over time is the key to success.

“Don’t be stupid, when it comes to smoking, it’s all about changing the habit over time.” – Dan Harris.

10th of 31 Charles Duhigg Quotes

The real power of habit to become someone you want to be is the insight that your habits are what you choose to make of them.

In order for someone to quit smoking, he/she needs to be prepared to quit. So in order for you to stop masturbating, you have to be prepared to do it. You need to give up the cues and rewards of masturbation. So, the first thing you need to do is identify the cues and rewards you get from masturbation.

Habits can be very powerful, but they can also be very delicate. They can emerge outside of our consciousness, or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission, but one can reshape them by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize – they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.

If you want to do something that requires willpower–like going for a run after work–you have to conserve your willpower muscle during the day.
You will naturally use up all of your willpower if you try to do too much, too soon.
You’ll feel a little burned out.

In most companies, the tacit compact in effect holds: It’s okay to be ambitious, but if you play too rough, your peers will unite against you. On the other hand, if you focus on boosting your own department, rather than undermining your rival, you’ll probably get taken care of over time.

As humans, we learn our behaviour by repeating a particular action or pattern. If we are taught from birth that it’s ok to do one thing, we might grow up to repeat that pattern of behaviour. This may be something as simple as brushing our teeth before we go to bed or it may be more complex. Charles Duhigg explains how to be successful in your work and life by mastering your routines.

When people workout regularly, the benefits are often visible right away. They feel more energized, experience greater endurance, and feel less stress. They often eat better; cut back on high-fat, high-calorie, sugary foods and eat more fruits and vegetables. They also have fewer health problems.

When you’re the best, you get to do ordinary things the extraordinary way. And your opponents are left reacting, catching up, or being crushed.

In the book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains how habits emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.

Smoking, alcohol and overeating are hard habits to break. If you’re not willing to work you aren’t going to get anywhere. If you’re going to fail, you should fail quickly so you can learn from your failures rather than repeat them.

20th of 31 Charles Duhigg Quotes

Predictive analytics experts say that sometime soon it will be possible for companies to know our tastes and predict our habits better than we know ourselves.

It is easy to be friends with people only because we can benefit them, and most of the time, we don’t get much benefit out of the friendship.

Most people accept that they are responsible for the choices they make, but there’s a hidden factor: the environment in which we make those decisions. And there are ways to make the environment work for us instead of against us.

It can be slow and sometimes not even happen. But with time and effort, it is possible to make any habit for you.

After going through the three-day brain training program, you won’t be able to stop yourself from setting goals and working hard towards achieving them.

To change an old habit, you must keep the old cue in your environment and deliver the old reward. But, you must also insert a new cue and a new reward.

A study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that families who regularly ate dinner together as a family were more likely to have better-behaved children.

27th of 31 Charles Duhigg Quotes

If you get the right habits – like eating healthier in the morning – you can achieve your greatest potential.

The same way that clothes make the man, music makes the song, and the way people perceive you is determined by how you live your life and the clothes you wear.

In order to strengthen willpower and to give students a leg up, according to studies, it is good to make it a habit.

Giving employees control over the daily tasks at work fosters self-control and results in a happy, productive work environment.

While she knows she could have done better at parenting her children, she knows she’s not a bad mom after all.


Don’t worry about the people who aren’t doing anything. Worry about the people who are doing things wrong.

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