it may seem like most organizations make rational choices based on deliberate decision making but that’s not really how companies operate at all. Instead, firms are guided by long-held organizational habits, patterns that often emerge from thousands of employees’ independent decisions.
P161 / 2021-05-29 20:17
When people are asked to do something that takes self-control, if they think they are doing it for personal reasons—if they feel like it’s a choice or something they enjoy because it helps someone else—it’s much less taxing. If they feel like they have no autonomy, if they’re just following orders, their willpower muscles get tired much faster.
Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.
P137 / 2021-05-29 11:23
But to change an old habit, you must address an old craving.
Cravings are what drive habits. And figuring out how to spark a craving makes creating a new habit easier.
Belief was the ingredient that made a reworked habit loop into a permanent behavior.
Once people learned how to believe in something, that skill started spilling over to other parts of their lives, until they started believing they could change.
That’s the rule: If you use the same cue, and provide the same reward, you can shift the routine and change the habit.
People couldn’t detect most of the bad smells in their lives. If you live with nine cats, you become desensitized to their scent. If you smoke cigarettes, it damages your olfactory capacities so much that you can’t smell smoke anymore. Scents are strange; even the strongest fade with constant exposure.
P43 / 2021-05-24 10:58
The key, he said, was that he had “learned the right human psychology.” That psychology was grounded in two basic rules: First, find a simple and obvious cue. Second, clearly define the rewards.
P36 / 2021-05-24 10:57
Habits are powerful, but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness, or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission, but can be reshaped 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.
P25 / 2021-04-06 10:13
Squire’s new experiment also showed something else: that habits are surprisingly delicate. If Eugene’s cues changed the slightest bit, his habits fell apart.
P24 / 2021-04-06 10:10
This process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future:
P19 / 2021-04-06 09:57
Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.
P17 / 2021-04-06 09:50
“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.” William James wrote in 1892. Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits.
P16 / 2021-04-05 23:25