I am listening to “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duihgg on audible. The chapter I am currently reading describes how a typical homemaker, who never had any addiction problem became heavily indebted with gambling. It’s very scary to see how she gradually became a destructive gambler. Throughout the book the author describes how a habit develops from the following cycle: the cue, the routine, and the reward. In her case, the cue was boredom/fight with her husband/kids. Going to the casino became a routine when she got that cue, and the reward was the occasional win.
There’s lots of good examples in the book on how people can develop habits – those that can help or destroy you. My cartoon above is the habit that can destroy you, but there are plenty of good examples in the book. My personal favourite is the story about an American major in Baghdad and his understanding of how habits. The knowledge helped him oversee hundred of troops and control the behaviour of angry crowds in Baghdad.
“There’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right…It’s changed everything about how I see the world. You want to fall asleep fast and wake up feeling good? Pay attention to your nighttime patterns and what you automatically do when you get up. You want to make running easy? Create triggers to make it a routine.” – quote by the major from the book.