Charles Duhigg quotes

Who is Charles Duhigg?

Charles Duhigg is a journalist for the New York Times and the author of the book The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business.

Charles Duhigg books

Charles Duhigg quotes

“A habit is a formula our brain automatically follows: When I see a cue, I will do a routine in order to get a reward. To re-engineer that formula, we need to begin making choices again.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Alcoholics crave a drink because it offers escape, relaxation, companionship, the blunting of anxieties, and an opportunity for emotional release.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives—in the gym, or a money management program—that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“By developing a habit of telling ourselves stories about what’s going on around us, we learn to sharpen where our attention goes.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Change might not be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Changing any habit requires determination.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“Companies aren’t families. They’re battlefields in a civil war.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Determined and focused people tend to work harder and get tasks done more promptly. They stay married longer and have deeper networks of friends. They often have higher-paying jobs.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“Every choice we make in life is an experiment.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“Good leaders seize crises to remake organizational habits.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“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.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Habits can be changed, if we understand how they work.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Hiding what you know is sometimes as important as knowing it.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“How we eat and sleep and talk to our kids, how we unthinkingly spend our time, attention and money — those are habits that we know exist. And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom and the responsibility to remake them. Once you understand that habits can be rebuilt, the power of habit becomes easier to grasp and the only option left is to get to work.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“If you believe you can change - if you make it a habit - the change becomes real.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“If you believe you can change—if you make it a habit—the change becomes real.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“If you need to improve your focus and learn to avoid distractions, take a moment to visualize, with as much detail as possible, what you are about to do. It is easier to know what’s ahead when there’s a well-rounded script inside your head.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“If you want to become better at listening to your children, tell yourself stories about what they said to you at dinnertime last night. Narrate your life, as you are living it, and you’ll encode those experiences deeper in your brain.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“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.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“If you want to make yourself more sensitive to the small details in your work, cultivate a habit of imagining, as specifically as possible, what you expect to see and do when you get to your desk. Then you’ll be prone to notice the tiny ways in which real life deviates from the narrative inside your head.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“It is facile to imply that smoking, alcoholism, overeating, or other ingrained patters can be upended without real effort. Genuine change requires work and self-understanding of the cravings driving behaviours.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“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.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Motivation is more like a skill, akin to reading or writing, that can be learned and honed. Scientists have found that people can get better at self-motivation if they practice the right way. The trick, researchers say, is realizing that a prerequisite to motivation is believing we have authority over our actions and surroundings.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“No one can predict tomorrow with absolute confidence. But the mistake some people make is trying to avoid making any predictions because their thirst for certainty is so strong and their fear of doubt too overwhelming.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“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. Belief was the ingredient that made a reworked habit loop into a permanent behavior.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Once you know a habit exists, you have the responsibility to change it.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“People who believe they have authority over themselves often live longer than their peers. This instinct for control is so central to how our brains develop that infants, once they learn to feed themselves, will resist adults’ attempts at control even if submission is more likely to get food into their mouths.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“Self-discipline predicted academic performance more robustly than did IQ. Self-discipline also predicted which students would improve their grades over the course of the school year, whereas IQ did not… Self-discipline has a bigger effect on academic performance than does intellectual talent.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“The choices that are most powerful in generating motivation, in other words, are decisions that do two things: They convince us we’re in control and they endow our actions with larger meaning.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can't extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“The key to victory was creating the right routines.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“The problem is that your brain can't tell the difference between bad and good habits, and so if you have a bad one, it's always lurking there, waiting for the right cues and rewards.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“The same process that makes AA so effective—the power of a group to teach individuals how to believe—happens whenever people come together to help one another change. Belief is easier when it occurs within a community.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“The truth is, the brain can be reprogrammed. You just have to be deliberate about it.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“There’s nothing you can’t do if you get the habits right.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“This is how new habits are created: by putting together a cue, a routine, and a reward, and then cultivating a craving that drives the loop.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“This is how willpower becomes a habit: by choosing a certain behavior ahead of time, and then following that routine when an inflection point arrives.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“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: the habit loop.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“To change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“To change an old habit, you must address an old craving. You have to keep the same cues and rewards as before, and feed the craving by inserting a new routine.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“To modify a habit, you must decide to change it. You must consciously accept the hard work of identifying the cues and rewards that drive the habits' routines, and find alternatives. You must know you have control and be self-conscious enough to use it.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“Want to exercise more? Choose a cue, such as going to the gym as soon as you wake up, and a reward, such as a smoothie after each workout. Then think about that smoothie, or about the endorphin rush you’ll feel. Allow yourself to anticipate the reward. Eventually, that craving will make it easier to push through the gym doors every day.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. It stops working so hard, or diverts focus to other tasks. So unless you deliberately fight a habit—unless you find new routines—the pattern will unfold automatically.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“When people believe they are in control, they tend to work harder and push themselves more. They are, on average, more confident and overcome setbacks faster.”

Charles Duhigg Smarter Faster Better

“Whether selling a new song, a new food, or a new crib, the lesson is the same: If you dress a new something in old habits, it’s easier for the public to accept it.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

“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.”

Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit