Charles Duhigg The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

by Charles Duhigg

This is the most powerful non-fiction book I’ve read in a long time. If you have a bad habit you want to overcome, or a good one you want to start–also if you’re open to discovering either of these–this book is for you.

Duhigg tells some powerful stories here, and cites studies that are enlightening in their own right. What is unique about his handling of the content is how consistently he ties it all to practical application in real world circumstances. This dogged pragmatism is fitting, given the topic. It could almost be called a how-to manual, if it weren’t so thoroughly researched and well written as to serve more academic purposes just as well.

In addition to being useful for individuals, The Power of Habit is written for organizations. The second half of the book is focused on the power of individual habits within organizations and the trends of habit and culture that give rise to what Duhigg calls ‘organizational habits’. Anyone who manages people or runs a company will find a lot to think about here, and do.

Stylistically, a good balance of storytelling and social scientific reporting make the narrative more inviting than the typical title in this genre. The stories are not told in isolated segments, however, but are woven together in strands to illustrate the central themes of each section. This takes a bit of getting used to, but on the whole is helpful for recalling the various anecdotes that make Duhigg’s book an enlightening guide for any person or business with habits they would like to end or begin.


Check out the resources and teaching guides on Duhigg’s website.

What happens onstage

what happens on stage should be just as complicated and just as simple as things are in real life. People are sitting at a table having dinner, that’s all, but at the same time their happiness is being created, or their lives are being torn apart.
Anton Chekov

Will Rogers Quotes

The humorist Will Rogers was remembered today on The Writer’s Almanac, referred to as “the original king of all media.” Here are some of his quotes worth remembering:

So live that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

You know horses are smarter than people. You never heard of a horse going broke betting on people.

There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.

When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.

All I know is just what I read in the papers, and that’s an alibi for my ignorance.

I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.

The short memories of the American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.

A fool and his money are soon elected.

The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best.

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

Common sense ain’t common.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

When you’re through learning, you’re through.

How to Make Embedded Video Responsive

Video embeds are one of the most common elements that break websites designed to adapt to the viewports of phones and smaller tablets. From my favorite development framework, Foundation by Zurb, this is still the simplest and most effective method for making your video responsive.

The CSS

.flex-video {
  position: relative;
  padding-top: 25px;
  padding-bottom: 67.5%;
  height: 0;
  margin-bottom: 16px;
  overflow: hidden;
}
 
.flex-video.widescreen { padding-bottom: 57.25%; }
.flex-video.vimeo { padding-top: 0; }
 
.flex-video iframe,
.flex-video object,
.flex-video embed {
  position: absolute;
  top: 0;
  left: 0;
  width: 100%;
  height: 100%;
}
@media only screen and (max-device-width: 800px), only screen and (device-width: 1024px) and (device-height: 600px), only screen and (width: 1280px) and (orientation: landscape), only screen and (device-width: 800px), only screen and (max-width: 767px) {
  .flex-video { padding-top: 0; }
}

The HTML


Image via A List Apart