The power of habits

Charles Duhigg on why habits are the secret to productivity

As Aristotle said, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

Even though it’s been hundreds of years since he said this, it remains true. If we can change our habits, we can change our lives. But how can we transform ourselves and our businesses if we’re stuck in a cycle of bad habits? We have to put the work in to form better habits.

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Charles Duhigg

In this episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast, you hear from Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter. Formerly of the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times, Charles contributes to The New Yorker Magazine. He has also written two New York Times-bestselling books, The Power of Habit and Smarter Better Faster.

Listen as Charles discusses how harnessing the power of habits can transform our businesses, our communities and our lives.

Habit-making behavior

Our habit-making behavior stands at the core of how we live our lives and how we run our businesses. As many as 40-45% of our daily activities are habits, which means that if you don’t get your habits right, you won’t reach your goals. This is why it is so critical to understand the evolution of a habit – how it is formed and how it emerges – and then learn how to use it to your advantage. This will not only help you achieve more in your personal life, it is how your business can figure out how to get customers to change their own habits and form new ones associated with your product or store.

Habits and productivity

The secret to productivity lies in our habits. To find success, improve your productivity and become more accomplished, you must look at your habits. Take a good inventory of all of your habits. Note how your good habits work to help you move the needle forward and how the bad ones hold you back.

Everyone has a different definition of what it means to be productive. To improve your productivity, you first need to define what it means to you. Once you have made this determination, then you can work on improving your habits in ways that will also boost your productivity.

The most successful people all have something in common: they improve their lives with the power of habits. They all make it a point to eat well, exercise, meditate, be intentional and feed their minds. Every area of their lives is exceptional because they put the work in to make it that way. Their success all comes down to how they harnessed the power of habit.

Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist


[00:00] Introduction to the power of habit
[00:36] The importance of conditioning your mind, body and emotions
[01:30] Introduction of Charles Duhigg and Smarter, Better, Faster
[02:50] The key to anything is understanding habits
[09:55] Habits are really choices
[11:00] Companies know how to exploit consumer habits
[12:45] The role of the incentive and reward
[15:20] Changing habits
[22:00] Why we procrastinate
[23:55] Developing bad habits
[25:10] The productivity revolution
[26:18] The eight skills to being more productive
[29:00] What makes a great team
[33:20] Physiological safety creates empowerment
[37:00] Self motivation and its role in achievement
[41:50] The power of making decisions
[45:08] We are in an economic revolution
[46:55] The key to taking control of your decisions

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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