Two Things I Liked About The Power of Habit

Two Things I Liked About The Power of Habit

Reading is essential for many reasons, but don’t take it from me…

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.”
— George R.R. Martin

or…

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
— Ray Bradbury

bookshelves

I’ve found that a habit that rekindled from boredom during the pandemic has blossomed into something which has helped my critical thinking, knowledge retention, and idea generation.

I’ve been reading a minimum of three times per week for periods of 30 minutes or longer since about May 2020. It has become so enjoyable, that I’ve even set a goal to read 26 or more books this year. I’m happy to report that I’m on pace to meet this goal.

To retain what I’ve learned or enjoyed most from my reading, I’ve decided to write an occasional book review for (mostly myself, or) those interested in similar topics.

I’ve been reading mostly technical books, self-help, and some science-fiction, and to start this review series off I decided to look into The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg.

 

Book 1: The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)

The Power of Habit

As someone both interested in habits that influence productivity and one that has faced issues with addiction, I’m always interested in reading about the psychology and process of habit formation or change.

This 302-page book by “award-winning, business reporter”, Charles Duhigg, is an entertaining and easy read.

You don’t have to be a scientist or an academic to get something out of it.

Duhigg has researched and explored habits in individuals across various circumstances (athletes, leaders, school dropouts, etc.) and even looked at them from an organizational and societal perspective. He shares his findings in this book.

Each chapter weaves an individual story of a person, organization, or socially impactful event into an overarching analysis of habits: their formation, how they work, and how we can make this process work for us.

There are two parts of this book that I especially liked (though it’s entertaining as a whole):

  1. An expository piece on Michael Phelps, the Olympic swimmer, and his routine for success in the swim lane and out. I won’t spoil the details of the book, but there is a nice piece about how he has habitually taken on this process of visualizing his success in competition. It’s great and, in my opinion, motivating even as a non-athlete.
  2. There is an appendix with a guide/instruction of how the author applied what we’ve learned from the book to form different, more healthy habits. I was grateful to notice this appendix about halfway through, which was around the time I began to wonder how I might apply the lessons from these entertaining stories to my life.

All in all, The Power of Habit is an entertaining and well-researched read that doesn’t come off as preachy or too academic to be accessible for the average reader.

This book was my starter in a series of habit development books that I’ve decided to read to explore my own behaviors.

I certainly recommend it, will likely reread it, and am currently using what I learned to explore my triggers for unhealthy diet cravings and exercise procrastination.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article…

You can expect a post from me at a minimum of every two weeks on topics related to my journey and if you have any questions that I’m not answering please don’t hesitate to reach out to me (comments, DMs, tweets, etc.)

What it’s like to be in a Tech Bootcamp, Part 2

What it’s like to be in a Tech Bootcamp, Part 2

My Motivation for Becoming a Software Engineer

Difficult Roads Lead To Beautiful Destinations

5 months ago, I wrote the introduction to this series highlighting my experience with YPracticum Web Developer Boot Camp. I was about to broach the intensive JavaScript sprints that spanned across 6 weeks and I could not have been more excited!

Then…

Imposter Syndrome and life got in the way.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I’d like to start fresh and share my motivation on why I am pursuing Software Engineering.

Shortly after I made that post, I became overwhelmed with my school assignments and lower-than-expected grades. This lead to a feeling of deep impostor syndrome.

Then, I had a challenging health issue pop up. All these factors culminated to prompt me to take an extended hiatus from YPracticum.

During my time away from the console, I spent some time introspectively beating myself up and questioning my dedication. I concluded the following:

  1. I have a passionate interest in technology and computer science that has not gone away. Before my career “diversion” (as I call it) in the BPO space, I was enrolled in a computer science degree fresh out of high school and I loved it.
  2. The creative and analytical sides of me converge on the problem-solving challenges that learning to build with code provides. It’s been all I’ve thought of most days, trying to overcome hurdles in online lessons and brainstorming ideas for sites and solutions of my own.
  3. There seems to be inherent security and a certain lifestyle that a job in tech can offer and that is positively appealing to me. It is not possible without hard work and grit, as to be expected.

My Decision to Leave YPracticum

Goodbye Friends

After my hiatus had run its course and I decided to re-enroll in boot camp, I had lost my scholarship status.

Given that I would be expected to pay installments or upfront for my education experience, I considered the opportunity seriously and decided to evaluate other boot camp offerings for comparison.

Before I had won my scholarship to YPracticum I was going through the enrollment process with Flatiron School and a few other options but I backed out when I found out about the scholarship opportunity.

Now that I would need to consider my investment in material terms other than time, I put all options back on the table and eventually went with what I thought would provide the most value: Flatiron School.

The career services offering from Flatiron School coupled with the results I read in their public jobs reports convinced me the value was there for the price point.

Looking Ahead with Flatiron School

I spent the rest of my Spring focused on college and my health and have completed June with a focus on the prerequisite work for the Software Engineering FLEX program with Flatiron starting July 5th.

There are key milestone projects throughout each of the program’s 5 phases so I will cultivate a portfolio in my learning process. There will be significant networking opportunities and I plan to learn in public through my blog and Twitter platforms.

Men walking through pathway
Photo by Tom Parkes on Unsplash

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article…

You can expect a post from me at a minimum of every two weeks on topics related to my journey and if you have any questions that I’m not answering please don’t hesitate to reach out to me (comments, DMs, tweets, etc.)

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