When You Give an Author a Cookie

How is your business journal coming along? 

In the post, Keep a SMART Business Journal (Part I), ​I wrote about the Forgetting Curve and the Learning Curve. While working on Part II of the post, I started listening to the audiobook Smarter Faster Better: The Secret of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at The New York Times

​Not only is Duhigg's second book excellent, the publishing professor part of me wants to write an entire post, right now, on how an author builds a body of work and the elements of packaging and branding. Instead, I am taking a page from Duhigg's first book and practicing self-discipline. 

Choice or Habit? ​

For instance, did you know that more than 40% of the actions people perform each day aren't actual decisions, but habits? When I read this in Duhigg's first book, it blew my mind. When am I choosing versus only thinking that I am choosing? Which actions fall into the 40%? ​

In his first book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Duhigg explains in clear language with interesting examples what habits are and how they serve us. In fact, I added a question about best/worst habits to my client questionnaire; by doing so, clients have a better understanding of "noticing" the world around them more clearly.

So before I publish Part II of the business journal post, I think it is helpful and fun to watch the video of Duhigg talking about his cookie habit and what he learned about how his brain works. ​Plus, I've included five quotes from The Power of Habit that I feel have helped me become more productive. 

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


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.


Habits can be changed if we understand how they work.


Dozens of studies show that will power is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.


Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach. 


Melissa A. Rosati

Melissa A. Rosati, CPCC, is a career strategist to writers, independent scholars and academics. An award-winning publisher, Melissa has acquired nonfiction titles and led editorial teams for HarperCollins, Van Nostrand Reinhold and Routledge in New York, and served as editorial director for McGraw-Hill International based in London.

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