The Power of Habit (Chapter 5)


This chapter is about willpower.  Will power is a resource that can run out in the short term if you have to apply it too much. Using will power more often regularly increases your will power reserves.  Setting goals, or writing plans about what to do in situations where will power has failed before can also help yield positive results.  Starbucks employees write their own plans for dealing with angry customers based on company suggestions.  Folks recovering from joint replacement surgery stick to recovery plans better when they have plans for overcoming pain.

Overall the book is well written.  While I wrote in a just-the-facts manner above, Dumas writes using anecdotes to emphasize his points.  In particular the case of Travis, a child born to drug addicted parents who succeeded at Starbucks is used to show how developing will power can change your life.

It is interesting to note that some of the study skills materials our College provides to students in our first level of math classes does involve writing a schedule with homework plans.  This might give a will power boost to a student who follows the schedule.  We could expand this to brief writing assignments about,”What to do if . . .” that might include a change in employment hours, a chance to go out to an event, . . .  The scripts may help students stay focused sometimes.

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