June 17, 2015
Here is my May 2015 entry for ‘The best book I read last month’.
Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin is my pick for the best book I read in May.
I have previously read and loved Gretchen Rubin’s previous books – The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. I also follow her blog, and I was waiting with anticipation (and a little bit of trepidation) for her newest book – this book on habits. The trepidation because I was prepared to not like it and expected the contents to be the same as some of the previous books on habits I have read and loved – Superhuman by Habit by Tynan, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and blogs like Nir and Far. I did not believe that there could be a book on habits which would not be a rehash of the same arguments, and which would be entertaining. Well, I was on the library queue for this book and got hold of the Kindle version from the library in May. And I loved it.
What’s it about:
It’s about habits, and how you can form them and what are the pitfalls and traps on the way to developing a sustaining habit. It is also about trying to know yourself and trying to figure out which way of habit formation works for you.
What’s it about:
Well, it is definitely not a complete rehash of the existing literature on habits. Oh, some of these arguments are common – for example the concept of plan to fail and plan contingency measures when you fall off the habit wagon. But what I really liked about Gretchen’s book was that she provides frameworks and quizzes (who doesn’t like quizzes?) about self knowledge, about understanding yourself. She acknowledges that all types of habit formation methods do not work equally well for all kinds of people and says that its pretty much up to each one of use to figure out what strategies work and what don’t. Her “four fateful tendencies” framework for understanding oneself and from that understanding, trying to figure out (by reading and/or by trying) each strategy of habit formation – this was pretty useful
For example, I realized that I am a person not motivated by external accountability – if I announce to the world, the pressure that I have done so causes me to give up – and this is not what most habit books tell me.
Who should read this book: Everyone. Well, it is a fun read. With all the quizzes, it makes it quite entertaining. Persons interested in understanding themselves a shade better, interested in habit formation should read this book.
Who should read this:
Everyone. It is a fun read. All the quizzes, make the book quite entertaining. Persons interested in understanding themselves a shade better, interested in habit formation should definitely read this book. I guarantee you will walk away with knowing yourself and maybe some of the people in your lives better.
Public Library – Check here to see if it’s available in your public library.
Suprada Urval's blog.