Charles Duhigg - Quotes

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Between calculated risk and reckless decision-making lies the dividing line between profit and loss. ---->>>

Drinking water that does not meet a federal health guideline will not necessarily make someone ill. Many contaminants are hazardous only if consumed for years. And some researchers argue that even toxic chemicals, when consumed at extremely low doses over long periods, pose few risks. ---->>>

Often in companies, you'll see tensions between sales and marketing. Sales people will want to give discounts to clients because they often get paid a commission based on how much they sell. So they're always pushing to give discounts because that will increase sales. Marketing, however, is judged by overall profitability. ---->>>

Actually, attorneys say, copying a purchased CD for even one friend violates the federal copyright code most of the time. ---->>>

Patents are being used to wage war in the digital world, and as a result, patents have become a toll gate on the road of innovation. ---->>>

Bromates are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, but officials are required to test for them only when water leaves a treatment plant. ---->>>

Charles Wyly was born Oct 13, 1933, in Lake Providence, La., and for a period lived with his family in a shack without electricity or plumbing. ---->>>

For years, agency officials said that atrazine in drinking water posed almost no risk to humans or the environment. ---->>>

Once you break a habit into its components, you can fiddle with the gears. ---->>>

Students in school cheat not to get the 'A,' but to avoid the 'C.' ---->>>

When people have a willpower failure, it's because they haven't anticipated a situation that's going to come along.

When people have a willpower failure, it's because they haven't anticipated a situation that's going to come along.

When marketers influence habits, they influence peoples' self-identity. And so when a group or company does something that doesn't correspond to our core values, it feels like a betrayal. ---->>>

Someone will write a resolution that says, 'I want to exercise more,' or 'I want to lose 15 pounds' - which is great, that's a great goal to have - but every study tells us that if you pose things in abstract, goal-related terms, it's much less likely that you will accomplish it than if you structure it as an actual activity.

Someone will write a resolution that says, 'I want to exercise more,' or 'I want to lose 15 pounds' - which is great, that's a great goal to have - but every study tells us that if you pose things in abstract, goal-related terms, it's much less likely that you will accomplish it than if you structure it as an actual activity.

Vast databases of names and personal information, sold to thieves by large publicly traded companies, have put almost anyone within reach of fraudulent telemarketers. ---->>>

Way back in 2000, the EPA was poised, and, in fact, had drafted a rule, to specially regulate pollution - water pollution and other types of pollution - from power plants, but the energy industry pushed back pretty significantly. ---->>>

A few decades ago, many people didn't drink water outside of a meal. Then beverage companies started bottling the production of far-off springs, and now office workers unthinkingly sip bottled water all day long. ---->>>

It almost goes without saying that when you are a startup, one of the first things you do is you start setting aside money to defend yourself from patent lawsuits, because any successful company, even moderately successful, is going to get hit by a patent lawsuit from someone who's just trying to look for a payout. ---->>>

It is often difficult to definitively link a specific instance of disease to one particular cause, like water pollution. Even when tests show that drinking water is polluted, it can be hard to pinpoint the source of the contamination. ---->>>

Monica Besra, a Bengali woman from a remote Indian village, was reportedly suffering from a malignant ovarian tumor when she went, in 1998, to a hospice founded by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. Nuns at the mission reportedly placed a medallion with Teresa's image on Besra's abdomen, and the tumor disappeared. ---->>>

Older Americans are perfect telemarketing customers, analysts say, because they are often at home, rely on delivery services, and are lonely for the companionship that telephone callers provide. ---->>>

Since cowardice must occur at a time and place where an enemy either has already appeared or may yet turn up, servicemen in peacetime - and ordinary civilians - can breathe a sigh of relief. If you are yellow-bellied back home, you're not technically a coward. ---->>>

Teenagers ultimately don't mind belonging to a group, because there's always the opportunity to eventually become someone new. The elderly, by definition, are running out of opportunities for reinvention. ---->>>

There is a calculus, it turns out, for mastering our subconscious urges. For companies like Target, the exhaustive rendering of our conscious and unconscious patterns into data sets and algorithms has revolutionized what they know about us and, therefore, how precisely they can sell. ---->>>

We love to receive praise, but usually we're not certain what message, precisely, we should take from it. On the other hand, when someone points out our flaws, we realize immediately that something needs to change. ---->>>

People who start habitually exercising tend on average to eat better. They also tend to use their credit cards less and procrastinate less. ---->>>

In 2005, attorneys general of 35 states urged the Federal Reserve to end the unsigned check system. ---->>>

Many cows are fed a high-protein diet, which creates a more liquid manure that is easier to spray on fields. ---->>>

Someone once described Ken Lewis to me as the most competitive person in the history of the United States, including the Union Army. ---->>>

There are systems called zero discharge emission systems that would prevent any pollution from making it into the water or the air. ---->>>

America is the Saudi Arabia of coal. ---->>>

As cities have grown rapidly across the nation, many have neglected infrastructure projects and paved over green spaces that once absorbed rainwater. ---->>>

As the nation's elderly population grows, dozens of industries have tried to harness the political might of older Americans for corporate goals. ---->>>

Barium, which is commonly found in power plant waste and scrubber wastewater, has been linked to heart problems and diseases in other organs. ---->>>

Companies are very, very good - better than consumers themselves - at knowing what consumers are actually craving. ---->>>

Consumer habits are key to understanding how to launch a product. ---->>>

Even if consumer confidence hit rock bottom, that most likely would not be enough, by itself, to cause a depression. ---->>>

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy mortgages from banks and other lenders, providing those financial institutions with capital to make new loans. ---->>>

For Aristotle, habits reigned supreme. The behaviors that occur unthinkingly are the evidence of our truest selves. ---->>>

Habits are malleable throughout your entire life. ---->>>

If Freddie Mac is unable to raise capital, it could spark a political and financial crisis. ---->>>

In surveys, many borrowers say reverse mortgages have improved their lives and provided money they needed for retirement. ---->>>

Many environmental advocates argue that agricultural pollution will be reduced only through stronger federal laws. ---->>>

Millions of people with respiratory diseases have relied on oxygen equipment, delivered to their homes, to help them breathe. ---->>>

Most people probably don't even know what toothpaste they buy; they just recognize the box on the shelf. ---->>>

Since the 17th century, insurance agents have been the foremost experts on risk. ---->>>

State and federal studies indicate that thousands of water and sewer systems may be too old to function properly. ---->>>

Technology giants have taken advantage of tax codes written for an industrial age. ---->>>

There is no central government database that allows officials to monitor water tests by local systems. ---->>>

Massachusetts has prohibited most financial advisers from using titles like 'certified senior adviser,' and some of the largest insurers, including MetLife and Genworth Financial, have similar rules. ---->>>

Our brain is essentially programmed to enjoy carbohydrates because they give us a sense of fullness and a rush of pleasure. When people go on low-carb diets, they start to almost subconsciously experience distress from eating carbohydrates. ---->>>

After World War I, while France and other Allies were building military defenses modeled on trench warfare, German commanders were shaping a nimble fighting force. ---->>>

Around New York City, samples collected at dozens of beaches or piers have detected the types of bacteria and other pollutants tied to sewage overflows. Though the city's drinking water comes from upstate reservoirs, environmentalists say untreated excrement and other waste in the city's waterways pose serious health risks. ---->>>

Like solo sailors venturing into the Southern Ocean, climbers are seduced by risk. The desire to push to a summit or scale a rock face is so strong that they consciously or subconsciously minimize safety precautions drilled into their brains. ---->>>

A huge amount of success in life comes from learning as a child how to make good habits. It's good to help kids understand that when they do certain things habitually, they're reinforcing patterns. ---->>>

Analysts say that one reason Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were privatized in the first place was to prevent political whims from dominating the mortgage marketplace. ---->>>

As homeowners see the value of their homes decline, they become more likely to delay purchases of the big items - like automobiles, electronics and home appliances - that are ballasts of the American economy. When those purchases decline, large manufacturing firms, suddenly short on funds, could begin laying off employees. ---->>>

Atrazine - a herbicide often used on corn fields, golf courses and even lawns - has become one of the most common contaminants in American drinking water. ---->>>

Between 1857 and 1929, while regulators largely stood idle, the American economy swung through 19 national boom-and-bust gyrations that sometimes threatened to wipe out whole industries within months. ---->>>

Candy bar companies, through commercials, have tied their products to low-energy cues, transforming what was once a dessert into a pick-me-up for cubicle dwellers. ---->>>

Cash from a reverse mortgage can be paid out in several ways, including a lump sum, a monthly payment, a line of credit, or a combination of those. If you do not need money right away, it is usually a bad idea to take all the money upfront, since it starts accumulating interest charges immediately. ---->>>

Economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research and University of Chicago persuasively argue that one of the biggest reasons for the nation's current obesity epidemic is that food is now so much cheaper and easier to prepare. ---->>>

Even though it's hard to learn how to back your car out the driveway at first, once it becomes a habit, you can do it almost automatically and think about something else, like the meeting that you need to go to today or what's on the radio. ---->>>

Everyone dies, and before that, most people eventually lose some of their faculties. So some people worry that as marketers get better at targeting the elderly, the line between advertising and unscrupulous manipulation will be harder to discern. ---->>>

For decades, activist shareholders were an entertaining, but largely ignored, Wall Street sideshow. Disgruntled investors would attend annual meetings to harangue executives, criticize strategies - and protest that their complaints were being ignored. ---->>>

General Atomics, the progenitor of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, started life in 1955 when a major military contractor, General Dynamics, feared that the military hardware market might dry up. It began exploring peacetime uses of atomic energy, but abandoned the effort when cold-war military spending took off. ---->>>

Government and other scientists have identified hundreds of chemicals that are linked to diseases in small concentrations and that are unregulated in drinking water or policed at limits that still pose serious risks. ---->>>

Hank Paulson, the happy capitalist warrior who spent his life pursuing and defending free markets, is now the biggest interventionist Treasury secretary we've had since the Great Depression. ---->>>

I think there's a lot of people who right now are worried that people are going down frivolous paths, like inventing new social networks or new games, instead of inventing the cures for cancer or fundamental technologies that will change the world. ---->>>

In 1980, a woman promised her dying sister to change how Americans thought about breast cancer. Thirty years later, the result - the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation - is one of the nation's largest non-profits, and one of the most successful triumphs in public health marketing and changing health habits. ---->>>

In a flash order transaction, buy or sell orders are shown to a collection of high-frequency traders for just 30 milliseconds before they are routed to everyone else. They are widely considered to give the few investors with access to the technology an unfair advantage, even by some of the marketplaces that offer the flash orders for a fee. ---->>>

In general, insurers say criticisms of claims-handling are unfair because most policyholders are paid promptly, and some denials are necessary to root out fraud. ---->>>

In the 1970s, New York City defaulted on its debt, and yes, the consequences were painful. Enrollment plummeted at City University campuses, which until then had offered free education. Seven thousand police officers were laid off. Crime skyrocketed. Services for the poor disappeared. ---->>>

Lawsuits against reverse mortgage companies, including the nation's largest, Financial Freedom Senior Funding, contend that those firms helped pressure older Americans into bad investments. ---->>>

Martyrs - those killed because of their Catholic faith - can be beatified even if they don't perform a miracle. However, all beatified individuals must stage a certifiable miracle before being made a saint. ---->>>

Not so long ago, companies that borrowed lots of money were considered risky, appropriate only for daredevil stock pickers. Those with lots of cash on hand and few outstanding debts might be dull stocks, but they were at least safe bets for bondholders. ---->>>

One goal of the Clean Water Act of 1972 was to upgrade the nation's sewer systems, many of them built more than a century ago, to handle growing populations and increasing runoff of rainwater and waste. ---->>>

Prosecutors say it would be next to impossible to get one teen to testify in court that another had slipped him or her a copied disc at lunchtime. And besides, isn't sharing music a time-honored part of teen friendship? ---->>>

Public employee unions are hardly the only group involved in bare-knuckles politics. Businesses lobby fiercely, and executives make hefty campaign donations. ---->>>

Public employee unions, in their defense, say politicians have unfairly made them into simplistic bogeymen, responsible for problems that have myriad causes. Not all government workers receive generous pensions, they note. ---->>>

The biggest moment of flexibility in our shopping habits is when we have a child, because all of your old routines go out the window, and suddenly a marketer can come in and sell you new things. ---->>>

The discovery of the habit loop is important because it reveals a basic truth: When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. It stops working so hard, or diverts focus to other tasks. ---->>>

The Safe Drinking Water Act was passed in 1974 after tests discovered carcinogens, lead and dangerous bacteria flowing from faucets in New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Boston and elsewhere. ---->>>

There is a woman named Wendy Wood, who did a study when she was at Duke, and she followed around college students to try to figure out how much of their day was decision-making versus how much was habit. And what she found was that about 45 percent of all the behaviors that someone did in a day was habit. ---->>>

Union leaders argue that pension shortfalls account for a proportionally tiny portion of governments' financial problems, and by all accounts, there are plenty of parties to blame for the growth in payrolls and obligations. ---->>>

Unlike other sports, which are largely determined by individual athletic ability or team strength, NASCAR requires its competitors to cooperate in order to win. ---->>>

We know there are certain chemicals that are designed to give us a rush of pleasure. But, one of the most amazing things about being human is our capacity to override that pleasure. To either say, 'I don't need that pleasure right now. I'm going to ignore the craving.' Or to find something else that we find a deeper sense of reward from. ---->>>

When the mortgage giant Fannie Mae recruited Daniel H. Mudd, he told a friend he wanted to work for an altruistic business. Already a decorated marine and a successful executive, he wanted to be a role model to his four children - just as his father, the television journalist Roger Mudd, had been to him. ---->>>

When the vast baby-boom generation exploded into adolescence in the 1960s, marketers exulted. Advertising consultants, always eager to coin a phrase, began happily explaining to corporations the difference between 'teenyboppers' and 'counterculture consumers.' ---->>>

Foxconn is hugely important, not only in China - it's the largest employer in China - Foxconn is important around the world. ---->>>

The waste from power plants is essentially what is left over when you burn coal. And as we all know, coal is a relatively dirty mineral. ---->>>

There are supply chains that exist in China and Asia now which the U.S. simply can't replicate. ---->>>

You're much better off creating positive rewards, complimenting people for acting correctly, rather than punishing them when they act incorrectly. ---->>>

America has always had an apocalyptic strain. Yet it also seems to believe that if, or when, The End comes, it will still come out on top. ---->>>

As America becomes an older nation, it is also, by some measures, becoming sicker. ---->>>

At some point, if you're changing a really deep-seated behavior, you're going to have a moment of weakness. ---->>>

Bank of America is the story of some of the most ambitious, aggressive bank builders on the face of the planet. ---->>>

Calling out people for not voting, what experts term 'public shaming,' can prod someone to cast a ballot. ---->>>

Conditions in Chinese factories are harsh. They're much harsher than they are in, for instance, the United States or any Western nation. ---->>>

Equipment sellers can pocket more than $2,500 every time they send a powered wheelchair to a patient and bill Medicare. ---->>>

For years, many public health campaigns that aimed at changing habits have been failures. ---->>>

Forty percent of all electronics sold are assembled by Foxconn. ---->>>

In a sense, habits never really disappear. Once formed, they always remain in our neurology. ---->>>

In California, up to 15 percent of wells in agricultural areas exceed a federal contaminant threshold, according to studies. ---->>>

In the past, NASDAQ has defended flash orders. ---->>>

It is almost always a bad idea to use a reverse mortgage to pay for a vacation or to buy a risky investment, like stocks or deferred annuities. ---->>>

Merrill Lynch is this hugely prestigious brand. ---->>>

Most shoppers don't buy everything they need at one store. ---->>>

Older consumers don't want to be treated like teenagers; what's more, they don't want to believe they fall into any niche at all. ---->>>

Research suggests that investment bankers are more prone to commit fraud when they feel the competitor at their heels. ---->>>

Some financial advisers say anyone who may move in less than seven years should not take out a reverse mortgage. ---->>>

Some say because music is as much about personal expression as listening pleasure, sharing is integral to why songs have value in the first place. ---->>>

The cooperation of NASCAR - or any other system, it turns out - persists only when everyone believes he has the opportunity to win. ---->>>

The more you focus, the more that focus becomes a habit. ---->>>

We like songs that are familiar. ---->>>

What studies say the number one best way to start an exercise habit is to give yourself a reward that you genuinely enjoy. ---->>>

You can't suddenly say, 'I want a brand new habit tomorrow,' and expect it to be easy and effortless. ---->>>

You have to actually believe in your capacity to change for habits to permanently change. ---->>>

While markets are supposed to ensure transparency by showing orders to everyone simultaneously, flash orders are currently allowed because of a loophole in securities regulations that allows for immediate trades. ---->>>

Stock exchanges say that more than half of all trades are now executed by just a handful of high-frequency traders, who use rapid-fire computers to essentially force slower investors to give up profits, then disappear before anyone knows what happened. ---->>>

As the United States has become an older nation, reverse mortgages have grown into a $20-billion-a-year industry, with elderly homeowners taking out more than 132,000 such loans in 2007, an increase of more than 270 percent from two years earlier. ---->>>

Back when Detroit was the head of auto manufacturing, it was clear where profits were created. Right? A car was made in Detroit. There was little argument that you could make that some of the money from that should be sent overseas to Ireland. ---->>>

Because reverse mortgages do not require borrowers to make immediate repayments, the interest charges are added to the debt every day, and the total amount owed grows over time. ---->>>

Because the fees associated with a reverse mortgage are high, such loans make sense only for borrowers who expect to live in their home for a number of years. ---->>>

Credit default swap is basically just an agreement that I have with you, where I sell you insurance on some bond you own. If the bond goes belly up, I promise to pay you. And as long as the bond doesn't go belly up, you pay me for selling you insurance. ---->>>

During the 1970s and 1980s, Congress distributed more than $60 billion to cities to make sure that what goes into toilets, industrial drains and street grates would not endanger human health. ---->>>

Entrepreneurs do not try and create new types of smartphone technologies now because they know it's pointless: They're going to get sued almost immediately. ---->>>

Every habit is made of three parts... a cue, a routine and a habit. Most people focus on the routine and behavior, but these cues and rewards are really the way you make something into a habit. ---->>>

Fannie Mae has traditionally only bought and sold mortgages. But when a loan held by the company goes into foreclosure, Fannie Mae gains ownership of the underlying property until it is resold to new investors. ---->>>

For most of Wall Street's history, stock trading was fairly straightforward: buyers and sellers gathered on exchange floors and dickered until they struck a deal. ---->>>

Fraudulent and improper payments have long bedeviled Medicare, a $466 billion program. In particular, payments for durable medical equipment, like power wheelchairs and diabetic test kits, are ripe for fraud. ---->>>

I am going to pick on 'Huffington Post.' A lot of its content is great. They are doing a lot of original content now, but historically, a lot of what they did was aggregation. Newspapers don't want to become that, and yet 'Huffington Post' is incredibly popular. It's incredibly successful. ---->>>

If you look hard enough, you'll find that many of the products we use every day - chewing gums, skin moisturizers, disinfecting wipes, air fresheners, water purifiers, health snacks, antiperspirants, colognes, teeth whiteners, fabric softeners, vitamins - are results of manufactured habits. ---->>>

If you need five minutes every hour to look at tweets or to just surf the Internet, you need to schedule that into your schedule, allow yourself to do that. Because when people start procrastinating, what they've done is, they've tried to ignore that urge. They try to deny themselves time on Facebook or time surfing the web. ---->>>

In 1688, Edward Lloyd opened a coffeehouse on London's seafront popular among underwriters, men in powdered wigs with mathematical minds and steely constitutions who offered to compensate owners if their boats were lost at sea. ---->>>

In 1940, Germany toppled France in 20 days, and the panzerdivizion symbolized war's shift from drawn-out conflicts using massive fortifications to rapid-fire engagements built around manned, motorized armor. ---->>>

It's an open secret that if a debtor is willing to wait long enough, he can probably get away with paying almost nothing, as long as he doesn't mind hurting his credit score. ---->>>

It's easy to forget, given her scandal-tinged life and tragic death, how incredibly talented Whitney Houston was. She holds the world record as the most-awarded female act of all time, with over 415 major recognitions during her career. She is the only artist to chart seven consecutive number one songs. ---->>>

Lawmakers in both political parties have often acceded to unions' requests to avoid political confrontations or to curry favor. They have pushed difficult choices into the future. ---->>>

Medicare's top officials said in 2006 that they had reduced the number of fraudulent and improper claims paid by the agency, keeping billions of dollars out of the hands of people trying to game the system. ---->>>

Some of the tactics that are used by Foxconn and other companies throughout China is, if you are late, if you violate one of the small rules, some of the punishment is that you have to copy down quotations from the chairman of Foxconn: you have to write out confessions explaining why you were late and promising never to do it again. ---->>>

Some officials overseeing local water systems have tried to go above and beyond what is legally required. But they have encountered resistance, sometimes from the very residents they are trying to protect, who say that if their water is legal, it must be safe. ---->>>

The desire to collect information on customers is not new for Target or any other large retailer, of course. For decades, Target has collected vast amounts of data on every person who regularly walks into one of its stores. ---->>>

The Great Bailout is mostly over for the banks. But for those troubled behemoths of the nation's housing bust, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the lifeline from Washington just keeps getting longer. ---->>>

The specific steps for changing a specific habit differ from person to person and habit to habit, but the steps - the formula - is essentially the same, and once you learn it, you can do amazing things. ---->>>

Typically, when there are corporate habits that undermine individuals, it has emerged without any sort of central planning. Nobody sits down and says, 'I'm going to create an evil habit for this corporation.' ---->>>

When most individuals or most companies are talking about trying to create healthy habits, the key is to identify which habit or habits seem most important. ---->>>

Your brain will eventually enjoy exercise for exercise sake, right; endorphins and endocannabinoids will create a sense of reward, but it doesn't know that at first. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 06-21, 1974
Birthplace: New Mexico
Die:
Occupation: Journalist

Charles Duhigg (born 1974) is an American journalist and non-fiction author. He is a reporter for The New York Times and the author of two books on habits and productivity. (wikipedia)