33 Quotes to Note from Smarter Better Faster by Charles Duhigg

33 Quotes from Charles Duhigg's Smarter Faster Better book.33 Quotes from Charles Duhigg's Smarter Faster Better book.

33 Quotes from Charles Duhigg's Smarter Faster Better book.


33 Quotes to Note from Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg

Who doesn’t want to be smarter, faster or better?  How you become those things fascinate Charles Duhigg which allow him to take a deep dive into it in his book Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.  I’ve taken a lot from this book already and I’m just getting started.  Here are some quotes and ideas that I thought would  resonate with other people as well…

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets to Being Productive in Life and Business

Click here to get your copy of Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg


In this section Charles Duhigg is setting up the premise of the book and explaining to you why this topic is important.

1.“Productivity, put simply, is the name we give our attempts to figure out the best uses of our energy, intellect, and time as we try to seize the most meaningful rewards with the least wasted effort.”

2. The way people see themselves and frame their daily choices differentiates the busy from the productive.

3.”We marvel at the technology instead of the lessons it teaches us.”

4. “In 1980, more than 90 percent of the American workforce reported to a boss. Today more than a third of working Americans are freelancers, contractors, or in otherwise transitory positions.”So that means in 1980 less than 10% of people worked for themselves.  Today more than 33% do.  Wow this one is profound to me.


The first topic Charles Duhigg tackles is motivation and how to cultivate it within yourself and others.

5. “a prerequisite to motivation is believing we have authority over our actions and surroundings. To motivate ourselves, we must feel like we are in control”

6. “People who know how to self-motivate, according to studies, earn more money than their peers, report higher levels of happiness, and say they are more satisfied with their families, jobs, and lives.”

7. “People who believe they have authority over themselves often live longer than their peers”

8. “The first step in creating drive is giving people opportunities to make choices that provide them with a sense of autonomy and self-determination”

9. “If they ask if you prefer a paperless bill to an itemized statement, or the ultra package versus the platinum lineup, or HBO to Showtime, you’re more likely to be motivated to pay the bill each month”

10. “You know when you’re stuck in traffic on the freeway and you see an exit approaching, and you want to take it even though you know it’ll probably take longer to get home?” said Delgado. “That’s our brains getting excited by the possibility of taking control. You won’t get home any faster, but it feels better because you feel like you’re in charge”

11. “Motivation is triggered by making choices that demonstrate to ourselves that we are in control”

12. “A salesman with an internal locus of control will blame a lost sale on his own lack of hustle, rather than bad fortune.”

13. “Telling fifth graders they have worked hard has been shown to activate their internal locus of control, because hard work is something we decide to do. Complimenting students for hard work reinforces their belief that they have control over themselves and their surroundings.”

14. “That’s when training is helpful, because if you put people in situations where they can practice feeling in control, where that internal locus of control is reawakened, then people can start building habits that make them feel like they’re in charge of their own lives—and the more they feel that way, the more they really are in control of themselves.”

15. “Today we call it teaching ‘a bias toward action,’ ” Krulak told me. “The idea is that once recruits have taken control of a few situations, they start to learn how good it feels.”

16. “leadership is learned, it’s the product of effort”

17. “We praise people for doing things that are hard. That’s how they learn to believe they can do them.”

18. “Make a chore into a meaningful decision, and self-motivation will emerge”

19. “If you give people an opportunity to feel a sense of control and let them practice making choices, they can learn to exert willpower. Once people know how to make self-directed choices into a habit, motivation becomes more automatic.”

20. “we need to learn to see our choices not just as expressions of control but also as affirmations of our values and goals. That’s the reason recruits ask each other “why”—because it shows them how to link small tasks to larger aspirations”

21. “seniors who flourished made choices that rebelled against the rigid schedules, set menus, and strict rules that the nursing homes tried to force upon them.”

22. “They were called “subversives,” because so many of their decisions manifested as small rebellions against the status quo.”

23. “they were psychologically powerful because the subversives saw the rebellions as evidence that they were still in control of their own lives”

24. “The choices that are most powerful in generating motivation, in other words, are decisions that do two things: They convince us we’re in control and they endow our actions with larger meaning.”

25. “An internal locus of control emerges when we develop a mental habit of transforming chores into meaningful choices, when we assert that we have authority over our lives.”

26. “I missed people pushing me to choose a better me.”

27. “She had married a bon vivant, a man so full of life that it was hard to go to the grocery store because he constantly stopped to chat with everyone”

28. “As neurologists have studied how motivation functions within our brains, they’ve become increasingly convinced that people like Robert don’t lose their drive because they’ve lost the capacity for self-motivation. Rather, their apathy is due to an emotional dysfunction.”

29. “Neurologists have suggested that this emotional numbness is why some people feel no motivation. Among Habib’s patients, the injuries in their striata prevented them from feeling the sense of reward that comes from taking control. Their motivation went dormant because they had forgotten how good it feels to make a choice. In other situations, it’s that people have never learned what it feels like to be self-determined, because they have grown up in a neighborhood that seems to offer so few choices or they have forgotten the rewards of autonomy since they’ve moved into a nursing home.”

30. “unless we practice self-determination and give ourselves emotional rewards for subversive assertiveness, our capacity for self-motivation can fade”

31. “we need to prove to ourselves that our choices are meaningful”

32. “We start to recognize how small chores can have outsized emotional rewards, because they prove to ourselves that we are making meaningful choices, that we are genuinely in control of our own lives”

33. “when we realize that replying to an email or helping a coworker, on its own, might be relatively unimportant. But it is part of a bigger project that we believe in, that we want to achieve, that we have chosen to do. Self-motivation, in other words, is a choice we make because it is part of something bigger and more emotionally rewarding than the immediate task that needs doing.”

You made it to the end!  What was your favorite quote here?  Why is it your favorite?  Feel free to comment below.

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