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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business | [Charles Duhigg]

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Change is hard, or is it? In The Power of Habit, New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg examines just how people and institutions undergo transformation: by changing habits. Narrator Mike Chamberlain (Moonwalking with Einstein) brings just the right mix of objectivity and conviction for a fascinating, life-changing look on how to change. —Diana M.

Publisher's Summary

A young woman walks into a laboratory. Over the past two years, she has transformed almost every aspect of her life. She has quit smoking, run a marathon, and been promoted at work. The patterns inside her brain, neurologists discover, have fundamentally changed.

Marketers at Procter & Gamble study videos of people making their beds. They are desperately trying to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, on track to be one of the biggest flops in company history. Suddenly, one of them detects a nearly imperceptible pattern - and with a slight shift in advertising, Febreze goes on to earn a billion dollars a year.

An untested CEO takes over one of the largest companies in America. His first order of business is attacking a single pattern among his employees - how they approach worker safety - and soon the firm, Alcoa, becomes the top performer in the Dow Jones.

What do all these people have in common? They achieved success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives. They succeeded by transforming habits.

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.

Along the way, we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals, and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.

At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.

Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

©2012 Charles Duhigg (P)2012 Random House, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Amanda BERKELEY, CA, United States 07-10-13
    Amanda BERKELEY, CA, United States 07-10-13
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    "Great read!"

    Very interesting information told in a manner that is entertaining and captivating. I highly recommend it if you enjoy learning about the brain, but zone out when someone lectures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle L. Cunningham 06-29-13 Member Since 2012
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    23
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    "One to read again and again"
    If you could sum up The Power of Habit in three words, what would they be?

    cue, routine, plan


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I identified with so many aspects of this book, it's impossible to pick one. This is a book that I will not only listen to again and again but I plan to purchase the paper copy so that I can take notes and comment in the margins.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte CHICAGO, IL, United States 06-11-13
    Charlotte CHICAGO, IL, United States 06-11-13
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    6
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    "Good balance of science and narrative"

    The quality of narration was good and the book was very well-paced. I was never bored while listening, and there was a great balance of study evidence personal interviews/stories. Also covered a range of topics related to habits- how powerful they are, how to change them, and the implications of good and bad habits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dale Dreher 06-11-13
    Dale Dreher 06-11-13 Member Since 2013

    Dale R Dreher

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Way Too Winded"
    What would have made The Power of Habit better?

    I though I was buying a non-ficiton book here, I did, but the anecdotes are ad naseum. Blah blah blah blah, long winded over described with adjectives, etc. Can't you just get to the point. I have listened now for hours and learned nearly nothing about Habits. Seems like the writer of this book should write a flowery novel to get his color and texture palate excercised, then go back and abridge this Non Fiction book. This book desparately needs to be Abridged. It's too long and I need to get to the points not hear a novel with he said and she said softly and with a wimper. Come on, please abridge this book. Way too long and winded. Since I paid for it I will endure, but the payoff of key point to long winded warm and fuzzy story is very small.


    What could Charles Duhigg have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Abridge it, stop with the cute writing and fuzzy writing style, this is about change, habbits, etc. Not Little House on the Prarie.


    Did Mike Chamberlain do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The reading is fine, good quality and voice but the story... It is NOT supposed to be a collection of stories it's supposed to be an educational non-fiction informational book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes, for every hour of rambling on, I got like 2 minutes of redeeming information.


    Any additional comments?

    Abridge this book, it is important subject matter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Innisfil, ON, Canada 06-09-13
    John Innisfil, ON, Canada 06-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    5
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    "Something left to be desired"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I simply wouldn't recommend this book to a friend on the basis that I don't believe it is as economical a read as many others available on Audible.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have liked the author to move away from their almost Anthro 101 type content towards some sort of actual valuable lesson.


    Which character – as performed by Mike Chamberlain – was your favorite?

    I especially enjoyed the anecdote about the elderly fellow whose habits persisted despite frequent memory loss. Ultimately, I find the value in this story to more romantic than educational. Sure would love to look into this story more, as it's real hollywood material.


    Did The Power of Habit inspire you to do anything?

    No, and quite frankly that's perhaps what leaves the most to be desired. Very few lessons were gained from this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zakaria Ibrahim Albu College Station, Texas 05-30-13
    Zakaria Ibrahim Albu College Station, Texas 05-30-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Changed my thinking"
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    This book helped me adjust to very challenging tasks and have fun doing them. The book is about the process of creating a habit. Any habit needs three components: a trigger, routine and a reward.

    I used this simple approach in different situations. My favorite is to keep me going with my running exercise. I run for five km. I trick myself by putting a sport drink as my reward for every km run. I would sip some juice and fire agains looking for the next sip. I am not waiting for the finish line any more for the sport drink rewards.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori Galesburg, IL, United States 05-26-13
    Lori Galesburg, IL, United States 05-26-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic book!"

    Best book I've listened to in a long time! I use Audible regularly and this is one of the best books of the year!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Dubliin, CA, United States 05-25-13
    James Dubliin, CA, United States 05-25-13
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    "Wish there was more direction"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Power of Habit to be better than the print version?

    Great book, wish there was more direction as to what we should do next.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked understanding the human nature of Habits


    Which character – as performed by Mike Chamberlain – was your favorite?

    The guy who would go for a walk


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    the keys to habits, the note taking to find triggers. How suttle changes make a great deal of difference.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    paul tyngsboro, MA, United States 05-24-13
    paul tyngsboro, MA, United States 05-24-13
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    "Utterly pointless"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing, given the flimsy premise.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Charles Duhigg again?

    No.


    What three words best describe Mike Chamberlain’s voice?

    He speaks English.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyance.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great ad for Febreze, but the book is held together by the flimsiest of notions. There is nothing to be learned here - another triumph of marketing over substance in the self-help genre.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nxmtz 05-23-13
    nxmtz 05-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    12
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    "A little boring... but some of it is helpful"
    Would you try another book from Charles Duhigg and/or Mike Chamberlain?

    I'm not sure


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not sure either


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    He did a great job.


    Could you see The Power of Habit being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No no no no please no


    Any additional comments?

    The book had too many examples that were off the main focus of the story. I think it could've had more concepts and less "this is the story of a man that blah blah..."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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