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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

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  •  
    Nicholas PROVO, UT, United States 02-19-13
    Nicholas PROVO, UT, United States 02-19-13
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    1
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    "Great Self Improvement Book"
    What did you love best about The Power of Habit?

    Understanding how our brains and habits work and how to change it.


    What other book might you compare The Power of Habit to and why?

    Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell because it shows patterns in behavior that help people become what they are.


    Have you listened to any of Mike Chamberlain’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    What did you learn from The Power of Habit that you would use in your daily life?

    How to change aspects of my life that are destructive


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ji Cleveland, OH, United States 02-19-13
    Ji Cleveland, OH, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2011
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    2
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    Story
    "Very insightful."
    If you could sum up The Power of Habit in three words, what would they be?

    Research about habit.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Power of Habit?

    When it explained why we do have habit.


    What about Mike Chamberlain’s performance did you like?

    He has very nice voice and I liked the way he read it.


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

    All the informations were quite interesting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Morris, IL, United States 02-15-13
    David Morris, IL, United States 02-15-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    Story
    "A must listen or read"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    The commentary he fit very well with the story I wish he did all my purchases


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Power of Habit?

    Tony Dungy and his story


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The whole concept of habits changing peoples lives


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes yes yes


    Any additional comments?

    Audible is amazing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Boulder, CO, United States 02-14-13
    Nicholas Boulder, CO, United States 02-14-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Great story telling"
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    No, it was so well written I think I got it all the first time.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Power of Habit?

    Changing current habits I already have. The book was light on techniques for habit changing, but still insightful.


    Any additional comments?

    This changes how I think about my own mind and society as a whole.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rafael Santana de Parnaiba, Brazil 02-13-13
    Rafael Santana de Parnaiba, Brazil 02-13-13
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    REVIEWS
    4
    3
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    Story
    "Great book. Beyond expectations."
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    Yes. The first part of the book needs to be listened again in order to better learning the ways of habit change and creation.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Power of Habit?

    I was surprised by the last part of the book in which the author describe how habits work in societies.


    Have you listened to any of Mike Chamberlain’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, in listenning "Moonwalking with Einstein". It is as good as in the mentioned book.


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

    The process of creating and changing habits.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Campbell Bakersfield, CA 02-12-13
    C. Campbell Bakersfield, CA 02-12-13 Member Since 2012

    Can't complain.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A deeper look into why we do what we do"

    I read this shortly after reading "The Willpower Instinct" so they are both a blur.

    Some deep insights into how different things we do are stored in different areas on the brain based on how often we perform them, and what triggers them.

    It gets a little dry 2/3's in but ends well.

    I recommended this to a few friends already.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karene woodland hills, CA, United States 02-11-13
    karene woodland hills, CA, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2013
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    REVIEWS
    3
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    Story
    "more anecdotes and less emphasis on science"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    having just read the willpower instinct, I was looking for a more scientific and study oriented approach to habit. The book focused a bit too heavily on the anecdotes. I would have preferred to read something that focused more on research (although plenty of research is included). The case studies were long and made me lose interest in how these principles might apply to me. It reads a bit better as a story than as an instructional self help book.


    Has The Power of Habit turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes, but a bit slow.


    Was The Power of Habit worth the listening time?

    not for me, but maybe for someone who is looking for this sort of thing


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frédéric Sherbrooke, QC, Canada 02-11-13
    Frédéric Sherbrooke, QC, Canada 02-11-13 Member Since 2009
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    5
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    "great stories, but not really a how-to guide..."
    What did you like best about The Power of Habit? What did you like least?

    Cool stories on the power of habits (positive and negative), but not enough on how to change and manage habits...


    Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

    easy to follow


    Was The Power of Habit worth the listening time?

    Yes and no, if you like excellent and well documented stories on habits that affect our lives, society, etc, it's excellent, but if you're looking for a book to change and master your habits, it's limited to one chapter and the appendixes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Bergdoll Calgary, Alberta Canada 02-08-13
    Frank Bergdoll Calgary, Alberta Canada 02-08-13 Listener Since 2003

    LFD

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    "Knowledge is power - this provides great insight"
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    I might listen again in a few months or a year - to refresh my knowledge.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Power of Habit?

    The use of neuroscience to explain habits.


    What does Mike Chamberlain bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Well...I just listen to books when commuting to work - and I also read a paper copy of the book at home. So...convenience?


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Power of Habit?

    The act of thinking about why I do something before I do it.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book that is well-read and useful. Some of the stories get a little too much attention, but I'm more interested in the techniques and science personally.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Vancouver, BC, Canada 02-08-13
    Brad Vancouver, BC, Canada 02-08-13 Member Since 2012
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    50
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    "Fastest listen so far."
    If you could sum up The Power of Habit in three words, what would they be?

    Fastest listen yet.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was really interesting. It was inspiring without being preachy. There was good science behind it without being too technical. Good writing and good reading.


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

    Not many characters were involved. He is an excellent reader though.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Power of Habit?

    I think it will help me to do unhealthy things much less and healthy things much more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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