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.
The book started well when speaking scientifically, but when he got into his illustrations he lost me. Totally absurd. I returned this book.
A little too anecdotal for my taste, but full of very interesting information. Definitely worth a second and third read/listen or maybe both. Read/listen with a notebook handy it really is worth it.
I think a lot of people coming to this book come to it seeking deeper insight into habits and how they affect their own lives. You will get some good pieces of advice for that out of this book. The problem is that you need to sort through about 8 hours of anecdotal story-telling that could easily be condensed into 2 hours total. Sometimes the stories go so long you forget the original point that the anecdote is supposed to be supporting in the first place.
I can't honestly say I would listen to this again, but if I did I would listen to the begining as that is the only part that covers individual habit forming. The other parts are good for business leaders or sales/advertising people.
Lived the book except for the place in the last chapter where the author was concentrating so much on Casino as I got an urge to go there and ruin myself.
if you work launching corporate programs, with continuous improvement or if you just challenge yourself to become a better person, the book is quite useful.
you have to read up to the end because some theories change or are added by new theories along the book (almost denying or complementing the first theory)
Duhigg has composed an important piece of work. We may sense the importance of habits but this book gives you a glimpse beneath the hood. We can now see what they are, how they function and how incredibly important they are.
The comparisons to real life situations
The subway fire and how one person ignoring a small sign turned in to a major disaster.
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