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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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  •  
    Lewis Issaquah, WA, United States 01-30-13
    Lewis Issaquah, WA, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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    "Fascinating!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    Historically and culturally fascinating work, including aspects of the advertising world. Many anecdotes that underscore the concept that the cues, behaviors, and rewards are much more a part of our daily lives than we have ever imagined.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Febreeze.


    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 I might modify habits, both my own and those of others.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Lake Ariel, PA 01-30-13
    Amazon Customer Lake Ariel, PA 01-30-13 Member Since 2012

    WYSIWYG!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
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    Story
    "Fascinating."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who wants to gain greater insight into why we do what we do. It reinforces, for me, why change is difficult (it's hard work and an involved process), but that we can change. If you are interested in the science behind why change happens, this book gives you that information through stories that make it easy to understand for the non-scientific person (me!).


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

    The Power of Habit is like many self-help books about how to create significant change your life. This book, however, gives a lot more of the 'nuts and bolts' of change.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bradley D Hopkins springfield, oh United States 01-29-13
    Bradley D Hopkins springfield, oh United States 01-29-13

    Looking to reinvent myself.

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    2
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    "First review"
    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The way that they tied habit formation and the daily life was life altering.


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

    I learned the ways to try to change a habit or adopt a new habit. Habits are not easy to break, but if you understand the ques and rewards, it is possible to change. I have also learned to see habits in other people.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wesley Encino, CA, USA 01-28-13
    Wesley Encino, CA, USA 01-28-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Small Amount of Useful Information Stretched Out"

    Take perhaps 60 minutes worth of relevant information and then s-t-r-e-t-c-h it out over 12 or so hours with useless fluff. Unless you have amazing patience, I'd strongly pass on this book. "Outliers" is a far better choice if you are looking for a way to understand human behavior.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RLS Alaska, United States 01-28-13
    RLS Alaska, United States 01-28-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Fascinating"

    I found this book fascinating as it is supported by science rather than the feel good, will power approach to habits. I put the information I learned into practice and got back on track with working out every day for over a year. Even through the long dark Alaskan winters, I have continued working out because I established a trigger that solidified the habit that has become so automatic that I don't even think about it anymore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlie Cocoa, FL, United States 01-24-13
    Charlie Cocoa, FL, United States 01-24-13
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    "Eye opening listen to our habits"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would suggest this book to people who wish to change how they live by making their goals automatic to what they do. People who change their habits to align with their new goals will find it much easier to get there. This book is a great way to understand why we do what we do and how to alter that.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character was the narrator, Mike Chamberlain. He kept the whole thing both interesting and made me feel like he had wrote the book.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    It is funny, it seems the entire book is just a lead in to the appendix at the end where it tells you how to spot your habits cues, the routines and the rewards. However the entire book is great to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert OTTAWA, ON, Canada 01-24-13
    Robert OTTAWA, ON, Canada 01-24-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating!"
    What did you love best about The Power of Habit?

    Only half way through but I find this book fascinating. Really enjoying it. Can't wait for the rest!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick LEWISVILLE, TX, United States 01-23-13
    Rick LEWISVILLE, TX, United States 01-23-13
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    1
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    "Fascinating Subject Matter"
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    The author does a great job introducing the subject matter of habits and then showing how habits affect many diverse parts of our lives as well as businesses. Then he goes on to discuss how we can change habits and gives a general framework for doing so. I was always impressed every time I finished a section and Mike Chamberlain does a great job of keeping you interested with his narration.


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

    Listening to the story of how an employee in Target's Data Analysis division was able to use statistics and analytics to discern a pattern of customer buying habits and was able to predict when a woman became pregnant to enable Target to better market to these women.


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

    N/A


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Habits are more powerful than you can imagine.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Brentwood, TN, United States 01-22-13
    Kate Brentwood, TN, United States 01-22-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Definately liked it."
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    Yes. I learned a lot, but it was really entertaining at the same time. In fact, it was so engaging that although my plan was to just listen to it while I exercised, I found myself continuing to listen to it long after I stopped exercising.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom South Plainfield, NJ, United States 01-22-13
    Tom South Plainfield, NJ, United States 01-22-13
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    "1st half of this book can change your life forever"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    It's pretty well written. I love the style of weaving stories into the research. I find it helps the material stay with you better.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    If you can find a way to consistently apply the process outlined in the first half of this book your life might be completely different this time next year.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    For a habit to be truly ingrained your brain must learn to crave the rewards associated with it.


    Any additional comments?

    The book lost a star because the 2nd half isn't as strong as the first, but I still highly reccomend you pick this up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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