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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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  •  
    David New York 02-04-13
    David New York 02-04-13 Member Since 2011

    real aesthete

    ratings
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    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "The Rationale Behind Hope"

    We all have habits -- both good and bad. If only we knew how we got here, we'd be able to bring out the best in ourselves.

    But this is easier said than done, at least for most of us. Which is why as we age perhaps, we give up on ourselves in certain areas, e.g. drinking or eating too much, not exercising enough, not spending enough time being there for ones we love... the list goes on.

    This book in my view helps you restore that hope. It helps you take back ownership on the little, but many habits that predominate our every day lives, by helping us rationally understand them.

    It also goes further to offer implications on how habitual patterns have an impact on real business strategy, organizational dynamics (a.k.a. workplace politics!), or just plainly how a "group think" forms.

    Very insightful take-aways. Extremely robust case studies with good reasoning driving the overall synthesis.

    My top must-read from 2012. Excellent as we still have chance to catch up on our new year's resolutions. ;-)


    David from HK.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn 02-04-13
    Lynn 02-04-13
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    25
    7
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    Story
    "Great Book"

    The book does a great job exploring how habits work- how to develop them and how to alter them to have more positive results.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jorge Long Island City, New York, United States 02-04-13
    Jorge Long Island City, New York, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    1
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    "very enlightening and convincing"
    Where does The Power of Habit rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best books I have ever listened since I join Audible.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There is plenty of interesting stories


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

    This is the first Mike Chamberlai's performance I heard


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami E. Nettles Columbus, MS USA 02-01-13
    Jami E. Nettles Columbus, MS USA 02-01-13 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    365
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    155
    64
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    FOLLOWING
    29
    0
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    Story
    "Nuggets of information in a bloated book"

    There is good information in this book - how habits form independently of conscious memory - but it is also full of ridiculous anecdotes that have nothing to do with habit, in fact don't support the premise of the book in any way. The Montgomery bus boycott? I don't think prejudice is a bad habit. Medical error? That was the antithesis of a habit problem - a written procedure needed to be developed and followed. This read like a high school paper, with an inexperienced writer trying to fit references to the central thesis.

    The book needed way more neuroscience and way less filler. You just can't learn much about forming, following, and breaking habits by giving these random examples.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gordie London, Ontario, Canada 01-30-13
    Gordie London, Ontario, Canada 01-30-13
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great stories to explain phenomenal concepts!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    The narrator was awesome, his voice was very expressive in a natural way. The speed was perfect and was easy to follow.


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

    The whole story about Febreeze's failure and it's rise to success.


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

    I think that the whole forcing myself to pay attention to what I'm doing daily so that I can break habits and build newer better ones


    Any additional comments?

    Great overall!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-30-13
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not very hepful."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who like hearing of other people's experiences.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Charles Duhigg again?

    Probably not.


    What aspect of Mike Chamberlain’s performance would you have changed?

    Put more life in it.


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

    Some stories were interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    I tuned out before finishing the book. It did not hold my interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleene Denver, CO USA 01-30-13
    Kathleene Denver, CO USA 01-30-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great book for individuals and corporations!!!!"
    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    I love the research behind the ability to change our habits. It also helps you begin to become more self-aware of your habits, many you didn't even realize you had.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lewis Issaquah, WA, United States 01-30-13
    Lewis Issaquah, WA, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2007
    ratings
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    6
    1
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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 01-30-13

    WYSIWYG!

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    "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.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Story
    "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
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