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The Power of Habit Audiobook

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

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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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Performance
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  •  
    PeteSource 04-22-12
    PeteSource 04-22-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Habits"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes, if they wanted to change something in their life, or if they wanted to understand the power of habits.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    N/A


    Any additional comments?

    This book does open your mind to the power of habits and their effect on our everyday lives. It offers some interesting ways to change habits that you have. Once you change one small habit in your life it becomes easier to start making big changes, and you would be surprised with how many things you do in life are driven by habit. Changing habits can help you to stop bitting your nails, and ultimately to change your view and outlook on everyday life and change your whole life for the better. Stories like how Paul O'Neil changed Alcoa do provide some evidence of how executives are using these techniques in business. Other stories are not as interesting or strong. Good length, good narrator.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven L. Taylor Toronto, ON Canada 03-14-12
    Steven L. Taylor Toronto, ON Canada 03-14-12 Member Since 2011

    StevenLeonardTaylor.com

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    "Interesting Case Studies on the Power of Thought"
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    Yes, 'The Power of Habit' is worth another listen as it's dense enough with information I'm sure I missed something.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The narrator, Mike Chamberlain, has a very authentic delivery and one would believe that he has faith in the material.


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

    No.


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

    It's fairly straightforward, pay attention to your habits and modify them to serve you better. Piggybacking on to an existing habit is your surest way of succeeding in the altered behaviour.


    Any additional comments?

    'The Power of Habit' is similar to 'Think & Grow Rich' and 'The Secret' but gives case studies from the business world, sports, medicine and other reliable sources.

    39 of 46 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Philadelphia, PA, United States 09-17-12
    Robert Philadelphia, PA, United States 09-17-12
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    "The book strayed too much from the individual"
    What would have made The Power of Habit better?

    If the author would have focused on the development of a person's habit forming processes as opposed to adding business culture development midway through the book. The business examples were short and unconvincing and I felt were manufactured to fit the author's thesis.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Charles Duhigg again?

    No


    What about Mike Chamberlain’s performance did you like?

    Easy listen


    Any additional comments?

    Read user reviews before buying. This book might not be what you are looking for.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Harvey The Coast of Rhode Island 06-20-12
    Pamela Harvey The Coast of Rhode Island 06-20-12 Member Since 2016

    glam

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    "This Book Became a Habit"

    I originally bypassed this book, pre-judging it as more of the same from various mental health professionals and experts in neuroscience. Then I heard it referenced in an unrelated podcast about the game of Blackjack and my interest was piqued.

    Some of the examples and case studies have frequently appeared in non-fiction and fiction alike, but this book makes use of plenty of other newer and more unusual (at least to me) examples, stories and experiences, and is quite salient on how habit works. I wasn't as interested in the dynamics of habit in groups and I almost put the book down and gave it a rest at the beginning of that section. I kept with it, though and was "hooked by habit" once again.

    Can't add more to what others have said, though agreed, it would have been helpful to have had access to the user guide mentioned by another reviewer. I was not expecting a "how to" book on the methods of change in personal and professional life, so I was not disappointed, and actually I prefer a macro lens in books of this genre, and appreciated the aerial view of the dynamics of change, preferring it to a book on how habits develop and affect the individual in general and me personally. But the latter does get covered anyway and it's a bonus.

    The narration is perfect and I am glad the author was not selected for this reading. That statement is not necessarily applicable to this book and this author as I have never heard his speaking voice but generally, self-narration frequently doesn't work all that well - just personal taste here - and I prefer a neutral voice, a reading by someone who is not necessarily a stakeholder in the book and whose interpretation can be more objective.

    I'm sure I'll give this one another read at some point.

    73 of 89 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loren Bethesda, MD, United States 03-16-12
    Loren Bethesda, MD, United States 03-16-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Interesting stories, but not all linked to Habits"
    What did you like best about The Power of Habit? What did you like least?

    Good reader, and many interesting stories about persons whose injuries allow a closer examination of those parts of the brain that control habits and other behaviors. And some of the other stories well researched (London Subway Fire, Rosa Parks boycott, etc,) and were interesting.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Charles Duhigg? Why or why not?

    No. This is a collection of stories looking for a theme. In fact, it seems like he had to work hard to find a theme to fit his stories. The longer I read, the thinner the connection.


    Do you think The Power of Habit needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    In the final section, the author sets up a comparison between two individuals (a sleep walker who killed his wife and a gambler who spent all her family's money) and set up a red herring suggesting that habits out of their control forced their actions and they should have been treated equally. The weakness in the argument was so apparent that it was just irritating when he finally came around to make the obvious case that the gambler had many opportunities for intervention and the sleepwalker who acted once. So while I learned some things about habits early in the book and then listened to some interesting stories in the middle, the longer the book went, the more it became obvious that anything in this author's world could be easily explained--and included in--a book about habits.

    125 of 153 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KIM 05-06-12
    KIM 05-06-12

    Kim

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    "Please get to the point, already"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    By cutting out 80% of the "human interest" stories and sticking to the promised "Why we do what we do...". Illustrating by example is all well and good but I found myself deeply frustrated with the amount of time spent tangentially setting up the same points. Imagine a book on the civil engineering discipline of bridge building spending 20 minutes talking about how aunt Margie needed to drive to the market to get sugar for her pound cake .... blah blah blah. I'm half way through and I regularly have to breathe deeply and count to ten in frustration at the ridiculous lengths this author went to to bloat his couple of very interesting nuggets into a full length book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Charles Duhigg again?

    Probably not


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

    Anger, frustration, disappointment.


    20 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wes 04-04-12
    Wes 04-04-12
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    "Amazing, insightful, scary"

    Great insight into how habits are formed. And a somewhat disturbing view into how corporate America can suck us in to habitually buying their productcs (burgers & fries, shampoo, gambling, etc.).

    20 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon-Kunde Germany 08-05-12
    Amazon-Kunde Germany 08-05-12
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    "important content -- very very lengthy"
    What disappointed you about The Power of Habit?

    Very very long stories, often repeating, not very well written and unrealistic.
    If you need content to be included in long stories and this in often repeating sequence, then this is the right audio book for you!
    If you want to have it to the point, then it is a huge time investment... for a few little (very interesting) points.


    What didn’t you like about Mike Chamberlain’s performance?

    It is a very interesting topic - of high relevance for me, but much too boring to listen to.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Power of Habit?

    Half the time, no need for obviously self created story lines and come much more to the point.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Jacksonville 06-02-12
    Amazon Customer Jacksonville 06-02-12 Member Since 2012

    Hawkcane

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    "Not what I expected"
    What would have made The Power of Habit better?

    The story never got going. It did not provide answers or even suggestions. Nothing more then a collection of semi interesting anecdotes.


    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


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

    Disappointment


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curt West Chester, PA, United States 04-05-12
    Curt West Chester, PA, United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2014
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    "A Tidbit or Two"

    A rule of thumb about attending conferences is that if you come back with at least one good idea, it was probably worthwhile to invest your time.

    I feel the same way about this book. Divide the number of pages by three and you probably have the ideal length for the material presented. However, the core premise is sound and the supporting stories are generally interesting. (Exception: The Tampa Bay Bucs example just didn't fit, no matter how hard the author tried to pound that square peg into a round hole.)

    Bottom line: It's a so-so read, but worth slogging through.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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