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.
A very entertaining book with many examples and extended explanations on why habits exist and how they operate. I would have liked though less detail in the examples and stories and more on how to change habits. The brief appendix on how to apply this knowledge was very valuable and it should be at least the second half of the book with detailed proven techniques within different contexts instead of a brief appendix.
This book gives practical information about how to develop strong habits and attaches each principle to a narrative to help it be remembered. It also gives additional information on how to apply the themes from the book in the epilogue.
Well structured and clearly explained book about habits in personal and business situations and how to make and change and identify them. Very fascinating and accompanied by truly interesting anecdotes.
the author goes on about the study of habits and has too many tangents. it could also use less god is good talk and could have instead reviewed how religions manipulate habits.
Some intriguing concepts and research findings, but use of stories to make points way too drawn out. I almost gave up on the last hour as author began to moralize on habit outcomes and personal responsibility exclusive of concepts of addiction, enablers and co-dependency, which I found nearly insufferable to listen through, but bit the bullet (which only best exemplified my behavioral cognitive dissonance re 'sunk costs.' The first 60% of book was worthwhile but could get quite tiresome. Bottom line, many excellent points and good info buried in several drawn out stories (Angie the gambler just did me in - too much emphasis on this story, with little informing yield).
Each chapter includes 2-3 interesting case studies about ordinary people, famous people, and businesses that will help you easily grasp the power of habit and how you can apply that understanding to your life and business.
The only fault I find is a lack of a summary each chapter.
The book started well when speaking scientifically, but when he got into his illustrations he lost me. Totally absurd. I returned this book.
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