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.
It actually has next to no content dealing directly with integrating this into your life. Lots of information, scientific data, examples, stories, etc, but not much directly aimed at using it to your own advantage. An interesting book, just not what I was expecting.
I found the first half of this book to be more interesting than the second half. I will say that it did NOT read like a textbook, which is a big positive. The author used interesting and contemporary (for the most part) stories and anecdotes to support his points.
This book also gives some insight into the marketing strategies that consumers are bombarded with on a daily basis. If you want to read more along those lines, I also recommend "How We Decide."
I'm a corporate training consultant and adjunct professor who loves to read! I'm always looking for the next big thing.
I have been studying habits and teaching people about habits for many years. I was hopeful that this book would help add to my knowledge and improve the courses I teach. Unfortunately, there wasn't much that was new or interesting in this book.
Before I talk about the book itself, I think it's important to mention the narration. I hadn't listened to any other books read by Mike Chamberlain (although "The Signal and the Noise" is on my wishlist), but I wasn't overly thrilled with his performance. Sure, he did a fine job reading the book, but his tone was someone annoying. Many, many times, I felt as if I was being spoken to as one would speak to an elementary school student. Perhaps he thought that the content was challenging, which could have prompted him to speak as he did. I did not think that the content was challenging, so I found his narration to be almost condescending. I am hopeful that he does not speak like that in other books that he narrates.
The book is divided into three main sections. The first section, which is by far the most interesting, is about the habits of individuals. In this section, the author talks about the habit loop (i.e., what creates a habit), how to create new habits, and how to change existing habits. These were great topics, and the examples were helpful. If I had stopped reading at the end of this section, I think I would have given this book five stars. Of course, I did not stop reading--and the book went slowly downhill.
The second section is about the habits of successful organizations. Even though I have a tremendous interest in how habits can change organizations, I didn't find a lot of actionable advice in this section. The author discusses some of our most important habits, which he calls Keystone Habits, and how businesses can both predict our actions and manipulate them to increase profits. In some ways, I felt as if this section was more of a cautionary tale about the invasion of personal privacy, the misrepresentation of facts in marketing, and the breaking of willpower. With this section, the author seems to have taken a darker look at how habits can be used against us--but doesn't offer any suggestions about how we can protect ourselves. (I suppose that I would have loved this section if I were a corporate marketing executive.) And then, it gets even darker...
The third section of the book is about the habits of society. I can summarize this entire section in four words: Beware of peer pressure. At this point in the book, the author isn't really even talking about habits anymore. Instead, he seems to address how societal conventions shape our behavior. The books gets rather disturbing as topics like gambling addiction, sleep walking, sleep terrors, and even murder are discussed in terms of "habits." I really struggled to find anything terribly useful in this section. (Although, I am now confident that I can commit murder, blame it on sleepwalking, and get off without any conviction. What a horrible thought!)
If you are interested in studying habits, creating new habits, or changing your existing habits, read the first section of the book. You can skip the rest.
Transfer of actual business stories
True events and successful business moves
Great to know how our good and bad habits are structured.
So far? It's the best!
The real-life stories behind the points the author makes are what helped me fully understand how this works in practice.
The narrator made this big story enjoyable from beginning to end.
As stated in my title, the author gives readers a method to analyze and find out what truly motivates their habits. But the most important discovery for me was not that you can change A habit after much work and discipline. It was that if you focus on one habit, your efforts will impact other elements of your life, work, company, etc. The greatest example for me was the new Alcoa CEO deciding to focus on worker safety. At first, shareholders were shocked that this "bozo" didn't say he was going to "increase shareholder value, bla, bla". But ... I won't spoil it for you. You will realize that changing your life doesn't have to be a colossal job. Just change one habit and let the domino effect happen.
Charlie Seymour Jr
Eye-opening magical information
It's all about how our brains work, whether we want them to or not. We, as people who sell to other people, need to understand what makes people's brains work if we're going to impact them.
Another: How the new President of ALCOA improved SO much about his business by focusing on ONE core habit and modifying it. And don't think it only works for people dealing with molten metal: his idea will work for ALL of us.
Nicely phrased and good diction.
I lost my Dad in April, 2012, at the age of 90. I wish I had listened to this book before he died: there were so many eye-opening moments in this book. NOT that the book was designed to help that part of my life, but listening to the studies on a few brain-damaged people, I saw what had been going wrong with Dad the last few months of his life.
I kept saying, "but that's where he is" when I'd get frustrated that he was so agitated or he repeated the same phrase over and over. This book showed me why that happened.
Now that Mom is starting down that same dementia path, I'll be better prepared for what's in store.
I LOVED this book for what it helps me see as a business person who works a lot with video as one of the video marketing guys, but I'm Most Grateful for what it showed me about my parents and their mental capacities late in life.
This book was "assigned" to us as part of a business book Meetup - I'm so glad it was.
Charlie Seymour Jr
It is well written. Easy to understand the way our habits are formed and how we can change or create new ones. It's a deep subject matter written in an understandable format
It all fits together nicely.
It will change your Life
I listened to this audio book 3x in 1 month and have bought the hard cover book as well. Following a simple formula and applying it to all aspects of your life can change everything.
Highly recommended listening
The importance of habits, how they are formed and how they can be controlled.
cue, response, reward sequence
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I am enamored with trees, rain, and floor to ceiling greenery. I've always been an avid reader, but have found I really enjoy the multitasking potential of audio books. I can enjoy walking around in the woods with my puppy while absorbing a book at the same time! The books I enjoy most tend to be narrative non-fiction, science fiction, and historical fiction/non-fiction.
There are a lot of books in the narrative non-fiction genre, "The Power of Habit" is one of the best! Duhigg does an amazing job keeping his audience fascinated with various stories and anecdotes. He even manages to provide a few cliff hangers (something that is relatively rare in narrative non-fiction) by splitting some of his stories into segments that leave you eagerly turning the pages in anticipation.
The layout of the book is very easy to follow, as well. The book is is delivered in three parts, splitting Duhigg's concepts into individuals, organizations, and societies. You are taken on a habit journey in which the main premise transforms and expands in a truly "one size fits all" fashion. My absolute favorite part of the book was reading specific examples of companies that developed marketing schemes based around existing habits or generating new habits in society to market a product. I now understand how tooth brushing became a national habit!
The anecdotes were engaging and entertaining, which made grasping the premise of the book very easy.
This was a great performance! This guy really knows how to speak clearly but with excitement in his inflection.
For sure! I definitely never got bored of it. And when I did put it down, I found myself thinking about everything I'd heard until the next time I popped in my headphones.
Definitely a great read in audio format!
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