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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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  •  
    Katherine Boston, Ma, United States 04-29-12
    Katherine Boston, Ma, United States 04-29-12 Member Since 2011
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    "This book was SO interesting, is NOT a how to"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was really interesting and I felt I could apply many principals of it to my life. However, for those looking for a how-to do something book, it is not that!

    Great book, totally recommend it. Reminded me of the "flip side" of the Willpower Instinct, which is also great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Sudbury, MA, USA 04-18-12
    Robert Sudbury, MA, USA 04-18-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Fascinating perspective, changed mine as well"

    In mid-life I struggle with things about myself I want to change. This book helped me understand why I do some of the annoying things I do (admit it, you know what I mean) as well as what kinds of habits I have purposely or inadvertently helped my kids develop. And while not a self help book, it will help me.

    More than that, it put me on an intellectual journey starting with a micro view of the physiology or habits and how that impact individuals lives to the macro perspective of how habits impact our culture, society and economy.

    The most fascinating thing to me is how I now am recognizing habits as defined by the author in everyday life both at work and at home. Bravo for truly impacting the reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles The Dalles, OR, United States 04-05-12
    Charles The Dalles, OR, United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Very thought provoking"
    If you could sum up The Power of Habit in three words, what would they be?

    Self reflection


    What did you like best about this story?

    Concept of how change can occur


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

    Good read, though little with which to entertain. The book is primarily facts and data.


    Any additional comments?

    Great read, hope for changing ourselves and others exists. We have to decide to make the improvements.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Austin United States 04-04-12
    Austin United States 04-04-12

    Austin

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    "Totally Changed the way I see things"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    What a sensational book! The Power of Habit tears down the concepts of habit we have come to know, and explains them in a deeper, more tangible way. I view everything in life differently after reading this book. Read it!


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

    Power of Habit is very similar to Predictably Irrational.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Yeats Tulsa, OK 03-27-12
    B. Yeats Tulsa, OK 03-27-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Great book!"
    Where does The Power of Habit rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    One of the top.


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

    It reminded me some of freakonomics, but with practical applications.


    What about Mike Chamberlain???s performance did you like?

    His voice is great, not over the top.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book really made me look at my known and unknown habits, and how to create new habits.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad NASHVILLE, TN, United States 03-25-12
    Brad NASHVILLE, TN, United States 03-25-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Fascinating Insights About Why We Do What We Do"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book really got my wheels turning about how I could apply these great insights in my own life to drive change.


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

    The story of Pepsodent.


    What does Mike Chamberlain bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I've listened to his books before and was excited when I realized it was him doing the reading. He brings emotion and emphasis without going over the top.


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

    Cues. Routine. Reward. Keep the cue and reward the same, change the routine — the most effective way to change behavior.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys non-fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Fountain Inn, SC, United States 03-11-12
    Tom Fountain Inn, SC, United States 03-11-12

    Alpha Wolf

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    "The best audio book to listen to!"

    This book is very well presented and the information is extremely pertinent to anyone that wants to know about human habits, and how to control them. An excellent book for the layman, as well as the professional.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheryl Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States 10-24-13
    Sheryl Auburn Hills, Michigan, United States 10-24-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Hard time finishing..."
    What disappointed you about The Power of Habit?

    I'm about 8 1/2 hours in and it has become a struggle to listen. I enjoyed the chapters regarding our personal habits and some of the corporate stuff, but now I'm having a hard time relating to how some of the stories are "Power of Habit".


    What was most disappointing about Charles Duhigg’s story?

    Looong stories


    Would you be willing to try another one of Mike Chamberlain’s performances?

    Not really the issue.


    What character would you cut from The Power of Habit?

    Not applicable.


    Any additional comments?

    Hoping I can finish... probably going to try to skip a chapter and see if that helps.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erno Brasilia, Brazil 09-10-13
    Erno Brasilia, Brazil 09-10-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Good book. Long and not very practical."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Maybe. The book bring us very important insights that might be useful for some public, but doens't bring really practical stuff for your life.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Gray Oklahoma 03-03-13
    Rob Gray Oklahoma 03-03-13
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    "Habitual Overkill"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People with too much time on their hands.


    Has The Power of Habit turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    What does Mike Chamberlain bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Nothing noteworthy.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't stop reading/listening to books before finishing very often. The repetition and superfluous detail of some of the stories got to me, and I moved on to other fare.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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