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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

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (8243 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Grant Torrance, CA, United States 09-09-14
    Grant Torrance, CA, United States 09-09-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not much of a self help book"

    There were lots of examples of habits, good and bad, and how they were changed, but it does not give very much real advice on how to go about changing habits into ones you want to keep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla 08-28-14
    Carla 08-28-14 Member Since 2014

    Looking for the power and passion within myself.

    ratings
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    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Long Stories, short key points"
    What would have made The Power of Habit better?

    The title gives you an expectation of brief and concrete solutions on how to better your habits and the way you can practice them on your daily life. However the writer extends the book into many examples that don't necessarily conclude into a pin point solution. The book ends in a conclusion of how to make your habits stick and be better.. I would have just picked up the book and read the last paragraphs because it is just the essence of the book.


    Would you recommend The Power of Habit to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend the Power of Habit as a sample of consequences if you don't better your habits today!


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes it did.


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

    A little bit of disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Still looking for a great form of habit book...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Eva M. Glanz-Possert 08-19-14

    Evi G-P

    ratings
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    2
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    Story
    "great info and very interesting stories"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I warmly want to recommend it.Never heard so much about changing and establishing habits. It's narrated in an entertaining way.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Stories and findings of researchers at well known Universities are presented in an entertaining way.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lydia Bänziger 08-19-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting to listen to, great topic"
    If you could sum up The Power of Habit in three words, what would they be?

    habits in personal life, corporations and cultures told in interesting stories


    What did you like best about this story?

    the way he explained habits with great examples


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

    great performance, enjoyable and lively


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

    made me want to keep listening


    Any additional comments?

    highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david PORT HUENEME, CA, United States 08-04-14
    david PORT HUENEME, CA, United States 08-04-14 Member Since 2013

    Hi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "10% content, 90% narrative fluff."
    What would have made The Power of Habit better?

    This book is better summarized by a single review article by any one of the several/few professors cited over and over again in this book. This book is 90% unnecessary narrative, and 10% solid, useful, content.


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

    yup. I'll only read books by phd's in the field of the book from now on. I won't buy writing by writers trying to get a piece of the action.


    Which character – as performed by Mike Chamberlain – was your favorite?

    NA


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

    any narrative that went more than 5 pages.


    Any additional comments?

    let the primary source write the books, instead of these second-hand front runners.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori A. Kiel Florida 07-26-14
    Lori A. Kiel Florida 07-26-14

    Lori Kiel

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    "Fascinating"
    If you could sum up The Power of Habit in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting, Enlightening, Powerful


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The story about the gentleman who had lost all of his memory


    What about Mike Chamberlain’s performance did you like?

    Great narrator


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Don't think


    Any additional comments?

    the book was great, it was an intense amount of research and trials, but fascinating. Really makes you understand that you are more than your thoughts and our routines drive us more than our will.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Summerville, SC, United States 07-05-14
    A Summerville, SC, United States 07-05-14
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    "Slow start, but good overall"

    I thought this book got off to a slow start exacerbated by the slow pace at which the reader spoke. On my iPhone, I was able to speed up the narrative to 1.25x and the pace is "normal." Also, quite annoying that he always pronounces the T in often. This is really unnecessary and we never do it for listen, soften, or hasten. Sound like an affectation.

    Anyhow, the book itself is compelling with lots of great information. I enjoyed listening (not lisTening) to it very much. I may have even stopped one of my bad habits! Now the challenge is to get some more of the good habits going.

    The book is not long on self improvement, but does provide some practical ways to improve oneself and one's business.

    Interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 06-18-14
    Mary 06-18-14
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    "Very interesting, inspiring, and helpful"
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    Good reminder of basic learning and behavior principles that affect all of us in our daily lives. Inspiring to listen to and provides interesting case examples at the individual, group, and company level. I would definitely recommend.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean 06-12-14
    Sean 06-12-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Good Audio Book but not perfect"
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    Yes. It has a lot of good insight on habits, which could literally change your life significantly. I was glad I got the book.


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

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No way. I listened to it 15 min at a time in my car on the way to and back from work.


    Any additional comments?

    The audio book was worth the money but he definitely doesn't know how to transition well. He just stops and starts talking about something else. This may be because it was being read and I couldn't see when new paragraphs or chapters started but many times I was left wondering....ok?? so let's change topic mid-thought? Once you get past that it is a good book though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nora 06-01-14
    Nora 06-01-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    2
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    "wow! stupendous, highly recommended for all"
    If you could sum up The Power of Habit in three words, what would they be?

    cue-routine-reward ! :-)


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspect was How this book attempts to address in simple yet rationale ways inception, addiction, and freedom from habit. Something that I have personally never read before. This book is so powerful that the next books I am reading after this seem of a very low intellect/content level. This books was interesting but one thing that I did not like sometimes was, some stories were left incomplete wandering to next one and then coming back to the original story to complete the circle. While it might seem thrilling for the author to do this, but we as readers are often multi-tasking while listening to audiobooks and we lose train of thought of things we heard 5 minutes ago.


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

    Sorry, I did not like his nasal voice when I started listening. His pronunciation of "r" is weird often sounds like "rd". Anyways, just like we get adjusted to watching movies in the first row in the movie-hall, although the screen hurts in the beginning, I adjusted to Mike's voice after couple of chapters. I must admit he has put in lot of efforts in expressing, emoting and modulating his tone, voice etc. Full points for his efforts :-)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, there is lot of content and many interesting case studies in this book. I wanted to ponder over them and digest the ideas and hence I did not want to read it in one sitting. Unlike other authors who pick stories to add entertainment value in their books, this author has actually done plenty of research for each story, which begs attention.


    Any additional comments?

    Good luck to the author, narrator and entire team! I am waiting for another book from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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