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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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  •  
    Lita Santa Maria, CA, United States 08-22-12
    Lita Santa Maria, CA, United States 08-22-12 Member Since 2011

    Lita

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    "Insights to Our Auto-Pilot"

    I had always learned that in order to change a habit one had to have lots of emotional leverage, but it really doesn't require all that. It's just a little "tweak" in behavior that makes a huge difference. Great to learn!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Hoyt Glen Burnie, MD 08-21-12
    C. Hoyt Glen Burnie, MD 08-21-12 Member Since 2011

    Tree-Hugger

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    "Simple concepts with strong stories"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I've quit caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and doing my second triathlon. I credit this book for the insight in changing my habits.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynda Lybeck-robinson Aleutian Islands, AK 08-19-12
    Lynda Lybeck-robinson Aleutian Islands, AK 08-19-12 Member Since 2010

    Alaskalynda

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

    Read it Again


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

    A multimillion dollar company falters, sees red. A surprising choice of CEOs approaches the podium before administrators and investors and gives a speech on "Safety Precautions" which seems completely irrelevant to their issues. Yet, Paul O'Niell completely transformed the way Alcoa was running their business, by considering the safety of every worker, he re-built the company from the roots upward.


    What about Mike Chamberlain’s performance did you like?

    In the "Self Help" genre, I quickly become bored. Either the authors are telling readers how to live better with overly ambitious and sweet rhetoric, or else they are so scientific, cerebral and monotone that I am "dried out" before the first chapter.

    I've read review that suggested this narrator's performance was too cheerful in their opinion. Given the subject matter, Mike Chamberlain read with humor, irony, yes, cheerfulness, but kept me listening because I LIKED the person who was "teaching the lessons". Never monotone.


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

    Already have used the analogy of Michael Phelps', in a classic example of utilizing visualization habits, experiencing a goggle mishap in Bejing Olympics... and subsequent victory.


    Any additional comments?

    People may feel that the topics wander, but it seemed to me as if he were using illustrations to enhance his point, and, armed with those, returns for a successful lesson. I will listen again because there is much information to be absorbed and this was a perfect book to listen to while I was multitasking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-16-12
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    "Immensely Powerful"
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    I will make a "habit" of listening to this very other month. The concepts and tips are priceless and need to be ingrained by repetition.


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

    The only other book that I would compare it to is Eat That Frog.


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

    No


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

    I did make me laugh at some points


    Any additional comments?

    It amazes me when you come across a book like this. Its like your locked in this dark room and suddenly you find some matches and a candle sitting next to the keys to the door. I am not even totally finished with it and I have already reaped benefits from the earlier chapters. If you are serious about having will power and changing your life course this is a must read for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mads Silkeborg, Denmark 08-13-12
    Mads Silkeborg, Denmark 08-13-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great"
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    I do not in general listen to books again, but with this one I would


    What about Mike Chamberlain’s performance did you like?

    Well he read it like I wanted a fine speed and easy to understand


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken ROCKAWAY PARK, NY, United States 08-09-12
    Ken ROCKAWAY PARK, NY, United States 08-09-12

    books are my passion. I love my friends and family. My spiritual well being grows each day because I am living a healthy lifestyle.

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    "Terrific"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    Very practical advise that was backup with scientific data. I really want to change how I behave and by applying the suggestions it works.


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

    The whole book is memorable. I have bookmarks all over the place and listen over and over again.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The chapter about willpower


    Any additional comments?

    Have an open mind with this book. If you truly want to break a habit this book is for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Vedvig Madison, WI, US 08-09-12
    Dan Vedvig Madison, WI, US 08-09-12 Member Since 2012
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    "I really enjoyed this book"
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    Yes, in fact I plan to in the near future. It was written very well and full of lots of interesting information, explanations, and relatable stories. I also enjoyed the narrator - very nice story telling voice. I highly suggest this book.


    What about Mike Chamberlain’s performance did you like?

    I just loved the sound of his voice and his natural story-telling ability.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank 08-09-12
    Frank 08-09-12
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    "Insiteful and well told"
    If you could sum up The Power of Habit in three words, what would they be?

    Eureka, concise, thoughtful


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

    Not framiliar with the reader but he did fine


    What did you learn from The Power of Habit that you would use in your daily life?

    The focus on triggers, routines and rewards was fascinating. I find myself analyzing all of my routinesthat I previously referred to as "default" behaviors. The book gave me a process for deconstructing default behavior and reconstructing it in a more beneficial manner.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emil Tompkins 08-08-12
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    "Loved it."
    Would you listen to The Power of Habit again? Why?

    yes, I can learn how to use our normal habits to appeal to my patients.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Knoxville, TN, United States 08-06-12
    Thomas Knoxville, TN, United States 08-06-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Boring & monotonous."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    An entirely revamped presentation. Enough with 'broadway stage' analogies.


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

    It has made me more cautious.


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

    It felt dis-shuffled & poorly coordinated.


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

    Disappointment.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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