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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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  •  
    Steve San Francisco, CA, USA 05-13-12
    Steve San Francisco, CA, USA 05-13-12 Member Since 2002
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    "Sample First"
    What disappointed you about The Power of Habit?

    The reader makes this almost unlistenable.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mike Chamberlain?

    Someone who can read a simple sentence without saturating it with mindless enthusiasm.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Hampton 05-10-12 Member Since 2008
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    46
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    "Too many leaps"

    I think that the author took too many liberties with the concept of habit. He took solid research that had been done by others and forced it into his thesis. I found his logic to be severely flawed as a result. Overall I was disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rameh Jamaica Plain, MA, United States 05-06-12
    Rameh Jamaica Plain, MA, United States 05-06-12
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    "Stimulating, encouraging and very interesting."

    The material is very well presented by the presenter and his voice is pleasant to listen to. It is formatted in an organized way, highly informative and very interesting. Significant details for carrying the convincing arguments are not left out. Found this truly to be one of the more effective "self-help" styled audible books available for effective retraining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JAMES Kansas City, MO, United States 05-06-12
    JAMES Kansas City, MO, United States 05-06-12 Member Since 2010
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    "zzzzzzzzzz"

    If you have never read anything about building habits nor read a self-help book, you would probably find this quite interesting. This audiobook is a series of stories showing how habits=behavior. The "point" the author is making in each individual story was predictable in the first 5 minutes but.... the stories were drawn out into descriptions lasting 20-45 minutes. I was determined to "see it through" and, was never so glad to reach the end of an audiobook. The speaker really tried to make use of his voice to create an "ahh ha" effect ...even though... I never found one zzzzzzz

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle ALDIE, VA, United States 05-04-12
    Michelle ALDIE, VA, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Get to know you better"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I heard the book in my way to work for about a week. Made traffic jams more berable and I even stood in the car a little longer with a couple of the stories. On the learning piece, It brought some ideas to regular activities and I even was able to analyze some work situations on how to plot for new habits.


    What three words best describe Mike Chamberlain’s voice?

    Familiar, comfortable and engaging


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew M La. 05-03-12 Member Since 2012
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    15
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    "I Listened to it twice"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Just a very good book.


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

    The Executive and the Elephant


    What about Mike Chamberlain’s performance did you like?

    Yes very much so


    Any additional comments?

    Get it and you will enjoy it very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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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    5
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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 Member Since 2011

    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
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