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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 (8149 )
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Performance
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  •  
    A Summerville, SC, United States 07-05-14
    A Summerville, SC, United States 07-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
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    41
    29
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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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
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    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Kerli 05-13-14
    Kerli 05-13-14

    It was only one book, how did I end up like this?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book with too much unnecessary stroy telling"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    The narrator was the best I've heard so far.


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

    I would recommend only the last 20 minutes of the book, the rest is just too much information.


    Any additional comments?

    I learned a lot from this books, I could say too much. All I wanted was a formula that would help me change my habits and to be fair, I got it - the last 20 minutes of the book. The rest was just story telling with too much insights and details, which my in my opinion were unnecessary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jose Hernandez 04-27-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
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    "Very Informative"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    I learned something I could use in everyday life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No particular character, mostly the collection of studies with various individuals.


    What about Mike Chamberlain’s performance did you like?

    How it was explained, with a story, a breakdown, and how it was changed.


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

    How my habits hinder your utmost potential in life. That is, if you can find the habit and change it.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to anyone that wants something in life but has a hard time finding a way to get it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John J. Ryan Colorado Springs, CO 04-27-14
    John J. Ryan Colorado Springs, CO 04-27-14
    ratings
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    7
    4
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    Story
    "Starts strong and fizzles"
    What disappointed you about The Power of Habit?

    It got really boring and forced. Half of the examples have political agenda.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Charles Duhigg again?

    probably not.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Narration was fine.


    What character would you cut from The Power of Habit?

    About half of the content.


    Any additional comments?

    Could have been replaced with a book half as long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 04-25-14
    Mary 04-25-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
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    Story
    "yaaaaaaaawn"
    What disappointed you about The Power of Habit?

    Most boring book ever.


    What could Charles Duhigg have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He just rambles on and on about useless examples of habits.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Chapel Hill, NC, United States 04-19-14
    Mary Chapel Hill, NC, United States 04-19-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    4
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    0
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    "Very effective book"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    I'm generally not into self-help books but 2 friends recommended this. I too recommend it. While it has numerous case studies, they are interesting and to the point. They aren't just filler. The advice is sound and the book actually motivated me to make some changes in my life. Highly recommend.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It offers useful advice with examples that back up the advice. It enabled me to gain control of some situations that I had allowed to lead me.


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

    I don't know since I didn't read the book.


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

    It motivated me to make some changes that needed to happen. The book gave evidence for what we do and why we do it so it was easier to implement the advice. Wish I'd read something like this years ago.


    Any additional comments?

    If you want to get control of your life, read this book, or rather listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    romantic 04-17-14
    romantic 04-17-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "too much of performance can ruin a good book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, but reading the book, not listening to this performance.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The prologue is wonderfully written; it compels to read the book


    How could the performance have been better?

    It is not a novel or adventure; please do not change your voice during dialogue/monologue; Please do not become too emotional describing an emergency situation. I want this book to be a teaching device. If I need emotions, I'll read novels.


    Any additional comments?

    Do you mind changing this list of questions to a simple: what do you think about the book; what do you think about the performance. The last question, "what did you learn from ..." too schoolish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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