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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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  •  
    Behrooz BLUE BELL, PA, United States 09-13-12
    Behrooz BLUE BELL, PA, United States 09-13-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An amazing book"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    The book is very informative, but unlike a lot of other books this one isn't boring at all. The book is useful for anybody who wants to improve himself/herself continuously.


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

    I'm listening to books while driving. Thus I cannot compare those two. I can say he really did a good job.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    That we can, and maybe we should, take control of our habits, by knowing them and knowing what internal or external factors may positively or negatively affect them.


    Any additional comments?

    My next book is "Your Brain at Work."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Gutierrez Montevideo, Uruguay 09-05-12
    C. Gutierrez Montevideo, Uruguay 09-05-12 Member Since 2013
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    88
    3
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    "Really help me understand the power of habits!"

    I read many books that talk about habits, but this book face it more in depth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie-Eve 09-04-12
    Marie-Eve 09-04-12
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    4
    4
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    Story
    "Awesome book I love it!"
    What did you love best about The Power of Habit?

    It really explain the habits of human nature. You really get to understand how things are becoming habits and why they do. Most of all, you get to understand how to change them and what is working and what's not.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Dufault 09-03-12
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    5
    3
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    Story
    "Very helpful insight"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    I broke a long standing habit one year ago and up until now I hadn't been able to figure out how it did it. This book gave me insight to answer the question.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The connection between ques, rewards and cravings


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 09-03-12
    Ryan 09-03-12
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    1
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    "Well worth the time!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    Filled with great examples and simple lessons you can implement immediately.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Stand by to be surprised...amazing how much of our life is simply habit. And even more amazing is how changing a small part of habit can have such profound impact.


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

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Waukee, IA, United States 09-03-12
    Eric Waukee, IA, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2015
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    4
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    "A must read!"
    If you could sum up The Power of Habit in three words, what would they be?

    Very eye opening


    What did you like best about this story?

    The examples and research were very powerful and helped dive deep into the meaning of why we do what we do.


    What three words best describe Mike Chamberlain’s performance?

    captivating


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

    I've started to look at everything I do and try to analyze why I do it. It's helped to establish new good habits while trying to re-train old/bad ones.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alicia 09-03-12
    Alicia 09-03-12
    ratings
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    20
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    Story
    "Very interesting topic"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power of Habit the most enjoyable?

    The subject matter is interesting and engaging. There were parts that overemphasized the point and I found myself wanting the story to move along. Overall however I recommend this book as a great study of habits, the meaning behind them and the emotional connection we have with them.


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

    The reader has a pleasant voice and kept me listening.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The book also showed how the wrong conclusions can be drawn from research, showing the need for additional critical thinking.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    william chalfont, PA, United States 09-03-12
    william chalfont, PA, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Well organized book with great insights into Habit"
    Any additional comments?

    The author breaks habit into three key areas: Business, Social, and personal. The author also reviews the science behind habit in a way that translate well into an audio format.Section relating habit to addiction and personal accountability was eye opening for me, didn't give it much thought prior to the book. Is a compulsive gambler really accountable for the addiction ? Some of the tricks that businesses use, utilizing habit, to market products was well done. How would you market Febreeze to customers ?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Vaughn Franklin, TN 09-02-12
    Doug Vaughn Franklin, TN 09-02-12 Listener Since 2000

    DougV

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    9
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    "Many interesting facts & easy to read"

    I most often listen to fictional novels but make it a point to read a few books each year that will broaden my knowledge. This one was a great choice as it's well written and uses stories (examples) we can all relate to. The narration was also good where many non-fiction books can be very dry.

    You may learn things about yourself (or spouse or others) you hadn't thought of before. It's good insight into why we do things we do, but also talks about how we can change habits we don't like. Overall, I recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan St Clair Shores, MI, United States 08-31-12
    Joan St Clair Shores, MI, United States 08-31-12 Member Since 2012
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    5
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    "I can see why this one is so popular."

    This isn't your typical self-help book. The author goes into the neurology of habits as well as the psychology. What a helpful audio book! There are lots of anecdotal stories to keep a listener's interest on a long car ride, and the informational tidbits are peppered in--between the stories. This book is a positive, encouraging book, not a negative condemning one. If you have a bad habit you are having trouble breaking, I highly recommend this book. It is already helping me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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