The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Book - 2012
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The perfect graduation gift, this instant classic explores how we can change our lives by changing our habits.

"With the days of pulling all-nighters and eating pizza at 2 a.m. (hopefully) behind your new grad, there's no time like the present to get into a good routine."-- Real Simple

The Wall Street Journal * Financial Times

In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

Praise for The Power of Habit

"Sharp, provocative, and useful." --Jim Collins

"Few [books] become essential manuals for business and living. The Power of Habit is an exception. Charles Duhigg not only explains how habits are formed but how to kick bad ones and hang on to the good." -- Financial Times

"A flat-out great read." --David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

"You'll never look at yourself, your organization, or your world quite the same way." --Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

"Entertaining . . . enjoyable . . . fascinating . . . a serious look at the science of habit formation and change." -- The New York Times Book Review

Publisher: New York : Random House, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781400069286
Branch Call Number: 158.1 D882p 2012
Characteristics: xx, 371 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Habit


From the critics

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Jan 14, 2018

Very good book about habits: cue, routine, reward. It has stories about how different habits has affected people, how people succeeded in changing habits, etc. It's a very good book about being more self-aware and potential for growth as well as self-change.

Dec 12, 2017

This is an awesome book that explains the cycle of a habit, which interesting case studies to go along with it. Strongly recommend it.

Jun 05, 2017

Good book, would recommend it to read to understand that we can manipulate and change out habits by understanding the way they work.

Mar 16, 2017

Personally, I haven't read the book yet, but after taking a look at peoples' comments, I would like to read it. Those feedback are encouraging to read.

Aug 16, 2016

This is not a self-help book, so if you are looking for that you may be disappointed, though it does make a helpful starting point for changing your own habits. This book provides an enjoyable look at how habits affect individual lives, corporations and organizations, even societies. Well researched with fascinating stories from many different areas, such as the marketing of a hit song, the transformation of a losing football team, Starbucks employee training, and the spread of a fire in the London Underground.

Jan 07, 2016

This is essentially a compilation of examples supporting the author's model of how habits are formed. There is virtually no information on techniques for changing habits. A breezy, entertaining read but not very instructive if you're looking for something to help you change.

Oct 14, 2015

The book is a good starting point in thinking about habits. The basic pattern of cue-response-reward seems to be correct. Duhigg contends that the only way to change a habit (the golden rule of habit chapter 3) is if you replace it with another one. The habit itself may not be the problem though (the reward may be the real problem). He does point you in the right direction although you need to think for yourself about where your pattern might be a problem. I think there could also be a similar pattern cue-response-punishment that might make you averse to the pattern, but he doesn't get into that at all. He doesn't make any judgements about how others may exploit your habits or seek to create them in order to exploit you (febreeze and target being the main examples) so again you have to think for yourself. Good reporting doesn't judge, so take it at that level. Also read the notes section as it calls out that a lot of the narratives were embellished significantly-like "based on a true story" movies (especially the hospital story).

Jun 13, 2015

Extremely informative and very helpful.

bolsen13 Apr 09, 2015

Overall this was quite an enjoyable book. It was certainly interesting and the examples used by the author were effective, though slightly odd. Even after reading the very small application section at the end I was left feeling as though I ultimately hadn't learned much. Very little "practical application" in my opinion.. though that might just be unique to my life. I enjoyed reading the book on the whole, and my only other complaint is the seemingly random cliff-hangers done mid-chapter, which were a lot more frustrating than they were intriguing. Solid read if you would like to learn more about habits, but don't expect it to change your life overnight.

Jun 04, 2014

Interesting and quick read. Some of the information was familiar from other books on similar subjects (I think I remembered some of it from "Switch: How To Change When Change Is Hard" - though I liked this book better). Helpful for making change in personal life and business.

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Apr 28, 2016

KonaKitsune thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Oct 14, 2015

The book contends that basis of most of our actions are based off of this pattern. Cue-response-reward. When repeated enough these patterns are ingrained into us and become habits. The book contends in chapter 3 that we can't eliminate habits, only replace them. To do this you identify the cue, replace with a new action, and then are rewarded. For example if you have a cookie everyday at 3 PM, you instead go for a walk, you have replaced the bad habit. At the end of the book he explains how to change a habit. 1. Identify the routine 2. experiment with different rewards 3. Isolate the cue 4. Develop a plan to have alternatives somewhere in the path.

Common Cues are: location, time, emotional state, other people, immediately proceeding actions. Experiment (failures will provide feedback) until you change your habit.


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"The behaviors that occur unthinkingly are evidence of our truest selves" -Aristotle


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