The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business

Kobo ebook | February 28, 2012

byCharles Duhigg

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Groundbreaking new research shows that by grabbing hold of the three-step "loop" all habits form in our brains--cue, routine, reward--we can change them, giving us the power to take control over our lives.
"We are what we repeatedly do," said Aristotle. "Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." On the most basic level, a habit is a simple neurological loop: there is a cue (my mouth feels gross), a routine (hello, Crest), and a reward (ahhh, minty fresh). Understanding this loop is the key to exercising regularly or becoming more productive at work or tapping into reserves of creativity. Marketers, too, are learning how to exploit these loops to boost sales; CEOs and coaches are using them to change how employees work and athletes compete. As this book shows, tweaking even one habit, as long as it's the right one, can have staggering effects.
In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes readers inside labs where brain scans record habits as they flourish and die; classrooms in which students learn to boost their willpower; and boardrooms where executives dream up products that tug on our deepest habitual urges. Full of compelling narratives that will appeal to fans of Michael Lewis, Jonah Lehrer, and Chip and Dan Heath, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: our most basic actions are not the product of well-considered decision making, but of habits we often do not realize exist. By harnessing this new science, we can transform our lives.

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Groundbreaking new research shows that by grabbing hold of the three-step "loop" all habits form in our brains--cue, routine, reward--we can change them, giving us the power to take control over our lives. "We are what we repeatedly do," said Aristotle. "Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." On the most basic level, a habit is...

Format:Kobo ebookPublished:February 28, 2012Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385669755

ISBN - 13:9780385669757

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Customer Reviews of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read. Great insights and entertaining style of writing. For anyone that digs deeper into human behaviour, this is a must read!
Date published: 2015-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Power of Habit I appreciated both the research behind the book as well as the easy to understand language and flow of the book. Presenting a 'formula' to help to understand current habits and create new ones where desired, was probably my favorite aspect. It provided a practical, usable solution to apply to one's own life, not just a a lot of abstract information.
Date published: 2014-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read with actionable takeaways One of the best non-fiction books I've read recently. It's all about identifying how habits form, how to understand each component of them and lastly how you can actually change any unsavoury habits that have ventured into your life.
Date published: 2014-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it What a great read interesting to the end!
Date published: 2014-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Power of Habit Very insightful read about why we do certain things. Read it and I guarantee you will find it interesting.
Date published: 2014-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Power of Habit Locked in from the start. I now understand the habit loop. What is a bad or goos habit? Are we reallt in control?
Date published: 2014-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! Loved it! Highly recommend. Useful for everyone.
Date published: 2013-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable read Insightful and clever read that demands the reader to question habit and routine. A very well written book for anyone looking to understand the way habit can be reformed through acknowledgement and the power of will. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend reading it.
Date published: 2013-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Power of Habits Strongly recommend everyone to read this book!
Date published: 2013-11-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Habit Very simple strategy. Now making it work is the hard part!
Date published: 2013-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Power of habit Fascinating book. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2013-06-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The power of habit. Great book now I feel I have a few more tools at my disposal for making changes in my life.
Date published: 2013-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Habit Worth reading. Fun to read about Starbucks
Date published: 2013-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Understand and change "Habits can be changed if we understand how they work" says Charles Duhigg, author of one of the summer's hottest books "The Power of Habit". And he goes further to help you understand them. It was well worth the read. Enjoy my summary by clicking the link. In it I share my top 3 lessons from the book.
Date published: 2012-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Not a cure all, like many self help books claim, but an excellent first step for any understanding of problematic behavior.
Date published: 2012-08-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from More than I expected I bought this eBook in with the hope of getting some insight into my bad habits. It promises to reveal the three components of the habit "loop" and how to control and change these loops. I found the subject fascinating; because habits work on a nearly subconscious level they are often difficult to observe and understand. The format is part self-help, part sociological which gave the book a couple hard turns that took me out of it and made completing the it a chore for me. Since I made the purchase with the expectation of a self-help my difficulties with the read in no way means the book is flawed, only that my expectations and reasons for reading it split away from the narrative. To get the most out of the book from a purely self-help angle I'd recommend Part One and the Appendix which will give you a lot to work with. The book expands on the notion of habits from the individual to organizations and finally to societies. Each of these sections are also very interesting especially how organizations can improve performance by experimenting with habits. This book touches on so many categories that I would find it hard to shelve, if I was running a book store; you could find it in Self-help or Biography & Memoir or Business and Finance or Social and Cultural Studies there's even a bit of Religion and Spirituality thrown into the mix. This was a solid, well thought out and broad look at human behavior. I recommend it.
Date published: 2012-06-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a brief summary and review It is often said that we are creatures of habit, in that many of our daily activities end up being a matter of routine rather than direct deliberation (just think of your morning run-through). While this is no doubt true, author Charles Duhigg insists that this is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact that habits have on our daily lives. Indeed, in his new book `The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business' Duhigg argues that habits not only pervade our personal lives, but that they have an integral role to play in the businesses and other organizations of which we are a part, and that they are also at the heart of social movements and societies at large. The first part of the book focuses on the role that habits play in our personal lives. Here we learn about the habit loop consisting of cue, routine, and reward, and how the elements in this loop can be manipulated to help modify our habits (say from crashing on the couch with a bag of chips, to heading out for a run). We also learn about the power of particular habits called keystone habits (which include exercise, as well as eating together as a family) that help initiate a domino effect that touches all of the other aspects of our lives. Also, we learn about the power of belief--and the importance of social groups in helping create this belief--that stands behind successful habit transformation programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The second part of the book concentrates on how habits help shape businesses and organizations. Here we learn that the formation of habits and routines within organizations is unavoidable; what's more, that it is always best for the leadership of a group to make a deliberate effort to shape the habits of their organizations, and in a way that ensures a high degree of equality and fairness for its various members, while nonetheless making it clear who is ultimately in charge of each particular aspect of the operation. Second, we learn that keystone habits--which are at the center of our personal lives--are also pivotal when it comes to larger organizations (and how a particular keystone habit was applied to resurrect the once great but flailing American aluminum company Alcoa). We also learn about the greatest keystone habit of all: willpower, and how this habit can best be cultivated (and how companies such as Starbucks are employing these lessons to help train employees successfully). Finally, we learn about how companies such as Proctor & Gamble and Target instill habits in their customers. The third and final part of the book examines the importance of habits in social movements, such as the civil rights movement of the 1960's. Here we learn that movements tend to follow a three-part process. To start with, a movement tends to begin with a group of close acquaintances and friends. The movement tends to grow when these people spread it to the broader communities of which they are a part. Finally, in order to really take hold and spread, the movement must be guided forward by an effective leader who lays down new habits for the movement's adherents in a way that allows them to gain a sense of identity. On the negative side, the organization of the book is somewhat muddled, as there is significant overlap in the parts on individuals and organizations. Also, the section on social movements rests on a precious few examples, and therefore, the theory seems less convincing than it might otherwise be. Still, though, there are many things to be learned here and the book is well worth the read. For a full summary of the book, as well as many of the juicier details and anecdotes to be found therein, visit the website at newbooksinbrief dot wordpress dot com, and click on article #9. The information in the article is also available in a condensed version as a podcast on the same site.
Date published: 2012-04-15