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

by Charles Duhigg

Doubleday Canada | February 28, 2012 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business is rated 4.25 out of 5 by 4.
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.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: February 28, 2012

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385669755

ISBN - 13: 9780385669757

Found in: Social and Cultural Studies

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Reviews

Rated out of 5 by from This is a great book. I recommend this book to people who simply want to take control of their lives and become a better person.
Date published: 2012-10-08
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. http://www.excellerate.ca/blogs/jillsblog/need-to-change-a-habit-this-might-help
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

– More About This Product –

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

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

by Charles Duhigg

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: February 28, 2012

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385669755

ISBN - 13: 9780385669757

From the Publisher

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.