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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business Paperback – 7 Jan 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 247 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade; Reprint edition (7 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081298160X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812981605
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 622,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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"

"Cue: see cover. Routine: read book. Reward: fully comprehend the art of manipulation."--"Bloomberg Businessweek"

"Absolutely fascinating."--"Wired"


"From the Hardcover edition."

"NEW YORK TIMES "BESTSELLER - NPR""BESTSELLER - "WASHINGTON POST "BESTSELLER - "LOS ANGELES TIMES "BESTSELLER - "USA TODAY "BESTSELLER - "PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "BESTSELLER
"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"
"Cue: see cover. Routine: read book. Reward: fully comprehend the art of manipulation."--"Bloomberg Businessweek""
"
"A fresh examination of how routine behaviors take hold and whether they are susceptible to change . . . The stories that Duhigg has knitted together are all fascinating in their own right, but take on an added dimension when wedded to his examination of habits."-- Associated Press
"There's been a lot of research over the past several years about how our habits shape us, and this work is beautifully described in the new book "The Power of Habit.""--David Brooks, "The New York Times"
" "
"A first-rate book--based on an impressive mass of research, written in a lively style and providing just the right balance of intellectual seriousness with practical advice on how to break our bad habits."--"The Economist"
" "
"I have been spinning like a top since reading "The Power of Habit, ""New York Times" journalist Charles Duhigg's fascinating best-seller about how people, businesses and organizations develop the positive routines that make them productive--and happy."--"The Washington Post"
" "
"An absolutely fascinating . . . book [that explores] a startling and sometimes dismaying collision between the increasingly sophisticated scientific understanding of habits--how they're formed, how they can be disrupted and changed--and, among other things, companies' efforts to use that knowledge to steer your habits and money their way."--"Wired"
" "
"If Duhigg is right about the nature of habits, which I think he is, then trying to "get rid" of these bad habits won't work. Instead, what is needed is to teach the managers to "identify the cues" that lead to these bad habits and rewards, and then learn alternative routines that lead to similar rewards, i.e. business and personal success."--"Forbes"
" "
""The Power of Habit" is chock-full of fascinating anecdotes . . . how an early twentieth century adman turned Pepsodent into the first bestselling toothpaste by creating the habit of brushing daily, how a team of marketing mavens at Procter & Gamble rescued Febreze from the scrapheap of failed products by recognizing that a fresh smell was a fine reward for a cleaning task, how Michael Phelps' coach instilled habits that made him an Olympic champion many times over, and how Tony Dungy turned the Indianapolis Colts into a Super Bowl-winning team."--"Los Angeles Times"
"Duhigg clearly knows that people do not like, or even buy, the idea that we're not creatures of choice. He carefully explains each step of habit building, using science and--the best part--a slew of interesting anecdotes."--"The Seattle Times"
" "
"Duhigg argues that much of our lives is ruled by unconscious habits, good and bad, but that by becoming consciously aware of the cues that trigger our habits and the rewards they provide, we can change bad practices into good ones."--"Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"
" "
"Duhigg's revelation that Target had developed a model to predict whether female customers were pregnant ignited a firestorm after an excerpt from his book, "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, " was published."--"USA Today"

"NEW YORK TIMES "BESTSELLER NPR" "BESTSELLER "WASHINGTON POST "BESTSELLER "LOS ANGELES TIMES "BESTSELLER "USA TODAY "BESTSELLER "PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "BESTSELLER
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"
Cue: see cover. Routine: read book. Reward: fully comprehend the art of manipulation. "Bloomberg Businessweek""
"
A fresh examination of how routine behaviors take hold and whether they are susceptible to change . . . The stories that Duhigg has knitted together are all fascinating in their own right, but take on an added dimension when wedded to his examination of habits. Associated Press
There s been a lot of research over the past several years about how our habits shape us, and this work is beautifully described in the new book "The Power of Habit." David Brooks, "The New York Times"
""
A first-rate book based on an impressive mass of research, written in a lively style and providing just the right balance of intellectual seriousness with practical advice on how to break our bad habits. "The Economist"
""
I have been spinning like a top since reading "The Power of Habit, " "New York Times" journalist Charles Duhigg s fascinating best-seller about how people, businesses and organizations develop the positive routines that make them productive and happy. "The Washington Post"
""
An absolutely fascinating . . . book [that explores] a startling and sometimes dismaying collision between the increasingly sophisticated scientific understanding of habits how they re formed, how they can be disrupted and changed and, among other things, companies efforts to use that knowledge to steer your habits and money their way. "Wired"
""
If Duhigg is right about the nature of habits, which I think he is, then trying to "get rid" of these bad habits won t work. Instead, what is needed is to teach the managers to "identify the cues" that lead to these bad habits and rewards, and then learn alternative routines that lead to similar rewards, i.e. business and personal success. "Forbes"
""
"The Power of Habit" is chock-full of fascinating anecdotes . . . how an early twentieth century adman turned Pepsodent into the first bestselling toothpaste by creating the habit of brushing daily, how a team of marketing mavens at Procter & Gamble rescued Febreze from the scrapheap of failed products by recognizing that a fresh smell was a fine reward for a cleaning task, how Michael Phelps coach instilled habits that made him an Olympic champion many times over, and how Tony Dungy turned the Indianapolis Colts into a Super Bowl winning team. "Los Angeles Times"
Duhigg clearly knows that people do not like, or even buy, the idea that we re not creatures of choice. He carefully explains each step of habit building, using science and the best part a slew of interesting anecdotes. "The Seattle Times"
""
Duhigg argues that much of our lives is ruled by unconscious habits, good and bad, but that by becoming consciously aware of the cues that trigger our habits and the rewards they provide, we can change bad practices into good ones. "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"
""
Duhigg s revelation that Target had developed a model to predict whether female customers were pregnant ignited a firestorm after an excerpt from his book, "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, " was published. "USA Today""

Book Description

An award-winning journalist reveals the secrets of why you do what you do - and how to change --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first section of HABIT which focuses on individuals' behaviour is excellent, describing how sub-conscious a lot of daily decisions can be, and how to change these. I was compelled immediately to find the one key-stone habit I would try to change, by keeping the same cue and reward, but changing the actual habit, and finding ways to believe that change is possible. Case studies of drug addicts and Olympic swimmers were gripping and inspiring.

However, the second and third section were less interesting, mainly because I had come across the same material already several times -- about how will-power is a finite resource (that can, however, be incrased over time) and how companies use psychology and data linking to sell you more stuff. Some of the case studies were over-dramatised, with no clear point or conclusion (e.g. on the Kings Cross fire on the London Underground), and I was not moved to change my organisation on Monday morning.

The book is a frustrating and exciting read at the same time. I really enjoyed the journalistic style and for once, the case studies were not boring. Possibly a bit formulaeic, but entertaining. The beginning is really promising, making you sense we are at the edge of some truly transformational insight -- but then it all fizzles out. It could have done with a clearer set of conclusions rather than complexity that seems to be padding it out and only succeeds in confusing the reader.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great book. The New York Times reporter, Charles Duhigg, tackles an important reality head on. In The Power of Habit, Duhigg suggests people succeed when they identify patterns that shape their lives--and learn how to change them. I would recommend, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, as an excellent companion to learn how break unproductive habits and master new ones.

The author's main contention is that "you have the freedom and responsibility" to remake your habits. He says "the most addicted alcoholics can become sober. The most dysfunctional companies can transform themselves. A high school dropout can become a successful manager." He makes a convincing case for all this. The only problem is that's all he does. He doesn't show you how to do it. That's my only complaint.

This idea that you can change your habits draws on recent research in experimental psychology, neurology, and applied psychology. As you can see from the table of content below, Duhigg really goes after a broad range of topics. He looks at the habits of individuals, how habits operate in the brain, how companies use them, and how retailers use habits to manipulate buying habits. This provides some fascinating research and stories, such as the fact that grocery stores put fruits and vegetables at the front of the store because people who put these healthy items in their carts are more apt to buy junk food as well before they leave the store.

PART ONE: THE HABITS OF INDIVIDUALS
1. The Habit Loop - How Habits Work
2. The Craving Brain - How to Create New Habits
3. The Golden Rule of Habit Change - Why Transformation Occurs

PART TWO - THE HABITS OF SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATIONS
4. Keystone Habits, or The Ballad of Paul O'Neill - Which Habits Matter Most
5.
Read more ›
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I was impressed by how well this book is written. The author made me think of Malcom Gladwell's writing. Captivating, insightful.

Charles Duhigg is a very good writer, who writes in a way that keeps you wanting to continue reading and, at the same time, take time aside to reflect on your own life and how you can apply what you are learning while reading this book

The subject is extremely insteresting and I would gladly recommend it for anyone looking to change something in their lives, at work or somewhere else, togheter with "Switch" from Chip and Dan Heath. Switch: How to change things when change is hard

On the not so great side, and here's the reason why I don't give it 5 stars, the practical side of the book can truly be improved. The real-life author's example of how a habit can be changed applying the framework of the book is good to understanding concepts, but changing the habit of eating a cookie in the afternoon is generally not a problem for most people. I would have preferred something more practical like the 1-page "How to make a switch" from the Heath brothers or a few more real-life examples of application of Duhigg's framework on harder-to-change habits.

All in all, good book. I can only highly recommend it. I enjoyed reading it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a solution focused hypnotherapist I often see people who want to rid themselves of bad habits, and although the book is good at explaining what's going on, people do struggle to change the routine or become aware of the cues, so it's not as straight forward as everyone thinks.

I found the habits of organisations fascinating and it's worth reading just for those insights. Though I found the habit of going from one subject to another and back again a little annoying and lost where I was several times. (I'm reading it on a kindle and need to create a habit using it without feeling irritated!). The chapter on Starbucks and the London Underground were particularly interesting.

Don't buy this if you want explanations of neuroscience, but if you're just interested or nosey it's a good summer read.
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