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The Power of Habit: why we do what we do in…

The Power of Habit: why we do what we do in life and business (2012)

by Charles Duhigg

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2,3161342,729 (3.85)61
  1. 00
    Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days by Sir John Hargrave (nefitty)
  2. 00
    No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process by Colin Beavan (mene)
    mene: In "The Power of Habit", it is described why people do things a certain way. The reason people buy so many things is also explained. "No Impact Man" is a good example of someone changing their habits (in a very extreme way). The author of "No Impact Man" also talks about why people buy so many things, among other things.… (more)
  3. 00
    Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill (trav)
  4. 00
    Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip Heath (Asumi)
  5. 01
    How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer (Anonymous user)

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There are some interesting stories detailing how major companies or athletes overcame bad habits. I didn't think there was any way I could overcome a bad habit of mine which I don't want to identify. However, by the end of this book, I discovered a simple technique to complete the CUE-ROUTINE-REWARD formula and it is working. Each day that I don't do this so-called bad habit, I put a happy face on my calendar. YEA! ( )
  CathyWacksman | Apr 24, 2016 |
Discover the science behind setting habits. Though the author's definition of a habit gets a bit broad, the science he presents in how to set habits is both interesting and immediately applicable. ( )
  AllInStride | Apr 20, 2016 |
St. Paul expressed the frustration:

"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate" (Romans 7:15 ESV).

Why do we persist in doing what we don't want to do? Why do we bite our nails, eat in front of the television, and check our social media compulsively? Habits. Habits are patterns of behaviour imprinted so deeply on our brain that they function without conscious thought.

In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains the habit cycle and suggests ways to co-opt that cycle for good.

A habit loop consists of three elements.

1. Cue: This is something that triggers the habit. For an overeater this might be sitting in front of the television.
2. Routine: This is the content of the habit—smoking, drinking, eating, name your vice.
3. Reward: This is the feeling of satisfaction you receive when the habit is temporarily satiated.

The more times we run a certain routine, the deeper the habit is ingrained in lives.

The key to changing these is understanding what triggers the cue and substituting a different routine that delivers the same reward. Say the bad habit is biting your nails. The trigger might be boredom when you have spare time. Substituting a healthier routine such as having a book on hand to reach for may give you the same sense of satisfaction as a set of nails closely bitten.

Duhigg doesn't stop with personal habits, he carries the theme on to the organizational habits. What cue-routine-reward cycles do we mindlessly run through in our churches?

Changing habits is hard work, but understanding how they work is a healthy first step on the path. ( )
  StephenBarkley | Mar 26, 2016 |
This was listed as one of Amazon's top 10 business books of 2012. I wouldn't list it as a business book, but it was very interesting and there are several takeaways that I will try to incorporate into my own life. ( )
  Darwa | Mar 18, 2016 |
I really liked the first third of this book, where Duhigg talks about the psychology and neurology of habits. He collapse a few different behaviors into "cravings," but the habit loop idea is interesting and the case studies are great. The connection between cue, routine, and reward and the ways we can think about altering those are really helpful. Thinking about my habits through this lens has helped me identify certain patterns of behavior that I want to modify and I have a sense of how I might go about it. The book has also made me appreciate the value of routines more. I now see routines as something we all have rather than something only some people subscribe to, and so it's not a matter of adopting a routine per se, but adopting a healthy or productive routine.

That's the good news. Now for what really didn't work for me in the book. When Duhigg moves from individual behavior and psychological studies to societal-level phenomena, the book falls apart and comes close to undermining the strengths of the earlier sections. The Alcoa/Paul O'Neill sections commit the fallacy of attributing complex outcomes to single causes, and the explanation of civil rights movement success like the Montgomery Bus Boycott as the product of changed "social habits" is just flat-out wrong. Whereas before Duhigg was conflating things like associations with cravings, now he collapses subgroup policing, peer pressure, organizational choices, and even strategic behavior into "habits." He seems to understand that he's stretching the concept beyond recognition or usefulness but he goes ahead and does it anyway.

Nevertheless, the strengths of the first part have stayed with me and I'm glad I read it. ( )
  Sunita_p | Mar 6, 2016 |
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Book description
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.

Marketeers at Proctor & Gamble study videos of people making their beds.  The are desperately trying to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, which is 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 focussing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives.

They succeeded in 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 changes.   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 Proctor & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation's largest hospitals to 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 business, our communities, and our lives.  [from the jacket]
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Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed.

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