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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Charles Duhigg

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1,8911123,630 (3.88)55
Member:michlib
Title:The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Authors:Charles Duhigg
Info:Random House (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 400 pages
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The Power of Habit: why we do what we do in life and business by Charles Duhigg (2012)

Recently added byecoprob, njdpioneer, dazzyj, trile1000, private library, ugurnal, hagertyhartfeldt, INorris
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Sporadically interesting survey of the state of research in this important field. ( )
  dazzyj | Apr 25, 2015 |
Change your habits, change your life, change the world

Aristotle wrote about the power of habit over two millennia ago. Indeed, he begins developing his moral theory in Book II of the Nicomachean Ethics (after his opening meta-ethical discussion on the nature of the good in Book I) by noting the strong connection between moral excellence and habit (the Greek word for which was "ethos"). "It makes no small difference," he wrote, "whether we form habits of one kind or of another from our very youth; it makes a great difference, or rather all the difference."

In this book, Charles Duhigg picks up where Aristotle left off. Drawing from the latest research in neuroscience and psychology and from a wide variety of inductive case studies, ranging from examples of successful habit change in individuals to sports teams and businesses, and how they use marketing and user interface design to instill habitual use in their customers, to broader social change such as the civil rights movement, he shows what habits are, why they matter, and how we can use this knowledge to improve our own habits and hence our lives.

The final chapter on "The Neurology of Free Will: Are We Responsible for Our Habits?" is a bit frustrating, as he examines two cases in an attempt to strongly imply that the one who clearly did have control and could have changed paths at many points (which is the point of the whole book, after all) was not responsible for her actions, while the one who did not have control was. I kept thinking, "He really needs to read Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame by Diana Hsieh!" But stick with it, he sorts it out more or less correctly in the end. So while this may not have quite the philosophical depth and breadth of Aristotle, it does dig into some interesting questions and is well worth reading for anyone interested in the power of habit. I would also recommend The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. ( )
  AshRyan | Apr 13, 2015 |
Interesting but could have been 50 pages max and gotten the same message across. We briefly talked about this book in one of my marketing classes and I'm not sure how much more I got from reading it. ( )
  abbeyhar | Apr 2, 2015 |
This book is rated three stars not because it is a bad book, but because it is not quite as exciting as a work of nonfiction. That said, it is definitely an interesting work, and applies the science of habit to many things that I would not have previously associated with habits. Particularly interesting was the explanation of Target's data analysis, and how that relates to shopper habits, and the explanation of how a song becomes a habit. This was explained in terms of listening habits. In all, it is a useful book, and opens one's eyes to the habits that underlay everything we do. ( )
  Muir_Alex | Jan 18, 2015 |
Great - read it in Morocco on holiday and *****almost**** managed to get my non-reading husband to finish reading it also! ( )
  LizzieHG | Jan 13, 2015 |
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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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