The Power of Habit Online eBook by Charles Duhigg Click Here to Download the Book 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. Marketers at Procter & Gamble study videos of people making their beds. They are desperately trying to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, 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 focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives. They succeeded by 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 changed. 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 Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and 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 businesses, our communities, and our lives.
Reviews This fantastic book authored by a prizewinning writer from the NY Times was a page turner that kept me up until 2 AM finishing it. It is a psychology book that is built with the structure of numerous intriguing journalistic stories. These stories cover a wide range of personal habits, organizational habits, and societal habits. It brought to sharp focus how central habits are to our existence, how keystone habits can ripple out and effect many other habits and parts of our lives. We can control habits to help us improve, but can also be allowed to be controlled by them at our peril. This book built a new lens in my mind through which I can see and understand more clearly the automatic behaviors of places I've worked, people I know, and even myself. I read a library copy of this book, but it was so good that I am buying a copy to reread and reference in the future. I would highly recommend everyone I know to read this thought provoking and potentially life changing book.
Have you ever given much thought to all those little things (and bigger things) that you do on a daily basis without even thinking much about them---your habits? Probably not, but lots of other folks have given it lots of thought and businesses spend big bucks every year figuring how to create products that they hope will become part of your routine.
Habits are developed gradually and they all have a pattern. First there is a trigger which causes your non-thinking brain to engage in its habit. We perform the habit because we crave the reward we receive as a result. Duhigg uses the toothpaste industry as an example. In the early 1900s, most folks didn't habitually brush their teeth, much to the dismay of their dentists who tried without success to get their patients to brush. It wasn't until a chemist working for a toothpaste company thought to add a mint flavoring to their product that toothbrushing became more prevalent. The author suggests that today we routinely brush our teeth because we have come to associate that minty taste with clean teeth. Reading this book really made me stop and think about some of the habits I've developed over the years and whether or not they are worth keeping. Retailers like Target do so much research on their customers that the author suggests that they know more about our habits and livestyles than we do about ourselves. That seems kind of creepy to me, so in addition to being an eye-opening and well-written book, it has challenged me to think about what I chose to buy, eat, drink and spend my time.
Highly entertaining and fascinating book about what habits are and how people develop them by accident. The book starts with an example how habits develop on individual level and from that proceeds to describe how habits work in an organizational or even societal level. My favorite parts were the ones that dealt with how habits worked in organizations by either making them extremely successful or ending up as a catastrophe costing lives. Along different chapters Duhigg uses his example of how habit loops work and ties it to the different events and in the end he gives a simple framework in what ways one can (try) to change his/hers habits. Every time I saw the picture of Duhiggs habit loop I couldn't help remembering Meadows great book "Thinking in Systems" which models were similar (every time I saw the Reward-loop I kept thinking of Feedback-loop by Meadows). This book is one of my favorites along with Gilberts "Stumbling on Happiness". Both are quite "light" to read in a sense that even though they rely and refer to different studies conducted the text used in the book is easy to understand and even entertaining to read. Neither of the books fit in the "security"-context but both of them have extremely interesting tidbits relating to that area.
Ever since I started reading this book, I couldn't stop talking about it with my co-workers. It was wonderfully arranged, starting with the neurological aspects/studies of the brain; to specific examples of highly successful people who adjusted their habits for success (Michael Phelps, Tony Dunge, the person that started AA, and some execs); to social aspects of habit; finally to striking controversial examples of if and when we can be blamed for habit (including an interesting section on sleep walking and if you can actually be blamed for it, since I sleep walk, it was very intriguing). Finally, there is an appendix where the reader can follow a step by step guide to help conquer the habit that most gets in the way for them personally. I got this from the library, since I didn't know if I would like it, but I will now purchase it so that I can highlight and annotate my own copy. I will read it again and hope that most people will read it as well.
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