The Power of Habit

Summary

“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.”

THINK Review

“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”

 In the Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to intriguing places in the science world to explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Human habits may seem unchangeable and inexplicable, as much a part of our beings as the color of our hair. “They are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense,” Duhigg writes. But  habits are malleable and companies are getting ever smarter at identifying and shaping behavior patterns to increase profits.

Duhigg shares a whole new way of understanding human nature and its potential for transformation. He takes us on a journey through neuroscience laboratories to explore how habits are formed and where they reside in our brains. We learn how habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Martin Luther King, Jr. We take a walk through P&G, Target, NFL locker rooms and hospitals to explore how habits can earn billions and why they mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.

“The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.”

This book helps us understand how we can use habits to our benefit, change them when we need to and replace them when necessary. Duhigg does warn that although we understand the way habits are made and altered, change is not always easy. Determining which cues play a role, for example, can take some experimentation and work. Ultimately, The Power of Habit has a convincing argument: The key to living healthier, having a happier family and life, being more productive, making a change in the world and being a well-rounded human being is to understand how habits work.

Habits aren’t destiny. We have the power to change. We have the power to change everything.

 “This is the real power of habit: the insight that your habits are what you choose them to be.”

 

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