The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change


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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.

Takeaways from the “Power of Habit”:

  • Golden rule of changing habits: Don’t resist craving. Redirect it.
  • Kicking habits is hard due to rewards at the end of the habit loop.
  • To end bad habit, replace with a new routine.
  • Companies can use these habits and cravings to market to customers.
  • Keystone habits can help you form other habits.
  • Denying rewards without replacing them makes people frustrated.
  • Craving can work also work to reinforce good habits.
  • Small wins are important because they create an impetus behind habit change.Willpower is a finite resource.
  • All habits form a cue-routine-reward loop.

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  in this book The Power of Habit , that  by just harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

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