The Power of Habit

  • by Charles Duhigg
  • Narrated by Mike Chamberlain
  • 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Is it possible for something as seemingly mundane and commonplace as habit to influence the very building blocks of who we are? And if it is, is there a way for us to harness it?
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 distil 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.


What the Critics Say

"It’s a fascinating insight into making and breaking habits and offers practical advice, funny stories and critical thinking." ( Press Association)
“In his book The Power Of Habit Charles Duhigg approaches the subject of what habits are and how we can ultimately change them. Written in an engaging style, with just the right balance of scientific fact and actual examples…” ( The Book Garden Blog)
"Plenty of business books that try to tap into the scientific world manage to distil complicated research into readable prose. But few take the next step and become essential manuals for business and living. The Power of Habit is an exception." ( Andrew Hill, Financial Times)
"Full of great ideas" ( Evening Standard)
"I often read about a book staying with you once you put it down, usually because of an emotional impact or profound subject. This book stays with you because you can see it in action in every aspect of your life. I loved it and would definitely recommend it to anyone with, well anyone really because we all have habits, including ones we shouldn’t. It is simply such an interesting read!" ( MojoMums)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I stopped biting my nails

It's now about a month since finishing the book, and I still haven't bitten my nails! That's pretty awesome if you ask me.

Don't be put off by the whining of Mike Chamberlain's narration. Yes, it's very American and nasal, but you soon get used to it. It's worth it for the content, I promise. It would seem out-of-context to deliver self-improvement material in any other accent.

I love the notions and ideas within this book. Personally, a single driver to explain all human behaviour is an appealing concept to me. Of course it can't account for the bursts of creative flair, or capricious emotion that humans sometime display. But by the end of the book, it's hammered home that EVERYTHING is down to habit. And I believe a very large part of human nature is.

The sections about keystone habits are useful and intriguing. There are many case studies, how a football team was turned from underdog to Super Bowl winner, how Starbucks train their staff, why the Kings Cross tube station fire happened, and how you can change your life and more.

All of these rather disparate and sensational events were ALL DOWN to habits! A beautiful, singular theory, but left me wanting to corroborate these events. The book is called The Power Of Habit, so its no wonder all the chapters build on each other to prove the gravity of such power.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing. A book should encourage you to go out and study the the subject further, or research the authour and his findings.

If you love self-help books, or want to change some habits of your own, then this book is a must.

I look at Starbucks in a completely different light now. (Will just go and check if Charles Duhigg is on the board ;-) )

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- Paul

Appendix missing

Something to watch out for if you buy this audio version: when I got it, the book's Appendix ("A Reader's Guide to Using These Ideas') was missing.
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- Mark Pack

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-04-2012
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks