Title: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business
Author: Charles Duhigg
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
My Thoughts: This book was really interesting! It reads more like a history book then a “how to” or self-improvement book. Things that stuck with me were his talking about Target and Radio Stations and how they use our habits to us to buy things or listen to music and how to go about making a product that becomes a habit.
Another thing more on the realm of self-help that he talks about is the best ways to create a habit. He says that we need to find out why we do something, like buying a cookie/coffee/etc in the afternoon. If we are trying to save money, we need to figure out the reason we are doing this, is it social thing, where perhaps we’d been isolated all day and around that time we need a break and to get some social time in or if it’s a need for something to eat in the afternoon to get a bit of energy. He proposes breaking it down into chunks, replace the trip to get that with a visit to a coworker and talk, or bring something from home. Whichever satisfy the need is the best route to go to replace a habit, because replacing a habit is a lot easier then eliminating a habit.
I found this book to be interesting but it felt like it was a lot longer than it needed to be, at times I almost skipped sections because I’d already taken what I needed from the chapter. If all you wanted was the “how to” part you could probably read the last section and leave it at that but if you enjoy the history and psychology behind things this book would be a good read and I would have probably enjoyed it more had I been more in the mood for that.
All in all, for my personal experience I’m giving this a 3/5.