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Publisher's Note:  

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.



This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

by Charles Duhigg

Review Date:
10/16/2012

Recommended Age:
18+

Overall Rating:
*****

Profanity / Language Rating:
*

Violence / Gore Rating:
*

Sex / Nudity Rating:
**

Overall Review:  

"At one point, we all consciously decided how much to eat and what to focus on when we got to the office, how often to have a drink or when to go for a jog.  Then we stopped making a choice, and the behavior became automatic.  It's a natural consequence of our neurology."    --Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit

 

Until I read this book, I had never thought about how much of life is governed by habits or how comforting and freeing a routine can be.  Now I can't help but see it as I go through my day.

 

When we don't have to think about every little thing we do, like were to place the glass bowls in the dishwasher, our mind is free for other things.  We were made to develop habits.  They can help us function.  Unfortunately, the habits we consciously, or unconsciously, create aren't always good.  That is where knowledge of the "Habit Loop" can really help.  We all have cues that set our habits into motion, routines we follow after the cue is perceived, and rewards we gain from completing our routine.  As Charles Duhigg so artfully informs us, all that needs changing is the routine.  Simple.  At least in theory.

 

The Power of Habit is an eye-opening read.  Duhigg entertains with his easy writing style, and distils an amazing amount of research down to its essential elements.  This allows the reader to learn about how to make an effective effort to change our not-so-endearing habits.  We learn that focusing on one habit, or a "keystone" habit, will bring about greater change than trying to tackle many things at once.  We are advised to celebrate the small wins.  We are shown again and again how changing our own habits can effect change in those around us.

 

I was intrigued the first time I read the title of this one and couldn't wait to read it.  I was not disappointed.  I highly recommend this for your to-read list!


Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  1 mild obscenity.

 

Violence/Gore:  A report of a murder/accident.

 

Sex/Nudity:  A report of a rape (no details).



Mature Subject Matter:  

***



Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Alcohol and smoking are mentioned as habits that were broken.



Reviewed By Ambra
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