The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

[why We Do What We Do in Life and Business]

Audiobook CD - 2012 | Unabridged ed
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The Wall Street Journal * Financial Times

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.

Praise for The Power of Habit
"Sharp, provocative, and useful." --Jim Collins
"Few [books] become essential manuals for business and living. The Power of Habit is an exception. Charles Duhigg not only explains how habits are formed but how to kick bad ones and hang on to the good." -- Financial Times
"A flat-out great read." --David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
"You'll never look at yourself, your organization, or your world quite the same way." --Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind
"Entertaining . . . enjoyable . . . fascinating . . . a serious look at the science of habit formation and change." -- The New York Times Book Review

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House Audio, p2012
Edition: Unabridged ed
ISBN: 9780307966643
Branch Call Number: CDA 158.1 DUH
Characteristics: 9 sound discs (ca. 10.5 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Chamberlain, Mike


From the critics

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Jul 22, 2020

Well written book on habits - and how they can be positively controlled.

Mar 22, 2020

Michele Romanoff!!

VaughanPLJaniceA Mar 04, 2020

I love the lessons that taught in this book:
1. Cue, routine, rewards.
2. Change routine, by substituting bad with good.
3. Not easy to change, one needs determination and willpower to change it. (But willpower is not unlimited resources; the book teaches us methods that can help us, e.g. break into “small wins”, plan ahead, join social group / find a friend)
4. Believe we can do it!

Feb 25, 2020

Interesting book on how we learn habits.

Jan 18, 2020

Basically a series of anecdotes that he interprets to support his hypotheses about habits. No real science. A short appendix reviews a lacklustre way to break a bad habit. Extremely disappointed that I wasted time on this. A friend had highly recommended it.

Dec 04, 2019

A book that is more than how to create habits or how to break them. It is why we do the same thing over and over. It will help you evaluate your habits.

ArapahoeMaryA Aug 01, 2019

Who doesn’t have at least a few bad habits? Duhigg’s analysis of habit formation and reformation makes for an interesting and worthwhile read.

Jul 02, 2019

Meh, the habit loop was a good presented idea. Otherwise the rest was more just filler and that was the only idea they had in the book. I know some of what this guy said was opinion based, so not good a science psychology book as you may want it to be

Jun 02, 2019

This book provides a deep analysis of how powerful and useful your daily habits are. This can be an eye-opener for people who are curious on why they do some things in a specific order or manner. I think that this book will answer most or all of these questions. Backed by published scientific research and real-life evidence, it proves that our most basic movements and schedules are determined by our habits, not our conscious decisions. The book provides different examples for every different scenario, also indirectly giving you tips for creating good habits for yourself.

I rated this book a 10/10 because of it’s insight on most primitive parts of the human brain. This made me much more conscious of decisions I make throughout the day. I would recommend this book to anyone as this anyone can relate to this.

kristina_rad Feb 22, 2019

Want to understand why you do what you do, and why it can be so challenging to establish a new habit (even if you really, really want to have a particular result)? Understanding how habits work may hold the key to moving towards the results that you want to achieve. This book is full of insights and science based research that sparked many 'Aha!' moments while flipping the pages . Absolutely worth reading, studying and taking action on the idea's!

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Age Suitability

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Nov 21, 2017

SFPL202 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Apr 28, 2016

KonaKitsune thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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ArapahoeMaryA Mar 13, 2019

Habits can be changed, if we understand how they work.

Habits, scientists say, emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort.

When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. It stops working so hard, or diverts focus to other tasks. So... unless you find new routines—the pattern will unfold automatically.

This explains why habits are so powerful: They create neurological cravings. Most of the time, these cravings emerge so gradually that we’re not really aware they exist, so we’re often blind to their influence. But as we associate cues with certain rewards, a subconscious craving emerges in our brains that starts the habit loop spinning.

That’s why signing kids up for piano lessons or sports is so important. It has nothing to do with creating a good musician or a five-year-old soccer star. When you learn to force yourself to practice for an hour or run fifteen laps, you start building self-regulatory strength.


"The behaviors that occur unthinkingly are evidence of our truest selves" -Aristotle


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Oct 14, 2015

The book contends that basis of most of our actions are based off of this pattern. Cue-response-reward. When repeated enough these patterns are ingrained into us and become habits. The book contends in chapter 3 that we can't eliminate habits, only replace them. To do this you identify the cue, replace with a new action, and then are rewarded. For example if you have a cookie everyday at 3 PM, you instead go for a walk, you have replaced the bad habit. At the end of the book he explains how to change a habit. 1. Identify the routine 2. experiment with different rewards 3. Isolate the cue 4. Develop a plan to have alternatives somewhere in the path.

Common Cues are: location, time, emotional state, other people, immediately proceeding actions. Experiment (failures will provide feedback) until you change your habit.


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Nov 20, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: I enjoyed most of this book a good deal, and found it to be very well-written and helpful, but the final chapter was rather disturbing, and told in vivid detail. It is a little intense, and I wish I would have been better prepared for that. I recommend it, but wish I would have skipped the last chapter. I wouldn't listen to it with children in the car.

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