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

by Charles Duhigg

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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.

Customer Reviews

Very interesting

This book is amazing. It does go a little long and I think you will get the point after a while but really great insights to human nature. The reason behind why we do what we do and how to break that cycle. The Narrator is very good and the book is peppered with stories that keep you listening. I would recommend this book to anyone trying to break or create habits into your life.

Not really about habits.

I really expected more from this book.

1) It wasn't action-oriented - you never actually learn how to implement changes in habit into your life, it's just a bunch of long anecdotal stories vaguely themed around "habit."

2) Most of it isn't even ABOUT habit, it's about SYSTEMS. If I wanted to read a book about systems, I wouldn't have picked a book supposedly about habits. Or, connect systems & habit in any way through the course of the book.

3) The narrator was annoying, especially when impersonating different voices. His different voices were stereotypical of either a stodgy old business man or a helpless woman. Really irritating after a while.


I really loved this book!!! This book is great for understanding behavior. It was well written and informative.

Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Unabridged)
View in iTunes $23.95
  • Narrator: Mike Chamberlain
  • Published: 2012
  • Category: Science
  • Provider: Random House Audio
  • Presented by

Customer Ratings