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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged


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Product Details

  • Audio CD: 9 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (Feb. 28 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030796664X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307966643
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 15.1 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #14,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By fastreader TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 16 2012
Format: Hardcover
One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So if you are wanting a different result you have to change what you are doing. Or else there is that whole insanity thing staring you in the face.

In the Power of Habit the author Charles Duhigg links to the insanity (se above) of people expecting to change an outcome without changing the input or process. In the book these three points in the process are called Cue - Routine - Reward.

Simple, yet complex. As in any endeavour to deconstruct or reverse engineer anything to do with humans, the devil is in the details. What looks like something simple upon first observation, becomes increasingly complex as you peel away the layers. Humans are emotional and non linear. Plus just to make life interesting, and it does, we all sing along to a different playbook. One that is created by who you are, who your relatives are, who you run into in life, karma (had to throw that one in), your education and how you use all this to problem solve.

The Cue, Routine, Reward trilogy is an attempt to simplify the process and it works. The author gives us examples where changes to the routine can have sometimes dramatic changes. Sometimes the changes to the routine are small and sometimes they are large.

The author goes further in that he starts with humans and then moves onto organizations and societies using the same trilogy of cue, routine, and reward.

For anyone who wants at least a small chance of understanding why we do what we do, why organizations and society acts as it does this book will be insightful and instructive.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on April 20 2012
Format: Hardcover
This review is from: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Hardcover)
This is not an easy book to describe because Charles Duhigg offers such a wealth of information in so many different areas. For example:

o What a habit is...and isn't
o What the habit loop is and does
o How and why we form good and bad habits
o Why it is so difficult to sustain good habits and so easy to sustain bad ones
o Which external influences most effectively manipulate both good and bad habits
o How to defend good habits
o How to break bad habits
o How and why our habits reveal our values

In Part One, Duhigg focuses on how habits emerge within individual lives (e.g. ; in the next, he examines the habits of successful companies and organizations; and then in Part Three, he looks at the habits of societies. "We now know why habits emerge, how they change, and the science behind their mechanics. We know how to break them into parts and rebuild them to our specifications. We know how to make people eat less, exercise more, work more efficiently, and live healthier lives. Transforming a habit isn't necessarily easy or quick. It isn't always simple. But it is possible. And now we know why."

There in a brief passage is the essence of what motivated Duhigg to write this book and also perhaps, just perhaps, a sufficient reason for people who read it to then rebuild their habits to their expectations, based on what they have learned from the book.

One of Duhigg's most valuable insights (among the several dozen he shares) is that organizations as well as individuals can develop bad habits or allow them to develop.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Moshe Farjoun on March 18 2012
Format: Hardcover
I had high expectations for this book. I did get some insights but my interest stopped midway. A main problem with this 'popular science' genre can be captured by the ratio of stories to substance. The author, no doubt an accomplished writer, is at his best when telling stories. He is a good writer and is able to make abstract ideas accessible. However, when it comes to substance, there is little new in this book. Notions such as reinforcement, conditioning and routines have been around since the 1940s. Also, the author ignores or simplifies many things about habits such as their creative role, the way they relate to beliefs, surprises and social interaction and on. We also know that habits are not completely mindless and do not require repetition to exist. I do not admire this genre although I can see how it may address some readers' needs. I wish we get rid of this habit and have instead books with a more balance between wisdom and folklore.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BrahmaBull on Oct. 31 2012
Format: Hardcover
Looking to create/adjust/alter/eliminate some habits? Don't bother then with this book. It has some nice stories, the first half of the book is relatively informative on a more generalized scale, but the second half of the book falls off badly, and it never dips into more nuanced discussion from a self-improvement or corporate improvement perspective. OK read, but not nearly as informative or helpful as I might have hoped.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By MarkyMark on May 14 2012
Format: Hardcover
I often buy my books based on reviews from Amazon.com and Amazon.ca as it is a fairly good reflection of the quality of the book, but this one is not the case. The beginning chapters held my interest, but it started to wane in the 2nd half when they started talking about corporations. This is because I think too much of the performance of the corporations is tied to habits as if the causal effects were like billiard balls. There are simply way too many factors why companies succeed and/or fail and trying to pinpoint it to a particular habit seems too sensational and convenient.
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