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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doing the same stupid thing over and over ? Fix it with this book !!
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...
Published on March 16 2012 by fastreader

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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars High stories to substance ratio
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...
Published on March 18 2012 by Moshe Farjoun


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Doing the same stupid thing over and over ? Fix it with this book !!, March 16 2012
By 
fastreader - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A rock-solid framework for "understanding how habits work and a guide for experimenting with how they might change", April 20 2012
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (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. For example, tolerating incivility and thus condoning it, conducting performance evaluations unfairly and/or inconsistently, and under-valuing employees and/or customers. However, in that event, only individuals can break those organizational bad habits and only if their habits are equal to that challenge. Duhigg devotes all of Part Two (Chapters 4-7) an explanation of how best to respond to that challenge. Stephen Covey also has much of value to say about what meeting that challenge requires of people in his classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars High stories to substance ratio, March 18 2012
By 
Moshe Farjoun (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (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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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Causal effects are not like billiard balls, May 14 2012
This review is from: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak, Oct. 31 2012
By 
BrahmaBull "BrahmaBull" (Kitchener, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, powerful, instantly applicable to work and life, July 11 2012
By 
Paul Nazareth (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Hardcover)
This book has been on international best seller lists for months.
And I can see why.

You can't skim this book.

As always many concepts in this book aren't new but it is the context, the examination of success and failure - and the solutions applied - make up the core value to this book.

Leaders in the time management, diet industry and money management sectors always tell us to "write down how we spend our time, what we eat and how we spend money every single day" and by analyzing that, then using the knowledge we can make change. They've been saying that for a long time and for many it works but it's only half the solution.

We all have triggers in our life, negative and positive. We react to those daily triggers with responses that have become habit because the result is positive and pleasing. Adults don't change habits easily, many won't be able to at all because the triggers never go away and we need our positive pleasure at the end of the habit. This book teaches the reader how to understand the trigger, change the response to get the same reward. A tricky thing but there are dozens of story from live, business and history that vividly tell this tale of cause and effect.

The stories make for a fascinating and practical read, it actually forces you to slow down and ingest the story and the lessons. Many of the stories really move the reader, more importantly this is a BUSINESS book that tells you why that humanity, emotion and desire for dignity is a business revenue advantage.

I love that this book is BS-free. "Companies aren't families, they're battlefields in a civil war". Worked at a company like that once? Me too. We needs solutions, not coping mechanisms.

This book continues the focus on where neuroscience and the brain meets business strategy and marketing. I am the grocery shopping for my family - the book's tale of how we are controlled by supermarkets like rats in a capitalistic maze read like my weekly routine. It offends and impresses me how hard they are working to make me break the list I bring each week.

When the author does interviews he often talks about a case study in the book where a department store did such deep data analysis they captured part of the massive baby market because they could tell a woman was pregnant before she had told ANYONE, spouse/family included. You'll leave this story realizing how much better you can serve your clients/donors if you apply this "life cycle" observation approach.

The book's many valuable touch points on networking include a great chapter on the power of weak ties, that LinkedIn allows us to find "people like us" quickly in the business world is powerful.

Discussing how to harness the power of peer pressure and how to make it work for you was brilliant and again, really down to earth.

What you will remember about this book are the many lessons you learn from the stories...

-About how the music industry uses the power of the familiar

- About how athletes use the power of training to get instant response from their minds/bodies to WIN

- About how businesses capture the power of keystone habits ( one small thing that affects every part of the business ) to positivity influence

It's a fabulous read that will no doubt spark your creative mind to take a lot of notes for today and turn them into business improvement and revenue tomorrow.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., April 11 2012
By 
Reader Writer Runner (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Hardcover)
Investigative reporter Charles Duhigg has written an entertaining book to help readers change their habits. 'The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business' takes a serious and in-depth look at the science of habit formation without adopting a condescending "self help" tone.

Duhigg remains optimistic about how we can put the science to use. He suggests that, by understanding the nature of habits, we can influence group behavior, turning companies into profit makers and ensuring the success of social movements. He makes his case through fascinating stories and case histories: how and why Target can tell which of its female customers are pregnant, how Rick Warren went from a depressed minister of a small congregation to the leader of one of the biggest megachurches in the world, why Rosa Parks's refusal to give up her seat started a movement and why a 1987 fire in a London Underground station failed to be contained, leading to the deaths of 31 people.

Unfortunately, it's not always clear from Duhigg's book how we should boil down these examples into a prescription for change. Certainly, one way comes through repetition, practising a routing until it becomes automatic. Altering the habit loop of cue, habit, reward can help someone give up an afternoon cookie. But then there are compulsions and addictions, behaviors that involve dependence on a chemical substance, like nicotine or alcohol, or behaviours like gambling that have become so rewarding that they're nearly impossible to resist. As many wrecked families can attest, these habits are the hardest to change. Unfortunately there is no magic bullet, though intensive treatments and social support can work.

Habitual behaviors come in many different forms, and squeezing them into one framework misses some of the nuances of how to change behavior effectively. Nonetheless, 'The Power of Habit' is an enjoyable book, and readers will find useful advice about how to change at least some of their bad habits ' even if they want to eat their cake.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book - Opens Up Your Mind to How Habits are Formed, April 2 2014
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This book opened my mind to how habits are formed and changed. I can now use the knowledge to improve my understanding about people around me, my own behaviors and responses to various things and so much more... It's a whole new world out there for me now as I have started questioning myself why I do what I do in life, career and business.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book !, March 5 2014
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I literally loved this book. Very instructive. Lots of examples can be used to change some of our habits. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, June 3 2013
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This review is from: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Hardcover)
A very interesting read, ending up in my top favourites easily. Very cool studies are included to back up the information. I will read it again.
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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (Hardcover - Feb. 28 2012)
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