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

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Doubleday Canada, Feb 28, 2012 - Social Science - 304 pages
Groundbreaking new research shows that by grabbing hold of the three-step "loop" all habits form in our brains--cue, routine, reward--we can change them, giving us the power to take control over our lives.
 
"We are what we repeatedly do," said Aristotle. "Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." On the most basic level, a habit is a simple neurological loop: there is a cue (my mouth feels gross), a routine (hello, Crest), and a reward (ahhh, minty fresh). Understanding this loop is the key to exercising regularly or becoming more productive at work or tapping into reserves of creativity. Marketers, too, are learning how to exploit these loops to boost sales; CEOs and coaches are using them to change how employees work and athletes compete. As this book shows, tweaking even one habit, as long as it's the right one, can have staggering effects.
 
In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes readers inside labs where brain scans record habits as they flourish and die; classrooms in which students learn to boost their willpower; and boardrooms where executives dream up products that tug on our deepest habitual urges. Full of compelling narratives that will appeal to fans of Michael Lewis, Jonah Lehrer, and Chip and Dan Heath, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: our most basic actions are not the product of well-considered decision making, but of habits we often do not realize exist. By harnessing this new science, we can transform our lives.
 

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User Review  - fingerpost - LibraryThing

A fascinating look at how we develop habits (individually or collectively), the problems that result when the habits are bad ones; and the benefits when the habits are good ones. Yes, there is advice ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bbbart - LibraryThing

Reading this in 2020 made me very late at joining the party and perhaps come in with my expectations set too high because of that. I was happy enough with the Cue - Routine - Reward schema and found ... Read full review

Contents

PROLOGUEThe Habit Cure
THE HABIT LOOPHow Habits Work
THE CRAVING BRAINHow to Create New Habits
THE GOLDEN RULE OF HABIT CHANGEWhy Transformation Occurs
KEYSTONE HABITS OR THE BALLAD OF PAUL ONEILLWhich Habits Matter Most
STARBUCKS AND THE HABIT OF SUCCESSWhen Willpower Becomes Automatic
THE POWER OF A CRISISHow Leaders Create Habits Through Accident and Design
HOW TARGET KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT BEFORE YOU DOWhen Companies Predict and Manipulate Habits
SADDLEBACK CHURCH AND THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTTHow Movements Happen
THE NEUROLOGY OF FREE WILLAre We Responsible for Our Habits?
APPENDIXA Readers Guide to Using These Ideas
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
A NOTE ON SOURCES
NOTES
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

CHARLES DUHIGG is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. He is a winner of the George Polk and National Academies of Science awards, and was part of a team of finalists for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. He is a frequent contributor to NPR, This American Life, and Frontline. A gradaute of Harvard Business School and Yale College, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their two children.

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