The Power of Habit Audiobook Summary

The Power of Habit

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.


The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, is a work of the American author Charles Duhigg, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, In addition to his most recent book, he also wrote Smarter Faster Better, a book about the science of productivity.

The Power of Habit is all about the understanding of habits, how they operate in the mind and how they are forged.

Duhigg uses research to explain how habits are formed and changed. Do something enough and it quickly becomes a habit, this is explained in the book by research on memory loss.

The part of the brain responsible for storing the habits is the basal ganglia, while the rest of the brain can function better because the common actions are stored in that section.

It explains that is possible for a person who totally loses his short term memory, to be relatively functional thanks to the storage of habits prior to memory loss.

The book is split in 3 sections. Personal habits, corporate habits and societal habits. The book begins with anecdotes of people who changed destructive habits in their lives

A habit, is a repetitive behavior, can be conscious or unconscious. It is said, that 40% of what we do is habitual.

Just as people seek to change their habits, so could companies be sick of bad habits, fortunately, this paradigm shift that the author proposes, applies to companies as well.

It gives us the example of the company Alcoa, which was transformed by the keystone habit of a singular focus on safety. Even governments could implement some measures to introduce substantial changes in the internal structure.

The equation of the formation and repetition of the behaviors to become habits according to the author, is the following: Cue, behavior, reward. Charles Duhigg’s premise is that habits are formed when behaviors are rewarded. First a cue occurs, then comes the behavior that will ensure some reward.

It notes that you can never remove a bad habit, but you need to substitute a new routine between the cue and the reward. If we identify the reward we get from performing repetitive actions, we can substitute actions without losing the reward. The key to getting rid of a destructive habit is to replace it with a constructive one.

Learning to change behavior by identifying the routine, figuring out the cue that triggers the routine and the craving underlying that cue by experimenting with different rewards.

To do this, it emphasizes the importance of getting help from a support group, be it family or friends, it will be easier for the habit stay changed.

Likewise. One significant section of the book was dedicated to the idea of whether we are responsible for our habits.

In conclusion, it is a great book that tries to give us a lesson. Despite the abuse of examples to illustrate what the author is trying to explain, it is a well-researched book and a well written one too.

Like other books of its kind, this is easier said than done premise , however, it can be really functional but it requires real effort, first to identify a habit, and then to change it forever.

If you are looking for a how-to book, in the strict sense this isn’t it, is a book. It is a book full of examples, case studies, anecdotes and lessons, it is more like a thesis that has been proven and seeks to be exposed to the world, and so they can know how you can change one by one the habits that destroy us in the individual and collective.

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