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The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg: Book Review

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Vital to losing weight, becoming more productive at home or at work, sparking a community movement or building innovative ideas and flourishing businesses, success in life has everything to do with understanding human nature. In the book

The Power of Habit, by award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg, scientific finds are unveiled that describe what habits are, why they exist and how they can be altered. According to the author and respected investigative journalist, we can transform any aspect of our lives from personal to business by simply embracing the science of human behavior and understanding the fundamentals about how habits work.

In each chapter, Duhigg explains a different aspect of why habits exist, how they operate and how top achieving people have transformed habits into personal successes – people like Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and civil-rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Power of Habit also takes us inside in the inner workings of top performing companies, a winning NFL team, a leading house of worship, even one of the nation’s largest hospitals to see how implementing keystone or foundation habits can earn top profits, win at sports and generate life-altering successes.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book involves how companies use the science of habit formation to study and gain influence over what we buy, as well as how and when we make purchases. It covers everything from the real reason why we are willing to pay top dollar at a specific gourmet coffee retailer, to harnessing the market of expectant mothers and new homebuyers. It reveals how drawing attention to an everyday occurrence and then tapping the triggered response launched the toothpaste industry, and how a near flop household cleaning product went from almost going bust to a billion dollars in annual sales with just a few tweaks in advertising.

Duhigg’s The Power of Habit is truly a fascinating, well-written read. Backed by research and captivating examples, it clearly and concisely outlines the science behind human nature and the potential that can be achieved in any aspect of our lives by simply understanding and altering our own habits.

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