The Power of Habit (Charles Duhigg)



Genre: self-help, non-fiction, psychology

📃 My rating

A popular selling book where the author examines habits and uses various stories to make arguments about routines of behaviour. I would say that the highlight for me, especially in hindsight, was the delightful storytelling. The stories, exaggerated or not, were neatly told. The book dabbles in quite a few colorful areas and domains:

For example, I was not aware of Henry Gustav Molaison who had underwent brain surgery to remove his hippocampus and amygdala and could not form new memories. Or the aspect of American toothbrushing habits and advertising. Pepsodent’s citric acid and mint oils which created an addicting craving of freshness and tingling sensation. Or the interesting story around the odor eliminator Febreze. Another; Bob Bowman training Michael Phelps with a ‘videotape’ analogy, where he visualize/watches a race.

My favorite part of the book is the story around Starbucks and Travis Leach, whose parents struggled with drug addiction and ultimately passed away. The closing of that particular chapter was beautifully concise, succinct and powerful.

Book read June 2019.

Easy readability8Excellent
Avoiding padding/unnecessary material6Fair
Standing test of time6Good / Fair
Book price ratio: New to used (paperback)9Very Good
Has made an impact in life3Not really, mediocre
Meets expectations of advertised summary8Good
Title suits book4Unsatisfactory
Images/illustrations6Okay. More illustrations than I expected.
Structure / composition6Okay

📚 Synopsis

In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us into the thrilling and surprising world of the scientific study of habits. 

He examines why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. He visits laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. And he uncovers how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The result is a compelling argument and an empowering discovery: the key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive or even building revolutionary companies is understanding how habits work. By harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

🏝️ You can get the book here