The Power of Habit


If you’re looking for an interesting book to read this summer, we recommend The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. As the title suggests, it’s an exploration of why people behave as they do in both their personal and professional lives. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s also a handbook for those who recognize negative or non-productive habits and would like to find an effective way to change them.

The book focuses on a number of topics, including the incidence and science of habits; why we have them and how they are processed in our brains. It also details how businesses have long-studied the ways that people are apt to behave and have used those conclusions to their advantage. Duhigg offers many fascinating insights, grocery stores position produce at the front of the store because they know that people will balance those purchases with less nutritious choices as they continue to shop, for example. He goes on to describe how corporations routinely leverage results of studies of expected behavior, from Target, to Alcoa, to the makers of Febreze.

Duhigg maintains that while habits can’t be eliminated, the cues and rewards that prompt them can be neutralized. He also includes an appendix that offers a step-by-step guide to identifying and eliminating patterned behavior.

Written in a clear, concise style and filled with information that’s informative and compelling, we suggest adding the book to your summer pile. We don’t think you’ll regret that you did!

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