Science writer in America's heartland
This book is based on a course that Dr. McGonigal teaches at Stanford, and it packs eight weeks of information into eight hours—and does it well. I didn't feel overwhelmed. I listened to one chapter a week, and gave thought to each topic in the days between, as her students would. Unlike some self-help books that seem to berate a person into making changes in their lives, this one is kind and empathetic. It's also very well researched, so I'm confident that I learned skills based on real scientific evidence.
Kelly McGonigal! It's a huge opportunity lost to have this fantastic book narrated by Dixon's monotonous drone. This book was written by a brilliant woman, and it would add a lot to have her reading it.
The narration was not my cup of tea. I should have listened to the sample first. The book does not properly flow for an audio book. However I do believe with the proper narration and speaking rhythm the one would better appreciate/grasp the contents.
I very much appreciate research and scientific findings, however excessive amount of scientific stories/findings overtake the main topics. I wish the book was designed to first introduce the topic of the chapter, outline why the topic is relevant to willpower, and lastly add scientific findings and how people overcame/used this information. This book does the opposite and does not draw the listener into the message.
I feel this voice was not appropriate for this book. The voice was an immediate turnoff for me.
Just about the time you think that there is nothing in self-help books, a number appear applying current neuroscience research to personal development. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, is a thought provoking and helpful addition to this emerging genre. In The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It, she defines willpower and reveals what we are coming to understand about how it works. More importantly, she tells readers how current research can be used to advantage. For example, will power is limited and works best under certain conditions. Feeling bad causes use to give in to circumstances. Inner acceptance improves outer control. Each chapter is complete in itself which is helpful. This is a very informative helpful little book worth the time and effort to complete it. Have a pencil at hand to take notes as you turn the pages. The reading of Walter Dixon is a plus.
After listening to the book, I was so impressed that I purchased the hard cover so that I could refer back to it repeatedly, and I have. I have used many of the exercises for enhancing willpower, and I can imagine that sitting through Dr. McGonigal's actual course at Stanford would be even more engaging. Well-researched and thoroughly documented.
Highly. The material is universally relevant, and Professor McGonigal's hits and misses with live audiences over various semesters have resulted in storytelling that unfolds in an engaging manner.
There were so many that it's hard to pick just one. For me, it was her advice to build my willpower muscle by choosing one small task to do each day, even if it's not relevant to my willpower goal.
Not intentionally. I was disappointed that the author did not narrate the book herself. I had heard her on a podcast interview with Dr. Kiki, and that was partly what got me interested in her book. I was looking forward to hearing her work expressed in her own voice. To me, Walter Dixon sounded a little like the voice on a GPS. It was also disappointing that some listeners thought that the author was a man because the narrator was a man.
Definitely. In fact, I'm making a second pass through the book now, listening to one chapter per week as the author suggested, because I lacked the willpower the first time through to stop listening at the end of each chapter.
Who doesn't struggle the issue of willpower? What a great treatment of a universal topic!
The book lacked a tight integration of all the concepts into a step-by-step program. It approach varied -- sometimes it was about "try mediation... do this...." Then it switched to information, like how your brain works and how your willpower can be depleted. Then there's a little of both, like good behaviors are used to justify bad behavior ("I exercised today so I'm going to reward myself with some chocolates"). I think you need to read only one chapter a week to absorb the information and practice it for a few days before moving on to the next chapter.
Motivational, practical, doable.
It was very down to earth. The advice is practical yet motivational and there is science behind the author's findings.
He sounded relatable; like an everyman.
It just really reinforced things I was already doing along with gave me ideas of new things to try.
Several practical ideas. Anecdotes were average. I'd like it better with a different narrator. Walter Dixon sounds boring, stuffy and unenthused. You may want to hold off until using your credit until you have a specific willpower challenge in mind.
Near the top for this genre. Too many books encourage, motivate, etc, and this book explains how will power works. This gives you the tools to actually direct your willpower. So many of the things I've heard in the past will actually backfire in reality, and this book dispelled so many false beliefs I had about willpower.
I will be listening to this several times because there is so much to absorb and apply.
A stand out point in this book was how the anticipation of a reward is more powerful than the reward itself, even when the reward never materializes. So we are constantly clicking our phone, or youtube, or facebook thinking it will make us laugh, make us happy, give us some important bit of information, but it seldom does, yet we keep clicking away like a rat in a cage. This book gave me the tools to recognize in myself that itch to respond to a anticipated reward that most likely won't materialize. This book is rooted in our mental construction for survival and much of willpower decisions are affected my survival instincts that are no longer valid in today's society, even though they were very appropriate in our early years as humans.
This book is full of studies and examples of how willpower is affected by hunger, exhaustion, criticism, self-forgiveness, etc, etc. It is really eye-opening.
It was easy to listen to with good diction and appropriate inflection, so if you listen at faster speeds (as I may the second time around), it is easy to understand. The speaker doesn't draw attention to himself, and I easily focused on the material with not much thought about the speaker, which is a good thing for a book of this sort.
"How to Hack your Willpower"
I like to listen to books, about 2 per month, and lots in the "improve your brain", "Time Management", type of books, and this one is an example of what they should be like in my opinion. I want to know how the brain works so I have a solid, valid foundation on which to build upon.
THIS IS A GREAT, VERY INFORMATIVE BOOK!