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.
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.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
since Tom Miller's 1986 classic The Unfair Advantage. McGonigal combines knowledge from behavioral psychology and the newer brain science to show how willpower is not just an abrupt act of decision but rather a long training--or retraining--of the brain in the positive ways that you want your life to go. Like Miller, McGonigal shows that willpower is not so much an instantly claimed virtue as it is steady, plodding day-to-day programming of the self, taking small but regular steps toward your personal goals of development. Miller's great line was "No one has willpower except guys named Will." This is the great message of both books: willpower is not an abstraction that can be seized at a moment's notice when temptation arises, but a cultivated personal power, an individual course that can only be constructed a day at a time by any given individual.
This information offered in the book is excellent. Very thought provoking and useful.
The Power of Habit-The Power of habit gives lots of information on habits, this book gives you the skills to act on the information.
The narrator was slow and annoying. I found myself regularly tuning out and having to go back. If given a do over I would much rather read the book than listen to it. Also, interestingly- the author of the book has a better voice. Not sure why SHE didn't narrate it herself.
No- too much to take in all at once. Best to digest the information and try bit by bit to enact in your own life.
I teach behavior change so I read books like this. This one was painfully slow even using the faster feature on the iPod. It was also generally useless.
The amazing info revealed is that it's good to relax, and sleep, and be healthy, and maybe meditate, etc. There are better books available to explore those obvious topics.
It eventually got into some interesting psych studies with counterintuitive findings but these were not Earth-shattering or terribly practical, and they contradicted each other: willpower is like a muscle, so if you're trying to lose weight, you should put a bowl of candies on your desk at work to challenge yourself----but wait--- willpower is like a gas tank you don't want to deplete, so if you want to lose weight, you should keep candies hidden so they are harder to get at.
I guess the author didn't have the willpower to read her own book.
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.
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.
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.
The distinction between pleasure itself and the
Easy to follow, with weekly assignments.
Encouraging, paternal, sounds like a good patient teacher
It helped me with my weight loss but I'm getting ready for the REAL challenge: stopping cigarettes!
I want to go back to it for a re-listen,