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The Willpower Instinct Audiobook

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

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Publisher's Summary

Based on Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal's wildly popular course The Science of Willpower, The Willpower Instinct is the first book to explain the new science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity. Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters. For example, listeners will learn:

  • Willpower is a mind-body response, not a virtue. It is a biological function that can be improved through mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, and sleep.
  • Willpower is not an unlimited resource. Too much self-control can actually be bad for your health.
  • Temptation and stress hijack the brain's systems of self-control, but the brain can be trained for greater willpower.
  • Guilt and shame over your setbacks lead to giving in again, but self-forgiveness and self-compassion boost self-control.
  • Giving up control is sometimes the only way to gain self-control.
  • Willpower failures are contagious - you can catch the desire to overspend or overeat from your friends­­ - but you can also catch self-control from the right role models.

In the groundbreaking tradition of Getting Things Done, The Willpower Instinct combines life-changing prescriptive advice and complementary exercises to help listeners with goals ranging from losing weight to more patient parenting, less procrastination, better health, and greater productivity at work.

©2011 Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp

What the Critics Say

"This book has tremendous value for anyone interested in learning how to achieve their goals more effectively. McGonigal clearly breaks down a large body of relevant scientific research and its applications, and shows that awareness of the limits of willpower is crucial to our ability to exercise true self control." (Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D., co-author of You Are Not Your Brain and author of best-selling Brain Lock)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (5225 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Just_a_guy 07-12-15
    Just_a_guy 07-12-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    61
    34
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    Story
    "Don't put it off. But this book now"

    If you want to know why you behave the way you do. This book can help open your eyes and help you win your battle with your willpower

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas E. Evans 07-08-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great insight"

    Great content and insights. Would have been even better without the inappropriate language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackson 07-07-15
    Jackson 07-07-15 Member Since 2012

    I like to experience it all so I can use that experience to come up with interesting ideas, teach more effectively, and create a great world

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    3
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    0
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    "Well read and extremely helpful"

    This book shares some very helpful insights into what works and what doesn't work when attempting to perform self-control. I incorporated some of these practices into my like and they have helped me to come to peace with some powerful urges.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    VJ 07-07-15
    VJ 07-07-15

    VJ

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very insightful and scientific"

    Helps understand how our brains really work, with evidence of scientific experiments.

    Amazed to learn how science, meditation and yoga are so interlinked . Re-inforced my belief in power of yoga and meditation !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie morien 07-05-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    1
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    Story
    "Easy to follow, practical, helpful"

    Easy to follow book about willpower. Good book to keep re-reading and using as an exercise tool to improve your life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    angel 06-29-15
    angel 06-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    2
    1
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    "Extremely helpful and engaging!"

    I really enjoyed the research studies that she highlights to give examples. I also like how she talks you through applying what you learned. And surprisingly her writing style is very humorous which kept me engaged. I truly feel empowered with some real strategies to help me change and exert willpower in my life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    buddy e. 06-27-15
    buddy e. 06-27-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    "Great lessons on willpower with lots of practical applications"

    This book although harder to follow in an audio series does wonders for bringing to life the issues around will power. For me the ability to accept urges and our own faults as they were and know we have the power to not obey or give in to these thoughts was especially helpful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey 06-25-15
    Joey 06-25-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The power of Willpower"

    This book was like reading three of my favorite books in one. It was more in depth and scientific then the 48 laws of power. It was more insightful then power why people have it and some others don't. More interesting than Hooked. This was one of the most attended courses at Stanford. I'm going to read this book again and again until it's a part of my psyche.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A.Spencer Sprecker 06-25-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I don't want to review this book I am writi"

    I I don't want to review this recording I am only doing this to keep this page from popping up everytime I open up the application. It seems like audible is coming up with more and more annoying ways to get you to navigate there site . Like replacing it with before you go

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Shane Collins Denver, CO USA 06-22-15
    S. Shane Collins Denver, CO USA 06-22-15 Member Since 2016

    ShaneCol

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    REVIEWS
    52
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant. Insightful."

    Not since "Emotional Intelligence" have I felt truly awakened by new information in popular psychology.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • M. A. SMITH
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "It kind of works"

    One of my greatest frustrations with myself is the fact that I am so knuckle draggingly unproductive. I've read many self help books to combat this. I always get a short term boast that fades quickly. The same is true of the will power instinct but I have found, in the year since I first read it, that there have been some longs term benefits. Nothing miraculous but procrastination is reduced. Repeat listens required but I would recommend this to fellow carriers of the laziness gene.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • J. Whittaker
    4/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Decent book but not the best"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This is a decent book. It gives some good practical advice, almost in the form of large 'tips', such as meditation is good for willpower, so is being well slept, and engaging in regular exercise. However, this is also the books downfall.

    The book focuses on providing areas/things that will help with a persons willpower. But, the focus on willpower is misguided. Simply having more willpower will not solve your problems or help you achieve your goals.

    To achieve your goals you need to make progress, to make progress you need change. So you need to focus on the change process (what to change, and how to make the change stick).

    Simply having more willpower is a band aid solution.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Hatfield, United Kingdom
    9/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Deadly Dull"
    Has The Willpower Instinct put you off other books in this genre?

    Yes, this is the last self help book I'm listening to written by an American scientist. They are painful to listen to.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Geeky and nasally voice.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Willpower Instinct?

    No idea. I ejected it from my CD player after 1-2 chapters when the author started going on inhaling and exhaling to build motivation.


    Any additional comments?

    Avoid this like the plague. Deadly dull nerdy twaddle read by a guy who sounds like Mr Burns in the Simpsons.

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Ms K L Heath
    11/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wish this was narrated by the Author!"
    Where does The Willpower Instinct rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Kelly McGonigal is a great speaker! (Hear her Ted Talk) It's a shame this is not narrated by her. A fantastically talented woman and great writer. I hope she narrates future books. Looking fwd to reading more of her work..


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Felix
    LONDON, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Attention required"

    Great content but not the easiest of listens, good consolidation of research and nothing wrong with the narration, but requires focus, some audio books hold my attention, and I do not find said attention wondering. Not so here. But none the less it is worth the effort. The next step is the application of the material assuming that is your intention....... and good luck with establishing the will power to implement the suggestions required to increase your will power..

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Santiago Ruiz-Valdepeñas Martín de Almagro
    Madrid, Spain
    10/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing content, it is helping me a lot."

    Clear, compelling science based strategies to achieve your willpower challenges.
    The chapter about dopamine and the promise of reward was especially enlightening for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "engaging and helpful - exercises were great!"

    structure was helpful with regular exercises to test out the material...ties in the research and interesting anecdotes very well. will listen to it again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • monsta
    9/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must read for everyone"
    If you could sum up The Willpower Instinct in three words, what would they be?

    A great and inspiring book. I would recommend it to anyone of any age. Made me see the world very differently than before. A must read!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It realated to all parts of everyday life


    What about Walter Dixon’s performance did you like?

    The author really knows his stuff!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Have listened twice

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/31/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing book!"

    It teaches you so many techniques you can practice! It's great. I'll keep listening to it until i get the hang of willpower instinct.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Inhyung Cho
    5/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "it's already cured my online shopping addiction"

    will listen to it a few more times to work on other self improvements i wish to make.

    the narration is fine but it does put me to sleep sometimes maybe a bit too soothing.

    this book will surely change your life if you actively implement it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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