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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 (4896 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert A. Hawthorne, Jr. Baton Rouge, LA United States 05-30-15
    Robert A. Hawthorne, Jr. Baton Rouge, LA United States 05-30-15 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
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    Story
    "Informative and practical"
    What made the experience of listening to The Willpower Instinct the most enjoyable?

    The information was very useful and practical. The writing was clever and entertaining. The reading was excellent.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Willpower Instinct?

    The listing of steps we could all take to increase our willpower was enlightening.


    Which character – as performed by Walter Dixon – was your favorite?

    NA


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

    It was not designed for one sitting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew 05-30-15
    Drew 05-30-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good lessons well explained"

    Systematic descriptions of components of willpower using plain language and examples.
    One of the best I have read on Thursday subject to date

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Baltimore, MD, US 05-28-15
    Daniel Baltimore, MD, US 05-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    Story
    "Great book to listen to"

    The diversity of the case studies presented in this book tell an informative story. I have heard of a few of them in the past but connecting case studies and forming it into a compelling view is tough. The author did this part well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Frisco, TX, United States 05-22-15
    Tim Frisco, TX, United States 05-22-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
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    66
    12
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    5
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    "I find this book to be a strong motivator."

    There is some great advice in this book and it's well narrated too! I'd like to go back and listen again because there seems to be some contradiction in methods. Resist temptations but don't resists so much that you can't stop thinking about it and binge. Maybe I need to listen again. Overall a very good listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron 05-14-15
    aaron 05-14-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heard about it from Six Pack Shortcut!"

    Some extremely helpful tips I'll always remember were found in this AMAZING book! It's been a profound supplement to the My Fitness Pal app for weight loss and I've dropped 11 pounds in just a couple months!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jimmy Henderson 05-14-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    14
    2
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    "Good Insight"

    The narrator was very good. The information was insightful in human nature, and it was helpful. It deserves multiple listenings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marla United States 05-07-15
    Marla United States 05-07-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Great content and excellent narration"

    This was a research based lecture with great explanations regarding real world applicability. Two thumbs up. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lesly D. 04-28-15
    Lesly D. 04-28-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "monotone"

    the narrator was too monotone for my liking, but good book. at times I felt it hard to keep myself from sleeping

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rahul 04-26-15
    Rahul 04-26-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
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    Story
    "Unput-downable"

    It is one of the book which kept me glued to the audio. There are lots of practical information in the book which if applied in real life can act as game changer. The narration of the experiments are very interesting and gives us proof of the point made by the author.
    Lastly the voice quality is fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Drayton 04-24-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "Informative and interesting perspective."

    This concept touched me in a way that I can use to help me reach my goals. it drags on a bit because you get the idea in chapter 1. its worth listening to it all because he offers exercises.

    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.

    5 of 5 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.


    3 of 3 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.

    11 of 15 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
  • 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
  • Artiom U.
    4/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very insightful and full of practical tips"

    The book explains in a very scientific way where our will power challenged come from and why we succumb to our impulses and cravings.
    It also has a number of very practical strategies to strengthen the will power.
    These strategies are sometimes counter intuitive and may not always fit with the conventional wisdom, but the are very effective.
    I strongly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • SaiKiran
    1/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "life changing when these principles are applied! ."

    it's so good and intense that I bought both audio and kindle version to make it a serious study.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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