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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 (4904 )
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4.3 (4089 )
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4.3 (4151 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Tarek 04-19-15
    Tarek 04-19-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very educational"

    I definitely got what I wanted out of it.
    It was very interesting and fun to listen to at the same time.
    But also very easy to understand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Landry Albany, NY USA 04-19-15
    Cheryl Landry Albany, NY USA 04-19-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Truly enjoyable! "

    For most of my life, I tried to control what I ate, how I respond to thoughts and.negative actions. This book allowed me to become more self-aware, rather than srlf-critical. I will highly recommend this to all my friends and family. Thank you!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Celes Los Angeles 03-26-15
    Joseph Celes Los Angeles 03-26-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quick read but great advice"

    Lots of tricks to keep you on your path of will power. Also provides interesting statistics about some human studies that will surprise any reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    e smith💠 florida 03-25-15
    e smith💠 florida 03-25-15 Member Since 2015

    💠

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book"

    And enlightens the reader on the latest research, and gives examples of real-world problems, and provides exercises for real world problem solving.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gem Geek 03-24-15
    Gem Geek 03-24-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    222
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding in every way."
    What about Walter Dixon’s performance did you like?

    I can't get over how much charm, sincerity and humor he can put into a self-help book. I might read the phone book if he was the narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    I found this to be a breakthrough book. In fact, I ran out and purchased the hardcover. I gained amazing insight into my behavior after only listening and not doing the exercises. What an eye-opener! You have hidden powers -- I will power, I won't power and I want power!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew R. Reyed 03-21-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Useful info backed by science and Life application"

    The narration was okay. plenty of scientific examples paired with real life application gives testimate to the work done to create this resource for developing will power.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JOAQUIN LOPEZ 03-18-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Muy claro, ameno y util. "

    El libro merece la pena porque esta llleno de ejemplos y estudios interesantes. La manera de presentarlos es clara y amena. Muy bueno como audiolibro

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Surita 03-03-15
    Surita 03-03-15 Member Since 2016

    I am a goldsmith & jewellery designer from South Africa and an avid reader of SF&F, science, psychology, philosophy and classics.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I learned some interesting things but..."

    It could be just me, but I found a lot of the information conflicting. Perhaps I should give it another listen. I did learn a lot though, and I suppose in the end that is all that matters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Montano 03-01-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very instructive"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Willpower Instinct to be better than the print version?

    I'm not familiar with the print version.


    What other book might you compare The Willpower Instinct to and why?

    The Power of Now


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's a process of understaning.


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Has to be taken a chapter a week and maybe even listem twice to soak it in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sagreek 02-26-15
    sagreek 02-26-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Something for everyone"

    If you actually try these willpower challenges each week, you can definitely change yourself. Definitely recommend to anyone who is trying to change or just enjoys listening to how our minds work.

    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
  • 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
  • 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

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