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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

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.
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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 (4193 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Maureen Dillon Beach, CA, United States 08-04-14
    Maureen Dillon Beach, CA, United States 08-04-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you meditate or want to, you should read this!"

    Kelly McGonigal's writing style is so strongly feminine that I can hear her right over the narrator. I guess that is the definition of a great narrator, when you don't hear their voice but that of the author! Such a fantastic book that I have listened to it over and over again. The lessons are so helpful in building will power. I listened to it all the way through and then went back worked on the chapters and the lessons that really spoke to me. I found that the tools let me just flip a switch on my attitude towards situations that used to upset me so. Surfing the Urge is my favorite tool the Author shares in the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Peguero 06-14-14
    A. Peguero 06-14-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "GREAT WAY TO LEARN: Why we do what we do!"
    If you could sum up The Willpower Instinct in three words, what would they be?

    We are in control even when external situations make us believe we aren't.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning about how willpower works to build, control or destroy our minds & ability to be in self control.


    What does Walter Dixon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Being aware while taking decisions.


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

    YES 100%!But since there are so many hours in it is BETTER to do it in several sittings even.

    Worth it to repeat a couple of times in the week, each time you'll pick up a new concept.


    Any additional comments?

    TOTALLY RECOMMENDED!! Great job done with this book!! ABSOLUTELY WORTH TO LISTEN TO.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian 05-07-14
    brian 05-07-14
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    "Insightful Listen"

    The book provided an insightful view into how will power works and provided helpful strategies in increasing will power. I don't regret listening to it, sometimes it got a bit technical for my tastes but what can you expect from something scientific?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MJ Hollywood, MD, United States 03-30-14
    MJ Hollywood, MD, United States 03-30-14

    MJ

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    "It works!"
    Any additional comments?

    I've never listened to a "self-help" book before, always shied away from them. So glad I took a chance on this book. I have no willpower - or I should say, I had no willpower. This book is written in an easy-to-understand manner and makes so much sense. I had a lot of "aha moments" as I was listening to it, realizing that's why I feel this way or do that.

    The book is meant to be listened to a chapter at a time, do the experiments suggested, then come back and listen to the next chapter. I listened to it all, but will leave it on my MP3 player so I can go back and get a quick fix and/or boost to my willpower. I even purchased the Kindle version so I can find things quickly to refresh my memory. Walter Dixon was wonderful as the narrator, easy to listen to in a soothing voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Anniston, AL, United States 03-27-14
    Amazon Customer Anniston, AL, United States 03-27-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The author's world view gets in the way"
    Any additional comments?

    I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, the author insisted upon inserting her personal beliefs, wholly unrelated to the subject matter, into the text.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jovia FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, United States 03-12-14
    Jovia FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, United States 03-12-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Helpful!"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    I like the step by step fashion the book follows, where every chapter gives you a break and a chance to start applying these new techniques.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    Very much so. It presents a new way to think about will power


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    YES! lots of examples


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    nothing, it was fine


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mnoog America, California 03-06-14
    mnoog America, California 03-06-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Fun, interesting, and helpful"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Willpower Instinct to be better than the print version?

    Audio is great if you like to listen while doing other activities.


    What about Walter Dixon’s performance did you like?

    At first, I wasn't sure if I liked Mr. Dixon's performance (he sounds like Data on Star Trek), but either he grew as a narrator or I grew to appreciate his subtle but sure expressiveness. HIs tone and pacing are clear and engaging, and just right for the material.


    Any additional comments?

    Very enjoyable, with plenty of surprising facts and useful suggestions, told in an engaging style. I've recommended it to others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-26-14 Member Since 2013
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    Story
    "Change Your Habits!"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is set up as a weekly course. You are supposed to complete one chapter a week. Each chapter has so much information in it, that each chapter would take me two weeks, because I would listen to it at least two times. I've spent the last 16 weeks studying this book, and I've changed as a person. When I started reading the book, I didn't know what I wanted to change; I just knew that I needed to change a lot. This book has given me the resources to do this! I am very thankful that I found this book! If you are looking to change one habit in your life, or understand how the human mind functions, then I highly recommend this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. New Market, TN, United States 01-17-14
    W. New Market, TN, United States 01-17-14
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    "Great, great book! Super motivating"

    Months later, I am still making use of what I read in this book, to help me live a life a little bit closer to what I strive for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald E. Campbell Pearl, MS USA 01-15-14
    Donald E. Campbell Pearl, MS USA 01-15-14 Member Since 2012

    reader

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    "Worth a listen (and probably relisten)"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a very interesting book. I have to admit that in the first chapter I was skeptical -- and in fact stopped and restarted the book later. I was not a fan of the "this is a class I teach" discussion -- it seemed belabored to me. Anyway, by the second and certainly the third chapter, I was hooked. There are a few things that make this book worth the listen: (a) it is well written and well structured. The scientific studies that are used as examples are interesting, relevant and he gives just enough information to get the point across without belaboring. The structure is consistent throughout each chapter which is nice. (b) The substance of the book is helpful because it encourages you to look at actions with a different perspective. It is really interesting to see how he encourages you just to think about things differently. I thought the points were well taken. (c) the narrator is good and it is an easy listen.

    This is a book that I will definitely keep on the list to listen to again. In fact, next time I'm going to listen with pen and paper in hand to take notes!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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