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The Willpower Instinct Audiobook
The Willpower Instinct
Written by: 
Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
Narrated by: 
Walter Dixon
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 (4653 )
5 star
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4.3 (3874 )
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Story
4.3 (3936 )
5 star
 (2018)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Eric X Vignola Phoenix, AZ United States 01-09-15
    Eric X Vignola Phoenix, AZ United States 01-09-15
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "great info"

    it was really insightful but the narrator was a little monotone. wish there could have been more excitement

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KarlosGue 01-08-15
    KarlosGue 01-08-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome- very compelling"

    This book is the first real answer I have seen to the 'how do I motivate myself' question.

    I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melody H. Mitchell 01-08-15 Member Since 2016

    melodyhh

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Perfect timing for a New Year!"

    Loved this book and what I learned from it, truly spoke to challenges I've faced and offered clear and easy solutions. I always thought willpower was a talent someone had or didn't; though I wish I learned this all earlier, I'm excited to develop this skill and outlook. Narrator was also great, easy to listen to and kept it interesting. Though the material speaks for itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy 01-07-15
    Jeremy 01-07-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
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    53
    46
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    "Great information"

    This was a very informative book I will need to read listen to it to be able to apply some of the practical applications. But I do think everyone needs to listen to this book to understand our willpower.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matpr 01-07-15
    Matpr 01-07-15
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    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Story
    "Way better than I thought"

    Way better content than I thought. Was worried it was mainly going to be some self-help stuff, which I enjoy, but this was much better. It had great studies to back up the content, and exercises to apply it to your daily life. Well read also.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chantel 01-01-15
    Chantel 01-01-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent, well written book. Life changing"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Practical information we all could use


    What did you like best about this story?

    The delivery and flow of information


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

    Yes - but better to break it up into chapters to consider each topic


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ammar 12-26-14
    Ammar 12-26-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    Story
    "BE THE LEDER OF YOUR THOUGHTS""
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this book to all my friends and listen to it again probably in the next three or six months. I also bought a Kindle version to read individual topics whenever needed. This book is a practical course to train your thoughts and guides you to a path, which is very helpful in improving your Will Power, your choices and eventually your life.


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

    Walter Dixon's narration is excellent. He goes along with expressions as the author intended and explained in this book.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No laughs and cries, though one real good discovery !!
    Have your tried getting rid of some thought which keeps you bothering or traumatizing for days, weeks, months or years. Here you can learn and practice how to control the racing or disturbing thoughts and patterns, and gracefully be in charge of your mind by choosing your wants and wont's.


    Any additional comments?

    As the author also tells, that the book should be to listened or read by practically trying things. I would NOT recommend finishing this book in one shot or over the weekend. Give it some time and think about each topic by mapping it with yourself and your thoughts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 12-12-14
    William 12-12-14 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Story
    "Great points, great narration"

    Great examples, lots to think about, and useful knowledge, even though it doesn't feel as scientific as other "self improvement" books. I have a feeling it didn't need to be as long as it is, the points are pretty clear and thus seem over elaborated. Narration was great by the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caylene J. Vincent Ballarat, Australia 11-29-14
    Caylene J. Vincent Ballarat, Australia 11-29-14 Member Since 2012

    UQH

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Riverting"
    If you could sum up The Willpower Instinct in three words, what would they be?

    Human Nature
    Continues
    To Amaze!


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

    David Rocks NLP, I guess they both cover how you make connections which lead to the decisions you make


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

    Can recall exactly


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

    No, as you want to absorb some of what you have read


    Any additional comments?

    Great book, hope she writes another

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitlin 11-06-14
    Caitlin 11-06-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    Story
    "Horrible narration"

    Hard to know whether it was the book, or just the clumsy narration, but I found the 'folksy' style way too much. The narrator really goes overboard with his inflection, which for me made it hard to concentrate on the content (also written in an ultra casual voice).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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..


    1 of 1 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..

    3 of 4 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • B3rn41987
    uk
    12/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must read"

    I have bought this audio book some time ago but began listening only two weeks ago. Since then I listened it 5 times! Some of the subject is not knew. Many of us either read or heard it, but the best part of this book is the mini assignments where you can test yourself! Also the book not only teaches but gives you the scientific research behind the taught subject. Finally the narrator is definitely contributing! His cool and soft narration makes this brilliantly written book to be a must listened book!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • john allen
    9/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really enjoyed"

    a new take on willpower . willpower explained in a psychological way . A must read for people who want more willpower

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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