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:
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
"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)
The book lacked a tight integration of all the concepts into a step-by-step program. It approach varied -- sometimes it was about "try mediation... do this...." Then it switched to information, like how your brain works and how your willpower can be depleted. Then there's a little of both, like good behaviors are used to justify bad behavior ("I exercised today so I'm going to reward myself with some chocolates"). I think you need to read only one chapter a week to absorb the information and practice it for a few days before moving on to the next chapter.
Kelly McGonigal! It's a huge opportunity lost to have this fantastic book narrated by Dixon's monotonous drone. This book was written by a brilliant woman, and it would add a lot to have her reading it.
This information offered in the book is excellent. Very thought provoking and useful.
The Power of Habit-The Power of habit gives lots of information on habits, this book gives you the skills to act on the information.
The narrator was slow and annoying. I found myself regularly tuning out and having to go back. If given a do over I would much rather read the book than listen to it. Also, interestingly- the author of the book has a better voice. Not sure why SHE didn't narrate it herself.
No- too much to take in all at once. Best to digest the information and try bit by bit to enact in your own life.
Just about the time you think that there is nothing in self-help books, a number appear applying current neuroscience research to personal development. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, is a thought provoking and helpful addition to this emerging genre. In The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It, she defines willpower and reveals what we are coming to understand about how it works. More importantly, she tells readers how current research can be used to advantage. For example, will power is limited and works best under certain conditions. Feeling bad causes use to give in to circumstances. Inner acceptance improves outer control. Each chapter is complete in itself which is helpful. This is a very informative helpful little book worth the time and effort to complete it. Have a pencil at hand to take notes as you turn the pages. The reading of Walter Dixon is a plus.
Science writer in America's heartland
This book is based on a course that Dr. McGonigal teaches at Stanford, and it packs eight weeks of information into eight hours—and does it well. I didn't feel overwhelmed. I listened to one chapter a week, and gave thought to each topic in the days between, as her students would. Unlike some self-help books that seem to berate a person into making changes in their lives, this one is kind and empathetic. It's also very well researched, so I'm confident that I learned skills based on real scientific evidence.
Several practical ideas. Anecdotes were average. I'd like it better with a different narrator. Walter Dixon sounds boring, stuffy and unenthused. You may want to hold off until using your credit until you have a specific willpower challenge in mind.
The distinction between pleasure itself and the
Easy to follow, with weekly assignments.
Encouraging, paternal, sounds like a good patient teacher
It helped me with my weight loss but I'm getting ready for the REAL challenge: stopping cigarettes!
I want to go back to it for a re-listen,
I teach behavior change so I read books like this. This one was painfully slow even using the faster feature on the iPod. It was also generally useless.
The amazing info revealed is that it's good to relax, and sleep, and be healthy, and maybe meditate, etc. There are better books available to explore those obvious topics.
It eventually got into some interesting psych studies with counterintuitive findings but these were not Earth-shattering or terribly practical, and they contradicted each other: willpower is like a muscle, so if you're trying to lose weight, you should put a bowl of candies on your desk at work to challenge yourself----but wait--- willpower is like a gas tank you don't want to deplete, so if you want to lose weight, you should keep candies hidden so they are harder to get at.
I guess the author didn't have the willpower to read her own book.
Motivational, practical, doable.
It was very down to earth. The advice is practical yet motivational and there is science behind the author's findings.
He sounded relatable; like an everyman.
It just really reinforced things I was already doing along with gave me ideas of new things to try.
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..
"Decent book but not the best"
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.
"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.
Yes, this is the last self help book I'm listening to written by an American scientist. They are painful to listen to.
Geeky and nasally voice.
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.
Avoid this like the plague. Deadly dull nerdy twaddle read by a guy who sounds like Mr Burns in the Simpsons.
"Wish this was narrated by the Author!"
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..
a new take on willpower . willpower explained in a psychological way . A must read for people who want more willpower
"Lots of Great Strategies For Getting Stuff Done"
I was quite skeptical about this book as I am of all self-help books. It does have a couple of the classic "self-help" mumbo-jumbo pitfalls, but it really does seem to be a genuine how-to guide for applying the experimental work in behavioural psychology to self-control challenges. I found the writing to be good, the experiments interesting and well explained, and the conclusions to be clever and applicable.
I think an example is best. One chapter is about how people tend to overestimate their abilities in the future - e.g. I can smoke a cigarette now because tomorrow I will quit. This is in comparison to the fact that people tend to be the same over time (and will tend to continue to smoke!). So how to deal with this excuse making? The method suggested in this book is instead of trying to stop doing something, or start doing something, you should try and reduce the variability of something. For example, agree with yourself that if you smoke ten cigarettes today, then you will also smoke ten tomorrow and the next day etc. In this way you don't let yourself lie and say tomorrow I'll be better, you are forcing yourself to be as bad tomorrow as you are today. It's a simple trick, but one that I've already used to improve on something I'd been stuck on.
The book is like this - a facet of human self-control, experiments examining behaviour and suggested ways to use these experiments to improve your self-control. It is interesting, well written and full of good ideas. Well worth listening if you have self-control issues like me!
"A good reminder.."
To think before you act or don't act.
Personally I use this book as a reminder of why a little more effort is all that is needed.
Well presented, researched and entertaining.
"Will Power Is Powerful!"
Kelly McGonigal has broken down this subject into manageable pieces of information. The book is brilliantly presented and the ideas are strung together in an extremely logical and clear way. The idea that Will is not just Will, but Won't and Want is Awesome! Thank you, but Professor McGonigal! A fantastic "read" Mervyn Barrett
"So much more than the title"
Illuminating and Informative
This is a very thorough book and touches on many relevant subjects, all to do with our brains and how they work.
Walter Dixon's performance was just right - soft and understated, allowing the words to speak for themselves
Victims of our own mentality . . . .
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