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)
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.
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.
Near the top for this genre. Too many books encourage, motivate, etc, and this book explains how will power works. This gives you the tools to actually direct your willpower. So many of the things I've heard in the past will actually backfire in reality, and this book dispelled so many false beliefs I had about willpower.
I will be listening to this several times because there is so much to absorb and apply.
A stand out point in this book was how the anticipation of a reward is more powerful than the reward itself, even when the reward never materializes. So we are constantly clicking our phone, or youtube, or facebook thinking it will make us laugh, make us happy, give us some important bit of information, but it seldom does, yet we keep clicking away like a rat in a cage. This book gave me the tools to recognize in myself that itch to respond to a anticipated reward that most likely won't materialize. This book is rooted in our mental construction for survival and much of willpower decisions are affected my survival instincts that are no longer valid in today's society, even though they were very appropriate in our early years as humans.
This book is full of studies and examples of how willpower is affected by hunger, exhaustion, criticism, self-forgiveness, etc, etc. It is really eye-opening.
It was easy to listen to with good diction and appropriate inflection, so if you listen at faster speeds (as I may the second time around), it is easy to understand. The speaker doesn't draw attention to himself, and I easily focused on the material with not much thought about the speaker, which is a good thing for a book of this sort.
"How to Hack your Willpower"
I like to listen to books, about 2 per month, and lots in the "improve your brain", "Time Management", type of books, and this one is an example of what they should be like in my opinion. I want to know how the brain works so I have a solid, valid foundation on which to build upon.
THIS IS A GREAT, VERY INFORMATIVE BOOK!
I like how he has divided the chapters so you can read one a week and implement the activities he has suggested during that week. Very doable tasks. Easy to follow.
The way it is organized.
His rate of speech.
Yes - until I began the book and decided to follow the author's advice.
I think everyone should read this. Good facts and relevant to everyone.
Say something about yourself!
I was looking all over for a long time to a sequel to SPARK...and this book was listed as similar WOW. MUCH better than I expected This is another MUST bookMore of these PLEASE
Singlae narrator but "Me" in thje end
Yes and I love his reading and the books he reads The Book i was searching for was another of his...
Realizing how simple willpower for health and wellness and optimum living is it is not DENIAL.
I would really truly like to see more books like this and SPARK I will refer to this one over and over ...estimate listening to this another 10 times.
I enjoy sci fi and fantasy, action thrillers, horror and romantic gay m/m fiction
not sure because I have not read the book
basic self help books that are thought provoking
I was made to consider ideas or issues within my own behaviour that I had never considered and to look at my choices in a new light....sometimes choices you make are really a trigger for a person to behave in a certain manner at another time (breaking your discipline) kind of like a cascade of events....that was started by what you thought was an innocent decision (subconsciously....its not)
A Book and a Cat: Nothing more
After listening to the book, I was so impressed that I purchased the hard cover so that I could refer back to it repeatedly, and I have. I have used many of the exercises for enhancing willpower, and I can imagine that sitting through Dr. McGonigal's actual course at Stanford would be even more engaging. Well-researched and thoroughly documented.
Highly. The material is universally relevant, and Professor McGonigal's hits and misses with live audiences over various semesters have resulted in storytelling that unfolds in an engaging manner.
There were so many that it's hard to pick just one. For me, it was her advice to build my willpower muscle by choosing one small task to do each day, even if it's not relevant to my willpower goal.
Not intentionally. I was disappointed that the author did not narrate the book herself. I had heard her on a podcast interview with Dr. Kiki, and that was partly what got me interested in her book. I was looking forward to hearing her work expressed in her own voice. To me, Walter Dixon sounded a little like the voice on a GPS. It was also disappointing that some listeners thought that the author was a man because the narrator was a man.
Definitely. In fact, I'm making a second pass through the book now, listening to one chapter per week as the author suggested, because I lacked the willpower the first time through to stop listening at the end of each chapter.
Who doesn't struggle the issue of willpower? What a great treatment of a universal topic!
I would like to recommend the book to all who want to explore psychological aspects of human behavior.
"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.
"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.
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..
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..
"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.
"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.
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!
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!
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