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Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength | [Roy Baumeister, John Tierney]

Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

For years, our concept of the self and well-being has been dominated by the notion of self-esteem, while the old fashioned value of willpower has been disparaged by psychologists who argued that we’re largely driven by unconscious forces beyond our control. In Willpower Baumeister and Tierney turn this misinformation on its head to reveal self-control as arguably the single most powerful indicator of success. Baumeister discovered that willpower actually has a physical basis to it....
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Publisher's Summary

For years, our concept of the self and well-being has been dominated by the notion of self-esteem, while the old fashioned value of willpower has been disparaged by psychologists who argued that we’re largely driven by unconscious forces beyond our control. In Willpower Baumeister and Tierney turn this misinformation on its head to reveal self-control as arguably the single most powerful indicator of success.

Baumeister discovered that willpower actually has a physical basis to it: it is like a muscle that can be strengthened with practice, and fatigued from overuse. That’s why eating and sleeping - and especially failing to do either of those - have such dramatic effects on self-control.

Yet, while self-control is biologically rooted, we have the capacity to manipulate our nature. Willpower features personal stories from entrepreneurs, executives, parents and children who have managed to do just that. The characters range from Victorian explorers to modern homemakers, from college students pulling all nighters to entertainers. The practical lessons in self-control conditioning they provide are nothing short of life changing.

Combining the best of modern social science with the practical wisdom of David Allen, Ben Franklin, and others, Baumeister and Tierney here share the definitive compendium of modern lessons in willpower.

©2011 Roy Bauemeister and John Tierney. (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (429 )
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4.2 (328 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Natasha BONIFAY, FLORIDA, United States 10-02-12
    Natasha BONIFAY, FLORIDA, United States 10-02-12 Member Since 2011
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    5
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    "Instant favorite!"

    Very well written book, with great historical people and information used. There was lots of simplified scientific talk, so that the average Joe could understand ...but not so dumbed down that it was boring. There were many interesting characters used, from missionaries to David Blaine, and enough humor to keep me entertained. I have listened to this book twice and it has opened my eyes to understand why we do some of the silly things we do...especially if we are hungry ...or as we say in my house "hangry". Definitely recommend this book, it will help anyone understand Willpower and how to strengthen it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Engin PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 07-19-12
    Engin PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 07-19-12 Member Since 2011
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    "changed my life"
    If you could sum up Willpower in three words, what would they be?

    scientific; practical


    What did you like best about this story?

    the fact that the authors take time to explain the fundamentals of psychology and physiology of willpower.


    Any additional comments?

    I like scientific books. I particularly enjoy books that provide research based insights into problems. I am not a fan of conclusions drawn from a single person's experiences (there are many books out there like that). So, I really enjoyed this book. If you are looking for a bulleted list kind of thing to strengthen your willpower, you will have to wait until the end. But, then you should understand that the book is really about understanding why we as human beings use our willpowers as we use them. I used the scientific facts and insights in this book to craft a strategy for changing many bad habits that I had and I succeeded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Z. Wixom, MI 03-05-12
    Paul Z. Wixom, MI 03-05-12 Member Since 2009
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    "I enjoyed this book!"

    I heard an interview with the authors on this book, and decided to seek it out. It is the kind of nonfiction book that was entertaining and educational, and I think could make a big difference in a lot of peoples’ lives. It is by no means a self-help book, but I think it could switch on a few light bulbs and help explain why many of us have problems with will power.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Wylie, TX, United States 12-08-11
    Deborah Wylie, TX, United States 12-08-11 Member Since 2009

    "All things TOEFL"

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good reminder"

    Most of the information given I had heard and used before. However, I benefited from listening. I listened to the audio book each morning as I got ready for my day. It motivated me and prepared me. It is important to me to understand that will power can be depleted and that there is much I can do to stay strong enough to make good choices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-18-11
    11-18-11 Listener Since 2009
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    "interesting..."

    It was a little slow, some information was repeated...I thought the narration could have been better but all and all interesting.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Hyde Park, UT, United States 09-30-11
    Charles Hyde Park, UT, United States 09-30-11 Member Since 2011

    chansenjr

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent book"

    Mind opener for sure. Great narration. Listened to it twice. My wife loves it too.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Hampton, VA, United States 12-22-11
    Aaron Hampton, VA, United States 12-22-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "Reader"

    Wow, elocution is not this guys strong point. Nothin' like them sloppy vowels. I often had to think hard about what I thought he was trying to say. You'd think someone paid to talk would be expected to do actually be able to do it.

    However, the content was great, if you can ignore the horrible narrator.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William CHESAPEAKE, VA, United States 04-25-13
    William CHESAPEAKE, VA, United States 04-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Complete waiste of time"
    Would you try another book from Roy Baumeister and John Tierney and/or Denis O'Hare?

    This book basically says that their is nothing you can do to improve your willpower. No solutions offered, just hours of time lost!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David DENVER, CO, United States 05-20-12
    David DENVER, CO, United States 05-20-12

    Chargin' hard cuz there too much diem to carpe!

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    "Boring..."
    Would you try another book from Roy Baumeister and John Tierney and/or Denis O'Hare?

    No


    Has Willpower turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Denis O'Hare’s performances?

    The performance was fine


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Good information but it could have been summarized in an article instead of a book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 01-17-12
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 01-17-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Getting to the point?"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Certainly the subject matter can be dry at best but the writing came across as more of a intellectual perspective.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Interesting enough; through listening to this book it soon became obvious that David Allen's book on


    What didn’t you like about Denis O'Hare’s performance?

    Dry and examples were drawn out.


    Was Willpower worth the listening time?

    Never a


    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
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