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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

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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

4.4 (5697 )
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4.4 (4758 )
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4.3 (4831 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    x 09-12-15
    x 09-12-15

    a22223344

    HELPFUL VOTES
    108
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    185
    24
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    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "In epic and embassy's singly stupid"

    For the most superficial people the world over. Just nauseatingly silly. Worst download in years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 09-02-15
    Amy 09-02-15 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    Overall
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    Story
    "Think like a scientist."

    A most excellent lecture! Complete with great little self experiments. It helped me through my depression.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TMCB 09-02-15
    TMCB 09-02-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lot of Statistics"

    I did like all of the data that she researched and discussed. But I think it was too much data/statistics and not enough discussion on how to make the changes necessary.
    Much of it was negative too, so how about examples of success stories?
    The mention of meditating was very helpful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-28-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    12
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    0
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    Story
    "More on scientific terms and survey"

    This book is more based upon scientific facts and terms with lots of examples provided which causes hinderance for willpower

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 08-27-15
    Eric 08-27-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Life-changing. "

    This is serious practical stuff. I can't see things the way I used to. Paradigm shift. Wow

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    yasunshine 08-21-15
    yasunshine 08-21-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    43
    23
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    "definitely worth the purchase"

    I would recommend this book and I will definitely listen to this Audio book again. I would love to take the actually course.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Desmond 08-14-15
    Desmond 08-14-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Life changing book!!!"

    I am glad I came across this book. I was looking for something to help me with my mentality of managing money and I have gained that and more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt 08-14-15
    Matt 08-14-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The dissection and science of why I can't."

    If you want to know the "why" behind you "can't" or "will" listen to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly 08-13-15
    Kelly 08-13-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
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    Story
    "Good stuff!"

    Obvious why this is a top course at Stanford!
    I have listened twice and each time I see myself in many of the hi lighted examples.
    I am sure I will listen a third time😀
    Kelly
    Edmonton
    Alberta

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BE.Real 08-08-15
    BE.Real 08-08-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    Story
    "A science based enjoyable approach to will"
    Would you listen to The Willpower Instinct again? Why?

    Yes, I listened to the book 4 times. I enjoyed the humor, analogy, and delivery.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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.

    17 of 17 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..


    9 of 9 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.


    11 of 13 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..

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    7/31/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing book!"

    It teaches you so many techniques you can practice! It's great. I'll keep listening to it until i get the hang of willpower instinct.

    2 of 2 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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • katof9tails
    4/21/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent self-help book"

    This book has really worked for me. My background is in science, so hearing about the research helps me to understand WHY the strategies suggested will work. That gives me confidence in them & for me, I have to believe in something for it to work. There are 10 chapters & the author suggests that you can listen to the whole thing or go through a chapter a week & practice the strategies you like for a week before going onto the next. I'm doing both. I've listened to the whole book (handy journey to London), and am going back through in slow time, allowing for weekly practice. You are assisted in identifying what it is you need to change & how to use strategies for that. You are given a choice of things that you can do & you can pick the one(s) that you are attracted to do. It works if you practice - listening on its own won't do much. Early days yet, but I have seen positive changes already. Different people respond to different ways of doing things, so this won't work for everyone, but it feels really flexible & I would say it is well worth a try as long as you are prepared to put in a bit of work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Petra
    3/28/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book!"

    Very, very interesting, fascinating book. Lots of ideas & suggestions for improving your willpower. Thank you

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Santiago Ruiz-Valdepeñas MartĂ­n de Almagro
    Madrid, Spain
    10/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing content, it is helping me a lot."

    Clear, compelling science based strategies to achieve your willpower challenges.
    The chapter about dopamine and the promise of reward was especially enlightening for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "engaging and helpful - exercises were great!"

    structure was helpful with regular exercises to test out the material...ties in the research and interesting anecdotes very well. will listen to it again!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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