The Willpower Instinct

The Willpower Instinct

How Self-control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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The first book to explain the new science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity.

After years of watching her students struggling with their choices, health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., realized that much of what people believe about willpower is actually sabotaging their success. Committed to sharing what the scientific community already knew about self-control, McGonigal created a course called "The Science of Willpower" for Stanford University's Continuing Studies Program. The course was an instant hit and spawned the hugely successful Psychology Today blog with the same name.

Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, McGonigal's book explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters. Readers 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. People who have better control of their attention, emotions, and actions are healthier, happier, have more satisfying relationships, and make more money. 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, and that the brain can be trained for greater willpower.

In the groundbreaking tradition of Getting Things Done, The Willpower Instinct combines life-changing prescriptive advice and complementary exercises to help readers with goals ranging from a healthier life to more patient parenting, from greater productivity at work to finally finishing the basement.

Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Avery, c2012.
ISBN: 9781583334386
Characteristics: 275 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm.

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j
jeagle
Jul 14, 2017

Excellent and awesomely written! Im all praises and just cant rave enough, it's that good!

j
JudithE
Mar 11, 2017

What an excellent book! I've bought a copy for myself -- I want to highlight passages and keep rereading sections when I'm feeling frustrated at not doing something that I want to do (or at doing something I'd rather I didn't do). I also bought a copy for a family member. An enormously useful book, with information that we all can use. There is a reason that a course on this topic, taught by its author, is one of the most popular in Stanford's continuing studies program.

j
jaybird443
Sep 18, 2016

A very informative book on describing how your willpower works with good suggestions on how to improve yours.

p
parasharAnkita10
Aug 03, 2016

Excellent book.

a
autopsysurvivor
May 08, 2014

I'm gonna buy this book!

Just the right blend of science studies and humor.

The number one predictor of future success - more so than IQ, socio-economic background, height, etc - is one's ability to delay gratification. This book has some great strategies for doing just that. Highly recommended by me, someone who's quite awesome and whose recommendation you should heed, my friend.

c
cdimov
Nov 10, 2013

Kelly McGonical does an exceptional job writing The WillPower Instinct. I have put more post-it-note reminders throughout this book - almost to the point of one per page. McGonical researched her topic well, provided many empirical references to support various anecdotal examples, and most importantly - she provides copious examples of how to strengthen your own WillPower and Self-Control.

s
ScottOttawa
Apr 13, 2013

page 170

e
eastvanbookfan
Mar 03, 2013

Enjoyed the book. Often has concepts you see either in yourself (or more likely people close to you). A lot of the research contained within I had heard/read about elsewhere but it certainly was an excellent part of this book.

s
stewstealth
Nov 08, 2012

Excellent book. Very readable. Outlines the latest scientific theories on the brain and how this affects our decisions on self control. This is not a run of the mill self help book.

h
horthhill
Jun 26, 2012

"The Willpower Instinct: How Self-control Works, Why It Matters, And What You Can Do To Get More Of It" by Kelly Mcgonigal is a well-written self-help/science book about self-control. McGonigal wrote the book from a course she developed at Stanford University called 'the science of willpower". Unlike many self-help books, McGonigal doesn't prescripe what to do to get more self-control. Rather, she explores what is scientifically known. Willpower, she defines as being summed up by "I will", "I won't", and "I want". That is, to say yes when you need to say yes, and no when you mean no, and to have the motivation to set a goal, to want something. The reader therefore is invited to take insights from the latest evidence and, perhaps, apply it to there own self-control goal: weight-loss, exercise, etc.

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