The Willpower Instinct

willpowerinstinctuscoverThe Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It
by Kelly McDonagal, PhD
2012 / 272 pages
read by 8h. 20m.
Rating:   7

I decided on this book to see if it would help in my own ongoing battles.  I listened to the book hoping that I could pick up some tips.   I didn’t get all that much new stuff although there was a lot of interesting information in there – mostly based on studies from university psychology departments.  It’s definitely a science-based approach.

Some of the topics include willpower vs won’t power,  the effect of tiredness,  being good gives us license to do a bad thing or two,   how wanting is equates happiness to many,  the economics of instant gratification, willpower being contagious and the limits of willpower.

The book is aimed at will-power issues of all sorts,  dieting,  smoking, drinking, doing taxes, spending,  completing projects,  etc.  Much of the material deals with the untruths of common-sense beliefs and pitfalls.  One of the strongest sections is toward the end – acceptance as well as turning your “I won’ts”  into “I wills.”   This worked for me in diet and exercise.  And the book takes the reader through some exercises to supposedly increase willpower.

This site provides links to other articles by McDonagal:

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