The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Kelly McGonigal

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  • Publisher: Avery Publishing Group Inc.,U.S.
  • Format: Hardback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 231mm x 28mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 29 December 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1583334386
  • ISBN 13: 9781583334386
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 18,586

Product description

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.

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Author information

Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychology instructor at Stanford University, and a lecturer and program developer at the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. She is also the author of "Psychology Today"'s Science of Willpower blog and lives in Palo Alto, California.

Customer reviews

By Sahira Mokti 20 May 2014 5

I devoured it in two days. It consumed me and I will read it again to apply the willpower exercises included at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to shape new habit or strengthening their self discipline skill.

Review quote

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 bestselling "Brain Lock"