Willpower : Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength

3.95 (13,951 ratings by Goodreads)
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Can you resist everything except temptation? In a hedonistic age full of distractions, it's hard to possess willpower - or in fact even understand why we should need it. Yet it's actually the most important factor in achieving success and a happy life, shown to be more significant than money, looks, background or intelligence. This book reveals the secrets of self-control. Here Roy Baumeister, one of the world's most esteemed and influential psychologists, and journalist John Tierney, turn this notion on its head. They show us that willpower is like a muscle that can be strengthened with practice and improved over time. The latest laboratory work shows that self-control has a physical basis to it and so is dramatically affected by simple things such as eating and sleeping - to the extent that a life-changing decision may go in different directions depending on whether it's made before or after lunch. Based on years of psychological research and filled with practical advice, this book will teach you how to gain from self-control without pain, and discover the very real power in willpower. The results are nothing short of life-changing.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 20mm | 240.4g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141049480
  • 9780141049489
  • 18,080

Review quote

Willpower (the thing) lies at the curious intersection of science and behavior. Willpower (the book) lies at the intersection of Roy Baumeister, an extraordinarily creative scientist, and John Tierney, a phenomenally perceptive journalist. Ignore it at your peril -- Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of 'Freakonomics' and 'SuperFreakonomics' [An] instant classic...[Willpower shows how]...recent research can help people lead better lives - be better parents, stay organized, and lose weight more wisely...[A] brilliant book -- Jamie Holmes * Daily Beast * An immensely rewarding book, filled with ingenious research, wise advice and insightful reflections on the human condition -- Steven Pinker * New York Times Book Review * An accessible, empirically grounded guide to willpower and how best to deploy it to overcome temptation...Should one need a more practical sales pitch for the importance of willpower, Messrs. Baumeister and Tierney point to ... its over-riding importance for academic, personal, career and financial success... Willpower offers no shortage of helpful strategies to compensate for weakness of will -- Cordelia Fine * Wall Street Journal * Willpower affects almost every aspect of our lives...Tierney and Baumeister have given us a wonderful book in which they not only share fascinating research on the subject but also provide simple tricks to help us tap into this important quality -- Dan Ariely, Duke University, author of 'Predictably Irrational' Willpower is sinfully delicious -- once you start reading, you won't be able to stop. A fascinating account of the exciting new science of self-control -- Daniel Gilbert, Harvard University, author of 'Stumbling On Happiness' As wonderfully entertaining as it is enlightening! Tierney and Baumeister have produced a highly intelligent work full of fascinating information (and great advice) about a core element of modern living. Bravo -- David Allen, author of 'Getting Things Done and Making It All Work' This little masterpiece is a must read for all of us who want to exercise, diet, manage our time, be thrifty, and resist temptation -- Martin Seligman, University of Pennsylvania, former president of American Psychological Association, author of 'Authentic Happiness and Flourish' This is a manual from heaven for anyone who has ever wanted to lose weight, stop smoking, drink less, work more efficiently and more intelligently. An astonishingly good -- and accessible -- inquiry into one of the more elusive areas of human psychology -- Christopher Buckley, author 'Thank You for Smoking' and 'Losing Mum and Pup' Deep and provocative analysis of people's battle with temptation and masterful insights into understanding willpower: why we have it, why we don't, and how to build it. A terrific read -- Ravi Dhar, Yale School of Management, Director of Center for Customer Insights A Guardian 2012 Literary Highlight * Guardian * Willpower rather than self-esteem is the essential ingredient for a successful life...The good news, according to the authors, is that willpower, unlike intelligence, is a muscle that can be exercised and encouraged to grow...The book's success in America underlines its timeliness...I suspect that all the politicians currently talking about "alarm-clock Britain" will be studying this book closely...people could benefit from reading this book -- Daisy Goodwin * Sunday Times *
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About Roy F. Baumeister

Roy F Baumeister is one of the world's most prolific and influential psychologists. He received his PhD from Princeton in 1978 and currently is Francis Eppes Eminent Scholar and head of the psychology program at Florida State University. He has over 450 scientific publications, and this will be his 28th book.John Tierney writes the Findings science column for the New York Times. His science writing has won awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Physics. He is the author of The Best-Case Scenario Handbook and the co-author, with Christopher Buckley, of the comic novel God Is My Broker. He is a frequent guest on US radio and television.
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Review Text

Willpower (the thing) lies at the curious intersection of science and behavior. Willpower (the book) lies at the intersection of Roy Baumeister, an extraordinarily creative scientist, and John Tierney, a phenomenally perceptive journalist. Ignore it at your peril Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of 'Freakonomics' and 'SuperFreakonomics'
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Rating details

13,951 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 33% (4,663)
4 38% (5,253)
3 22% (3,054)
2 5% (698)
1 2% (283)

Our customer reviews

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is very easy to read, and written in a way that make you just want to keep reading. One of the features of this book that I enjoyed the most was the real life case studies of popular people, such as Drew Carey, David Blaine and Amanda Palmer, and examples of how self-control helps them achieve their goals, and how they enhanced the self control they already had. I also liked how the authors discuss research about willpower and self control, and explain what the research / experiments were, what hypothesis the researchers were hoping to prove, and what they actually discovered. It gives a good air of credibility to the whole book. I would recommend this book to anyone who feels like they could do with more self-control.show more
by Leslie Roche
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