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
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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.


From the critics

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Mar 10, 2018

I also plan to purchase this book. What I look for is information that I can act on and this book has plenty. Some I have already mastered, but I can clearly see room for improvement and this will be one of my guides. Heed the high praise of the other commentators, as it is no accident.


Jul 14, 2017

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

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.

Sep 18, 2016

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

Aug 03, 2016

Excellent book.

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.

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.

Apr 13, 2013

page 170

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.

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.

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