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The Willpower Instict

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The Willpower Instict

I’m often asked about how to improve willpower and self-control and despite being particularly strong in these areas myself, I was kind of at a loss as to why, and thus didn’t have much to share in the way of good advice.

The typical types of “willpower failures”–procrastination, bingeing on food, buying things we can’t afford, wasting hours and hours playing video games and surfing the Internet, and so forth–are just so foreign to me that I wasn’t sure where people should even begin to overcome them.

Well, as I’m working on the second editions of both Bigger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger and am adding a ton of content based on all the feedback and suggestions I’ve gotten from readers, I knew that self-control was going to require its own chapter, and that I was going to have to get more informed on the subject.

After perusing Amazon, I settled on reading The Willpower Instinct, and I’m so glad I did. I simply loved this book and have been recommending it left and right to everyone I know, whether they struggle with willpower or not.

In this book, Dr. Kelly McGonigal–a psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University–shares the highlights and key teachings of her wildly popular university course, The Science of Willpower, which gives a fascinating look into what’s really going on “under the hood” of our willpower and self-control engines.

I’ve read other stuff on the subject, but The Willpower Instinct stands out in several ways:

  • Dr. McGonigal has a gift for educating in an entertaining, inspiring way, and for focusing on the practical. This is a book that you use, not just read.
  • The research and examples she shares are very real and down-to-earth, which is probably a result of how much actual hands-on time she has put in with students of her class. This isn’t a highbrow academic treatise–it’s written for you and me.
  • Each chapter debunks big myths and delivers big “aha” moments that help you better understand why so many people behave in self-sabotaging ways and struggle so hard to break the cycle, and how easy getting things on track can be if you go about it correctly.

Whether you’re a willpower flunky or rockstar, and regardless of what you want most in your life–a better body, a more successful career, a happier family, whatever–this book is going to help you get there.

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