Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strict but thought provoking, 23 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength (Hardcover)
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This book gets 5 stars from me because I read almost all of it and took about two pages of notes about interesting studies it describes, and ideas suggested by the authors. On top of that, this topic (self control) is so important that any progress on it is of immense value to individuals and society as a whole. So, 5 stars.

It's also well written, clear, engaging, and mostly well thought through.

One negative aspect, for me personally, is that I got the impression that one or both of the authors is a super-strict dad who insists on the bed being made every morning, shiny shoes, and constantly wants to talk about goals and progress.

The material on how we can, supposedly, develop stronger willpower by exercising it (like a muscle) and living in a tidy environment was not convincing to me. If our willpower is overwhelmed by trying to exercise in a gym regularly and depleted by the effort, how is exerting willpower over some other issue going to improve that situation? Since willpower is already being used to the point of exhaustion over the gym issue, why does this not lead to it strengthening to the point where we succeed in exercising? Why would exerting willpower over some other issue as well be more effective?

It may be that there is a useful effect here but I'm not convinced by the theory that it is just a matter of strengthening a kind of mental muscle.

However, the strategies discussed in the final chapter of the book seem to be much more on target and if you're going to read just one chapter then this is the one to go for.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Feb 2012 16:37:19 GMT
Stephen Luff says:
My understanding about strengthening willpower is eventually turning it into a habit which then runs itself, with a lot less energy.
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