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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 January 2012
Never before have I really been aware of the physiological basis of how stress can affect willpower. This book is extremely liberating, realising that you can actually change your physiology to a state where willpower is more accessible is empowering. This book should be ready by every GP, health care professional and those caring for 'troubled' children, in fact everybody! It wont be the answer to everyones troubles, but it may help them get their physiology ready to receive other help.

The only thing not so good about it is its title, it doesn't show just how full of help the contents are!

READ IT! Worth every penny!!
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on 27 March 2012
I have read various books on improving willpower, and this one is truly outstanding! For me personally, the best part is that she focuses on small changes that make a big difference - whereas other books tend ask you to do difficult or time-consuming things - which isn't easy when willpower is in short supply. For a good overview of the content, search youtube for the "authors at Google" talk she did in January 2012.
Edit: I bought the book on 21-Mar-12, and completed the first reading on 03-Jun-12. I intend to read it several more times. I could name at least five other books on the subject, most of which I didn't complete, none of which helped - and neither did keeping a diary for months. This one has helped - my willpower has increased substantially (admittedly from a low base). If you're a weak-willed person who wants stronger willpower, this book can work where all else has failed.
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on 30 January 2012
I bought this as I wanted to have more willpower when it came to food. I found the book very enlightening and it has helped me understand better why I lack willpower! It has given me a few strategies to improve my willpower and as a result I have resisted some temptations and lost weight. What I have found more surprising is that it has affected other areas of my life in that I am not procrastinating as much; I've tidied out my garage, cleaned my kitchen cupboards and sorted out my wardrobe. I'm certainly pleased I bought this book and strongly recommend it. I would have given it 5 stars but found it a bit long winded in parts.
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on 2 June 2012
So glad I bought this. I'm only halfway through but already I've learned lots of good strategies for improving my willpower (or, more accurately, to avoid having to do the right thing by sheer, brute force of will). Well worth the money.

All of her recommendations are based on results from psychology experiments and there are some fascinating, and very counter-intuitive findings.

It's also very engagely and entertainingly written. Glad to give it five stars.
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on 17 May 2012
This book is so clear and helpful that I have sent copies as gifts to friends with problems from self-esteem to dieting, as well as simple stress. I bought it to tackle my depression, and found it's working in the underlying areas of procrastination and weight control. Because that's one of the important points: you have to look at the problems behind your problems. The author begins by saying there is no magic bullet, but I've now been following the course for six weeks and I have restored relations with an old friend I thought I was losing, tidied my study, and (drum roll) been able to draw my belt in two notches (cymbals, applause).
One thing: you might think (as I did) that the book is padding around what should be a pamphlet. It isn't. I've gone back to revise the first few chapters, and been surprised by how much deeper my understanding is second time and third time around.
I bought this on Kindle, but because you will need to refer back and forth I recommend the paperback.
Finally, this is a long haul: I accept that changing my life for the better can't be done in the few weeks this course takes. When I've finished it I'm going back to the beginning. This book won't change your life, but if you follow it, it will help you to.
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on 10 October 2013
I had first read the Chimp Paradox which I thought was excellent for its presention of the two selves in a simple but very powerful and relatable way. This provides a useful (necessary) primer for Maximum Willpower because it doesn't explain this "we all have two selves" challenge when really everything about behaviour management is anchored in learning to better handle the emotional self who lives alongside our rational self.

This book makes a great companion book because it builds on this and presents many studies and theories about how our mind's work and lots of good techniques to try for particular problems. (I particularly liked the section about your future you - that we put off or indulge in things today because we imagine our future self will have more time, information, health, money etc and will be able to cope better with the consequences).

I got a lot of intriguing insights out of this book along with some tools to help think and behave more productively. It's well written, the material is accessible and eminently actionable.
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on 28 April 2014
I originally got this book in digital, but when I seen it for such a good price on Amazon, I got it in physical too !

Around a month ago, I painfully reflected on my whole life and admitted to myself that the upset and depression that I was now experiencing was all down to my severe lack of self-control.

I investigated ways to improve my self-control on google, and maximum willpower by Kelly McGonigal popped up in the search. I have read, tested and studied only a 3rd of the book so far, but I am very impressed. Every page was an awakening for me !

This book is based on science and is very reliably accurate, it has helped me enormously. I can see my life changing daily !

Before I started reading this book, I realised that " self-control is the measure of success " and this book is my way to evolve.

Thanks Kelly McGonigal
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on 13 September 2015
I have read a lot of books on motivation and willpower, partly for personal interest and partly to help me do my job better. This is the best I have read so far, and is in a very readable, usable formula. Covers the science, the latest research and practical application. If you are trying to lose weight I suggest you disregard any diet book or club and read this instead. You might just save yourself a lot of time and wasted effort. Highly recommended.
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on 27 March 2015
A fairly good basic how-to guide on setting and achieving modest personal goals, based on evidence.

This is not a theoretical book giving a popular overview of the research on motivation, but rather a practical guide based on what is known about the subject, interspersed with brief references to the underlying theories and evidence.

It's well written, clear and practical.
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on 3 December 2015
I thought this was a decent book and I did learn many things that will help me keep a clear mind and not succumb to any bad habits. Only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is it is a bit heavy in retelling real life scientific experiments.
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