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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
50
4.6 out of 5 stars


on 30 January 2015
Excellent collection of the latest research on willpower. Provides a ton of practical techniques that can implemented straight away...
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on 3 October 2017
Must read
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on 9 February 2014
Really I think this book is something they should teach to every teenager.
And every parent should makes sure their kids take its contents to heart.
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on 19 December 2016
McGonigal defines willpower as "the ability to do what you really want to do when part of you really doesn’t want to do it", and says that humans experience conflicts between impulse and self-control in personal and social contexts, giving examples such as: craving for sweet foods, the urge to be sarcastic or complaining, and the desire to procrastinate. Humans have evolved adaptations to control their instincts and successfully resist impulsive drives, because living in groups requires self-control and this—McGonigal says—means taking the harder option. According to McGonigal, willpower failure or success can spread through a group, because humans tend to mirror the behavior of those they are socially connected with.

The part of the self that enables us to act in a way that is consistent with our long-term goals is based in the prefrontal cortex, and McGonigal advocates body-mind practices that she says prioritize the function of the prefrontal cortex, rather than parts of the brain that are orientated toward instant responses, which is the brain's default setting when under stress.

According to McGonigal, the practice of meditation is an effective way to establish the primacy of the prefrontal cortex, thus enabling a choice to do the harder thing, when that is required for attaining a long-term goal. McGonigal believes exercising self-control can help build up willpower in the same way as, over time, physical exercising can increase capacity to exercise. She says: "If you do it with awareness and intention, it can make you stronger. The strength develops over time, even if you feel temporarily weaker. But I think this only works when you have this mindset, and feel like you are consciously choosing to “use” your willpower. If you feel like you are being drained by everything you “have” to do (or not do), that lack of autonomy is even more stressful than exercising self-control."

The promise of happiness from cravings often misleads in McGonigal's view, and she gives techniques of mindfully focusing attention on the actual experience when indulging a craving or temptation, so as to compare it with the expectation of reward that preceded it.

One use of willpower that McGonigal sees as counter productive is thought suppression, or trying not think about temptations (such as cravings). McGonigal believes thoughts become more intrusive through thought suppression, and it is best to simply register that an unwanted thought has occurred without believing in it or acting on it. Energy to pursue activities is less scarce than to resisting temptation, says McGonigal, suggesting that people give their brains healthy "wants" such as vegetables or a walk after lunch, so that weight loss becomes a by-product of choice. Learning to be a friend and mentor to ourselves rather than equating self-control with self-criticism is the attitude that she advocates.

Overall an excellent book. Highly recommended.
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on 12 May 2013
Absolutely amazing, I'm buying two more copies to sent to my friends. It literally changes your life, I hope forever!
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on 25 July 2014
A useful addition to my increasing library of books which help me understand why i do the things i do. Based on neuroscience.
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on 31 July 2014
 Mark Dickson from facebook.com/beefybattlesthebulge reviews Dr Kelly McGonigal's book, The Willpower Instinct. He discusses the reasons behind his 5 star review, and explains how both the paperback and audio versions have helped him lose of 5 stone in weight.
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on 29 April 2016
Excellent product and fast delivery
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on 19 March 2017
Loved this book. One of my top ten actually wanted to write a thank you to the author. Maybe I will.
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on 29 October 2014
I love this book it is filled with a huge amount of practical information and it references many very interesting studies.
I find it easy to read which is important to me as a dyslexic. It has changed the way I think of willpower in a way that has been useful.
I believe that the information and techniques will continue to be of benefit through my life, in other words BUY IT
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