Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Willpower Instinct: A BlogHer Book Club Review

This is a paid review for the BlogHer Bookclub, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my very own.

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.  takes on the idea of what is the definition of Willpower, what is it's influence over us and how can we improve ourselves by taking control over it.  When I began reading the book I thought "I have great willpower!  I don't need this book!" but I quickly learned that everyone actually could use some willpower tweeking.  There are things we all do (or don't do) that we would rather do different.  This book takes a close look at them and gives scientific, evidence based ideas on how to make changes in our behavior.  Dr McGonigal  actually taught this as a college class on this topic at Stanford (so it allowed me to freely think of her as Professor McGonigal without even feeling an ounce of guilt), and combine all the important information from her course into this book.

This book is not a light read, but it isn't overly schoolish either (at least to me, who reads a lot of schoolish things).  It has the undeniable feel of a self help book, because that's what it is, but it also isn't painful to turn the pages.  If you are interested in the topic of self help and willpower, it honestly is a great book.  Anyone can read it, and everyone who does will take some good advice from in on the importance of  willpower's influence.

The book is set up to be read over time.  The ten chapters in the book actually represent her ten week course.  I think I would have gotten more out of the book if I had taken my time with it. If I had read a chapter a week rather than trying to read it all in a few sittings. For me, it all began to run together and sound like things that were good ideas in theory, but that lost their effectiveness with a quick read.  Still, if you are looking for a self help book that is based in logic and backed by scientific studies, this is a great option!

We will be discussing The Willpower Instinct with BlogHer book club over the next several weeks.  Come join the conversation!


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