Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It , by Kelly McGonigal

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of ItThe Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well-written and well-presented scientific and practical guide to willpower, self-control, and the neuroscience behind it all.

McGonigal writes engagingly about the fallibility of humans to make great plans and view the future with optimism, and yet fail to achieve seemingly simple goals time and time again. But she explains here WHY we fail, why systems set up to help us succeed are undermining our efforts, and some simple (and often paradoxical) shortcuts to go around our neurocircuitry and achieve the outcome we're looking for.

The experiments and studies she references are interesting; some are quite familiar if you've read the Heath books on change or similar works. Along with the explanations and the science, McGonigal provides practical implementations to help you stop bad habits or implement better ones.

This is a fascinating read about what's going on in the brain when we try to make changes, and an important read if you struggle with lifestyle issues or addictions of any kind, if you work with people who have trouble making changes stick -- or even if you just want to know a little more about how your brain works for and against you.

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