Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Review: The Willpower Instinct

This is a compensated Blogher review but the opinions in it are completely my own!

The Willpower Instinct By Kelly McGonigal was very interesting...It looked at willpower, explained some of the ways that people sabotage themselves, and had ways to make yourself more effective in achieving goals.

A lot of the book focused on the physical mechanisms of willpower, which was interesting because it showed that it isn't just a matter of you being "weak" if you give in to temptation. I've seen a couple of people recently who have spoken about the brain and how it controls your self-control, so it's a trendy topic. Understanding that the brain actually does certain things that make you more or less likely to give in to laziness, temptation, whatever you want to call it, actually does help to make you feel more able to achieve your goals.

She also talks about how we tend to frame willpower and giving up on goals as being "good" or "bad," when there really isn't a moral component to it. Understanding how to reframe the arguments that you have with yourself when you're staring down a bag of M and Ms can be a good thing.

This book was easy to read, and I bored my family by making them listen to me tell them about the interesting research that people have been doing. Sometimes books about behavioral psychology subjects can be really dry, but this one was written in a very conversational tone and I enjoyed it. I also saw a lot of things that I do in it, so oops...The next time I tell myself that making the to-do list equals getting something on it accomplished, I'll remember that it's a brain trick! And that I should probably get started on the to-do list.

To read the first discussion post about the book on the Blogher Book Club, use this link: https://www.blogher.com/willpower-instinct


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA


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