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

Extended Audio Sample The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It Audiobook, by Kelly McGonigal Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00064020486556 out of 54.00064020486556 out of 54.00064020486556 out of 54.00064020486556 out of 54.00064020486556 out of 5 4.00 (1,562 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kelly McGonigal Narrator: Walter Dixon Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN: 9781596599109
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Based on Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal's wildly popular course "The Science of Willpower," The Willpower Instinct is the first book to explain the new science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity.

Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters. For example, listeners will learn:

  • Willpower is a mind-body response, not a virtue. It is a biological function that can be improved through mindfulness, exercise, nutrition, and sleep.
  • Willpower is not an unlimited resource. Too much self-control can actually be bad for your health.
  • Temptation and stress hijack the brain's systems of self-control, but the brain can be trained for greater willpower.
  • Guilt and shame over your setbacks lead to giving in again, but self-forgiveness and self-compassion boost self-control.
  • Giving up control is sometimes the only way to gain self-control.
  • Willpower failures are contagious--you can catch the desire to overspend or overeat from your friends­­--but you can also catch self-control from the right role models.

In the groundbreaking tradition of Getting Things Done, The Willpower Instinct combines life-changing prescriptive advice and complementary exercises to help listeners with goals ranging from losing weight to more patient parenting, less procrastination, better health, and greater productivity at work.
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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hakan Jackson | 2/12/2014

    " This is one of those books that I wish I'd read years ago... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sadie | 1/21/2014

    " I loved this book. Perfect combination of science and information with helpful hints are tools for improving willpower and changing life long habits. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melody | 1/19/2014

    " A two-weeks class on improving self-control in 10 chapters, with chapter one introducing the basics, chapter ten summarizing the class, and chapter 2-9 each specializing on one big "willpower challenge". Very interesting book. Includes not only theories to help you get to know better about how our minds work but also very practical suggestions and experiments to deal with each "willpower challenge". This book changes the way I view myself in a lot of aspects. Very helpful. Like it a lot. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marlasg Griffith | 1/1/2014

    " illuminating "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 M | 12/24/2013

    " Absolutely fascinating book! Her writing style annoyed me at first because she used a lot of parenthetical asides and tried to be funny, but I got beyond that. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenneth | 12/23/2013

    " This book truly is a gem. One of the best personal development books I've read in a while. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Henrik Hedberg | 12/1/2013

    " A real eye opener! Being aware of what happens in the brain and why when giving in to temptation and procrastination helps avoid the dangers. Interesting and useful. Have to listen to this again and do the exercises. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kayci | 12/1/2013

    " Don't let your brain outsmart your good intentions! I enjoyed learning tips on how to understand where my impulses are coming from, and how to take the steps necessary to act on my long term goals. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ctrain79 | 10/30/2013

    " The basic suggestions for everyday use are easy and effective. Down to earth advice about how the mind works and what real people have done to help themselves increase their willpower / self-control. Also very well written in terms of professionalism among authors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steph | 10/19/2013

    " This book is relevant to my work, and I felt this was one of the better examples of scientific research turned popular book that I have read. Comprehensive, accurate, informative, engaging, pleasant to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glenda | 7/25/2013

    " Loved this book. It gives great insight into why we do what we do - so much more insightful than just what you might expect from the title. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adam | 7/22/2013

    " Loved this book. Great anecdotes, good humor, solid foundation in brain science. Everyone should read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 4/10/2013

    " Interesting. I totally buy Sam Harris' argument that we don't have free will, but this book has fantastic suggestions for bolstering will power, which make total sense. Talk about a paradox, yo. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melisa | 1/5/2013

    " This book took me forever to read, not because it was difficult, but because I found myself wanting to absorb every idea and put them to practice in my life. If I manage to put a keep of couple of habits going from this book I'll call it a success. An excellent read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jiayin | 11/6/2012

    " I really enjoyed the book. It makes me understand why I do something that I should not. I enjoy the science part, which is easy to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill Lalonde | 8/4/2012

    " Very good, in particular when read with Baumeister's willpower book; the two compliment each other because they have different slants. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 mayhugh | 7/5/2012

    " Logical and researched well, a fresh Sunday afternoon read. I tried to put it down but I didn't have the willpower. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holly | 1/12/2012

    " Lots of great ideas here -- well worth the read! I can see why McGonigal's class was so popular at Stanford. "

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About the Author
Author Kelly McGonigal

Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is an award-winning psychology instructor at Stanford University and a health educator for the School of Medicine’s Health Improvement program. She is the author of The Willpower Instinct and lives in Palo Alto, California.

About the Narrator

Walter Dixon is a broadcast media veteran of more than twenty years’ experience with a background in theater and performing arts and voice work for commercials. After a career in public radio, he is now a full-time narrator with more than fifty audiobooks recorded in genres ranging from religion and politics to children’s stories.