The Willpower Instinct

  • by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
  • Narrated by Walter Dixon
  • 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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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What the Critics Say

"This book has tremendous value for anyone interested in learning how to achieve their goals more effectively. McGonigal clearly breaks down a large body of relevant scientific research and its applications, and shows that awareness of the limits of willpower is crucial to our ability to exercise true self control." (Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D., co-author of You Are Not Your Brain and author of best-selling Brain Lock)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

It kind of works

One of my greatest frustrations with myself is the fact that I am so knuckle draggingly unproductive. I've read many self help books to combat this. I always get a short term boast that fades quickly. The same is true of the will power instinct but I have found, in the year since I first read it, that there have been some longs term benefits. Nothing miraculous but procrastination is reduced. Repeat listens required but I would recommend this to fellow carriers of the laziness gene.
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- M. A. SMITH

Wish this was narrated by the Author!

Where does The Willpower Instinct rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Kelly McGonigal is a great speaker! (Hear her Ted Talk) It's a shame this is not narrated by her. A fantastically talented woman and great writer. I hope she narrates future books. Looking fwd to reading more of her work..


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- Ms K L Heath

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-01-2012
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC