Saturday, November 23, 2013

Willpower Instinct by McGonigal book review

Probably one of the most wished for quality or virtue for oneself is, along with better memory and physical beauty,a stronger willpower. What we wouldn't give for that? Many of us believe that you've either got it or not, or that, if attainable, it might entail to enroll in a monastery or something. Great news: it is not necessary! The Willpower Instinct by McGonigal may very well be the only thing needed.

This book consists in a whole set of techniques that help overcome challenges that hinge on willpower.

Willpower focuses on real life, on the field application. The author goes about this on two ways: a)Only the immediately relevant information is given, meaning that she doesn't waste the reader's time on superfluous expositions, even if those might be interesting on their own; and b) involving the reader by asking him to look closely at how he or she reacts to certain situations to awaken mindfulness (Under the Microscope sections) and giving him things to try (Willpower Experiments)  to open previously unexplored and fruitful vistas. The result is a book that is full of approaches, some that reinforce each other, others that can work by themselves, to your particular willpower problem.

For my part, I find the concepts and exercises easy to get into, helpful and surprisingly powerful despite their apparent simplicity. All these are strong enough to deal with run of the mill willpower difficulties and can lend a hand in more difficult areas. Be warned however as it does not claim solutions for really big problems such as addictions or mental issues; professional help might be the best choice for these.

No fluff, all or most good, and just one read away. What more could you ask for?


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