Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Way to Willpower book review

It is reasonable to suppose that once that you have struck gold, the neighboring lots might be valuable as well. Same thing happens with authors: once you have found a great book from one, it is not too far off to think that he or she might have others. Having greatly enjoyed Thinking As a Science by Henry Hazlitt I came across his bibliography on Wikipedia and discovered that he had a book on willpower as well. I immediately went on to acquire it and it also is great stuff.

As with Thinking, Hazlitt goes with great care dissecting the subject and making it accessible to the reader. This book, having been written in the early 20th century lacks all of the recent scientific developments of which The Willpower Instinct (the other great book on willpower I've read) bases itself on. Notwithstanding,  Hazlitt builds his program on the philosophy and psychology from his time and ends with commendable results. The founding stone for his method, and a very controversial one at first, is the negation of the existence of the will.  Allowing that, he builds on it by adding the costs of exercising willpower and the way of habit formation. This trio allows him to offer methods and recommendations that if, are unexplored by The Willpower Instinct, are no less powerful.

Once more, as in Thinking, one is very well rewarded by taking notes.


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