Book review: “The Willpower Instinct”

Author of the book goes deep into mechanisms of “How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It”.

Well, actually, I am not very sure about the last one (what you can do…). If you are looking for a book that will offer 1-2-3 way to get your sh* together and do what needs to be done, this might not be the book you are looking for. This is rather knowledge which will help you to understand the underlying mechanisms of specific self-help techniques you might be exposed to. For example, if you are looking for help to shake off smoking or any other bad habit, look further. You will not find the recipes nor motivation in this book. If you are looking for scientific explanations why are you addicted, why can’t you break psychological addictions, why can’t you beat cravings, and mechanisms that make it possible to fix that, then you will appreciate this book.

Positive: You will read about examples from real life everybody can relate to (like chocolate craving!!!). You will find valuable digested results from years long research from eminent Universities and institutes. And the most important for me (as martial artist) is what are main threats to our self-control.

Negative: What I find problematic is offering meditation as a way to improve our self-control and will power. But doesn’t being able to meditate or maintain mindfulness actually mean you already mastered the freakin’ willpower? Isn’t that right!? There are other similar details in book that just didn’t click with me.

With all due respect to Ph.D. Kelly McGonigal, I learned a lot but wasn’t impressed nor excited nor motivated. So 2.5 stars from

I will definitely read her The Science of Compassion book in future.