Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength Audio CD – Audiobook, Unabridged
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About the Author
Roy F. Baumeister is one of the world’s most prolific and influential psychologists. He received his PhD from Princeton in 1978 and currently is Francis Eppes Eminent Scholar and head of the social psychology program at Florida State University.
John Tierney writes the “Findings” science column for the New York Times. He is the author of The Best-Case Scenario Handbook and the coauthor, with Christopher Buckley, of the comic novel God Is My Broker.
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Top Customer Reviews
To improve WillPower - a strong, and very point formed summary in the last chapter is something I expected. In fact the book screams for a one sheet bulleted summary. Tierney and Baumeister discuss the importance of self control / Willpower with children. They discuss the importance of strengthening willpower amongst children, but then fall short on failing to provide express exercises which a parent could use to help strengthen their children's self-control. There are loose examples - but these really needed to be fleshed out in far more detail, being much more explicit.
It is a good initial read into the subject. WillPower treats the subject at a high overview level, but really missed on providing sufficient ground level tactical information. I was hopeful - but disappointed in this regard.
As befits what is really quite an academically inclined book, there is a lot of discussion of the various theories and studies which have taken place. These are validated with no less than 16 pages of references to the source material at the end of the book. The final chapter includes a summary of the main lessons learned which is a useful recap for the reader.
Anyone looking for a self help book is probably going to be disappointed. The presentation does not highlight key issues in an easily digestible list form, and there is little in the way of exercises or tests which you would normally find in a self help type manual. There are, however, plenty of examples to consider. Personally I found it the sort of book where I thought it was most useful to zero in on what I considered the most interesting parts rather than reading it cover to cover in the way one would with a novel.
So to summarise, I thought this was an interesting and thought provoking academic consideration of the issue of willpower. I do not find it surprising that at least one of the authors is an academic who has written a number of text books. Potential readers need to be aware that this is really a much drier presentation of the subject than perhaps is suggested by the title but none the less a worthy study.
Together with intelligence, self-control emerges as the best predictor of a successful and satisfying life. But the authors neither advocate for resisting temptation by sheer force of will nor condemn those who give in as morally irresolute. Rather, they explain that willpower consists of circuitry in the brain that runs on glucose, has a limited capacity and operates by rules that scientists can reverse-engineer, thus compensating for its shortcomings. Examining case studies such as Eric Clapton, a former drug and alcohol abuser, and Oprah Winfrey, the quintessential yo-yo dieter, and citing numerous laboratory experiments, "Willpower" offers a plethora of advice: don't try to tame more than one bad habit at a time, watch for symptoms of "ego fatigue," don't diet, block out temptation as much as possible.
The authors largely appeal to evolutionary biology to explain their findings; neuroscience and economics take a back seat to human interest. Thus, the book contains no discussion of elements such as likelihood of success, temporality and evolutionary impact, which all affect goal-setting and the degree of gratification following achievement of said goals. Nevertheless, "Willpower" provides a rewarding read filled with insightful reflections on the human condition.
Most recent customer reviews
This book is incredibly helpful into understanding human willpower and bettering ones self in every aspect of ones life. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Mahfuz Hassan
I read this based on a recommendation from a blog, looking for an accessible book for practical evidence based strategies to develop willpower. Simply put, this book is just that.Published 12 months ago by Lee
Then this is the book for you. The authors do an awesome job of helping bring attention and intrigue to a subject that could be considered boring and uninteresting. Read morePublished on June 3 2013 by MR DARIN GERMYN
Some principles about willpower and how it can help one's life are presented along with easy-to-understand research evidence. Read morePublished on April 6 2013 by sandsburg