Monday, August 10, 2015

Book Report The Will Power Instinct: How self Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More Of It

The book that I chose to read for the assignment was The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why it Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of it. Besides its unusually long name, this book manages to stand out from the rest for a variety of reasons, but the main one being that is delves deep into the human psyche. It goes deep to look at what exactly motivates out everyday actions, and more importantly the science of self control itself. It talks about how self control relates with temptations, addictions, and how those outcomes ultimately decide which route we want to take in the end. It even talks about how even though sometimes we may want to do something, sometimes that course of action may not be the best for the situation at hand and that that decision will depend on what we wish to gain in the end while even providing ways on how we can gain more self control as a whole. It also manages to provide the reader with numerous case studies on a variety of situations involving self control and desire to see real world applications of what is being talked about in the book.

The part that I really liked about this book was the section that talked about the development and origin of willpower. I thought this section was particularly interesting because it talked about how back when homo sapiens were in tribes, one bad move would lead to death,injury or abandonment and so they developed a will to survive in a sense because it was either do what's best for the tribe or suffer. What is interesting is that this book actually relates back to a lot what was talked about in the slides. For example with in the slides it mentions how self control is not an issue of will power but an issue of conflicting outcomes which basically mean what needs to be done versus what you may want to do personally. This internal struggle is what is talked about in the book as well and that is why I find it so interesting because I can relate to having to deal with that very thing. Rewards are also an integral part because that will most certainly influence whether or not you repeat an activity and if there is a negative outcome, the person will not want to do that activity again. I think this video clip showcases my point quite well.

The thing that stuck out most for me, even more so than the actual content of the book, was the message. What the book is basically telling us is that we should be much more aware of our actions and implement self control in our every day decisions. Not simply acting of what's in your best interest, but looking at what the right thing to do is after looking at all possible outcomes and choosing which will be the most beneficial in the long run; even though it may not be the most instantly gratifying. This book allows us to see how other make decisions under certain stimulus and allows for reflection within ourselves to perhaps ponder not only how you would react given the same situation, but maybe what decisions are you making right now that could be better; that is what I think the true message is and what the real world application of this book is, it allows us to question ourselves in a way that we did not think about before thus allowing us to become better people overall.

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