Sunday, August 9, 2015

Book Report

The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal

                I chose to read The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal.  The title to this book was what got me hooked right away.  Having self-control isn’t always an easy thing to accomplish, especially when there are so many temptations out there in the world.  For me, working out and eating right has been a new lifestyle for me and as much as I love it, just wanting to skip the gym or have a piece of chocolate is always something that I have problems with.  After reading this book it really helped me take a step back to think about how I can control myself.  McGonigal talks about the research that has been done behind willpower in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, medicine and economics.  She gives the reader tips and exercises you can do at home to better yourself.  Tips and examples such as do you use your good behavior as an excuse to indulge and how you can overcome such thoughts.
                I had a couple of favorite parts that explained how willpower works.  As I said in the previous paragraph, I changed my life and eating habits a few months ago so I am still getting used to all of these changes.  McGonigal wrote that we often have more willpower than we think we do which is very true.  It’s just a matter of how much of it we use and how hard we push ourselves.  Our beliefs on whether we are capable of doing something might just determine whether we give up or not.  Willpower is all mental.  Our bodies are capable of so much more than we think they are, we just have to have the right mindset to do it.  Another part that I enjoyed was how she spoke about willpower being like a muscle.  If you don’t use those muscles, they become weak and of no use.  Your willpower may get tired the more you use it, but with lots of exercise, it will get stronger in time.  At the same time, you need to rest those muscles too because like an athlete, without rest, you can run out of strength entirely.
                 I found a short 5 minute animated video clip on YouTube about this book.  It highlights all the important parts of the book with pictures and tips.  I also watched a few of the interviews with the author which I found interesting.  However, they were rather lengthy so I thought this one was short, sweet and to the point ( ).  This book was such a feel-good book in that it doesn’t make you feel pressured or that anything you are doing in life is wrong.  We all have our certain routines and ways of doing things, but if we can just take a minute to have the right mindset, the better off we will be when we come across those negative urges in life.

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