Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Willpower Instinct - Danielle Meeker

Throughout this semester I was assigned to a group to read one specific book that we had to pick out of a bunch of books. After reading the topics of each book I was really drawn into the willpower instinct. What really drew me in was the title itself, “The Willpower Instinct: How Self Control Works, why it Matters, and What You Can DO to Get More of It.” More specifically the part where it says,” How Self Control Work.” This book was really interesting to read because not only does each chapter tell you about different things about will-power and the different components of will power but it also gives some tips and tricks and some experiments that people can try out. This book helps people who are struggling with procrastination, addiction and people who cannot resist and caving into something. That is why I found this book really helpful to me because I struggle a lot with procrastination a lot and some of the techniques that this book gave me and told me to try out really worked. I also really enjoyed how it gave a more in depth description of what will power really is and how it works and anyone can change and get will power. 

In this book, Chapter 4, "License to Sin: Why Being Good Gives Us Permission to Be Bad," was one of my favorite chapters because it not only explains me but, many people in the world. In this chapter it mainly focuses on how people will be doing good or have done good so they think it is okay to do something bad. One good example about License to Sin is food. So many people want to diet and exercise but, food is just so good. A person may exercise for an hour and then claim to "reward" themselves with junk food or food that is not good for them. They call this a reward for their good behavior but, this is just being bad because they are now putting back those calories that they just put in their body. I found some of the exercises in this section helpful as well even though they were just questions being asked. One of the questions was, "Do you use your "good" behavior to give yourself permission to do something "bad"? Is this a harmless reward, or is it sabotaging your larger willpower goals?" and truthfully I answered this saying it is sabotaging my long term goals because once I ruin my good behavior with the bad behavior I will slowly start going back to that bad behavior because I gave myself the okay. 

The second chapter that was one of my favorites was chapter 5, "The Brain's Big Lie: Why We Mistake Wanting for Happiness." This chapter talks about how the things that we want we associate with what makes us happy because we see these wants as rewards and those rewards makes us happy when in reality it is just our dopamine that is triggered by these wants and it really might not make us happy but we think it does. An example of a personal want is when I was in high school I always wanted a boyfriend who did not care about me who treated me terrible because I liked the chase and I thought that those types of boys made me happy but, I found myself very stressed and anxious when trying to get a guy that was horrible to me. I figured it out myself that, that want that I was craving from those types of guys did not satisfy my happiness it was just that rush and reward of finally getting them. Once I found a guy that truly liked me and did not make me chase after him I finally was happy and not wanting but content and happy. This chapter didn't help me through my wanting and happiness but, it explained a lot about why I acted the way I did when I was younger and the meaning behind the wanting and the reward of getting a boyfriend who really wasn't interested. 

The last chapter that I really enjoyed reading was chapter 6, " What The Hell: How Feeling Bad Leads to Giving In." This chapter focuses on how people who feel bad cave into things. I found this chapter very interesting because I give in so much when I feel bad. Usually it takes people a little bit for them to start to feel bad for someone before they cave in but, for me I give in very easily. For example, in my work place I feel bad for everyone who just asks me to do something for them. I feel bad that if I say no to them then they will have to be stuck with the task that no one wants to do and I get to get out of that task Scott free. It makes me really stressed though giving in because it just makes me look like a push over and then I am constantly doing tasks for people because I can not say no. That is exactly what this book describes and explains about when giving in. It explains how it is stressful when you feel bad and give in. Some of the exercises in this book helped me think about why I was caving in and try and use will power to say no. Trying not to feel guilty by saying no to people and walking away and not thinking about it. I will be using these techniques whenever I start caving in. 

I am really glad that i chose this book to read because not only did it give me more information about will power and the background information of it but, it gave me many exercises and techniques that I could use throughout my life to give me the will power not to cave in, procrastinate, or be tempted to do anything. I highly recommend this book to read for anyone who is struggling in their life to get over some of these struggles that they are dealing with or even in general if you are bored and need something to read, this book gives great information about willpower if someone might need it down the road. There was not anything in this book that I disliked but, I really enjoyed how it did not focus on one set of willpower. I liked how this book explained willpower, gave different examples of willpower, and then how it happens to mostly everyone. 

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