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Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human…
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Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Roy Baumeister (Author)

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7912818,638 (3.76)8
The authors review the latest research to report key findings on willpower and offer practical advice for increasing it.
Member:jamesshelley
Title:Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
Authors:Roy Baumeister (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster Audio (2011)
Collections:Your library, Completed (inactive)
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Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister (2011)

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
I gave this book three stars because after I read it, I did something that I had been putting off for months. If not for that, though, I would give the book two stars. Willpower was a quick read, but the explanations of the experiments seemed too broad. I know the science is there, I just think fewer experiments and more detail (or more detail and a slightly longer book) would make for a cleaner argument. ( )
  xo_books | Sep 29, 2019 |
Know thyself. ( )
  cwcoxjr | Sep 5, 2019 |
In the New York Times Bestseller named Willpower, we Rediscover Mankind’s Greatest Strength. Roy F Baumeister and John Tierney collaborate in this book to bring polish and expertise to the subject of Willpower.

We start out in the beginning with the history of willpower and how it was perceived. Initially, that is to say back in the Victorian era, people had flaws and foibles just like today. They made mistakes but had trouble understanding how to deal with them. That is where Freud and other early psychologists came in. Once they were told how to deal with the issue at hand, they went and used their willpower or inner strength to conquer the problem.

Eventually, people began getting more introspective. They more readily saw their own flaws but lacked the drive to fix them. For a time, willpower was maligned and ignored. Even in the profession of psychology willpower was thought to be a myth for a time. It was easier to blame society and attempt a correction on a large scale than it was to go and attempt to improve yourself. Anyone who has tried cold turkey to quit smoking can attest to this. So then people came full circle in the 1960s and 1970s. You might be familiar with some of the theories, such as the Marshmallow Test and the influence of self-control. Children able to resist the temptation for the time that the researcher was gone were far more likely to succeed in life. They had better grades, earned more money, were more respected, and had more friends. Scientists were curious as to why.

It was discovered that we all have a limited reservoir of willpower. This reservoir is drained when doing things like ignoring something or resisting something. It is also drained in other ways. Say you intend to study or write a few hundred words per day or some other project of self-improvement. If you attempt multiple things at once you will almost certainly fail all of them. This fact was found out by Benjamin Franklin in his Autobiography. If you recall, Franklin attempted a training course to live morally. He never succeeded in this task but felt better from trying it. Since he was trying so many morally strong behaviors at once he couldn’t focus on all of them. Plus, some of them interrupted the others.

The authors get around to discussing how to improve your willpower, and how to avoid draining it. It is all quite fascinating. Take the idea of food fueling morality for instance. People don’t make good decisions when they are starving or even slightly hungry. Therefore it is a good idea to provide your brain with fuel. Along with this journey through the book, we find personal accounts and other helpful information on how to get things done and avoid procrastination. We look at Drew Carey’s schedule and at Amanda Palmer’s Statue Act. We observe people preparing for Lent by gorging themselves on food and drink.

This book is really interesting and would be a nice addition to anyone’s repertoire of books. Along with being informative, it is also quite helpful. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
So I wasn't wrong, and it wasn't my imagination after all: the self-esteem movement does produce narcissists, and does not make "children any more successful, honest or otherwise better citizens."

Wow, the difference between Chinese and American toddlers seems to show clearly that the higher expectations for self-control (their 2-yr olds have the self-control of our 3-4 yr olds?!) lead to higher levels of self-discipline by the time they get to school, "low levels of narcissism, and later successes."
-Ok, so when my Principal told me I was being too harsh on the 7th graders, she was indeed wrong. Thank you, even if that doesn't get me my job back. ( )
  FourFreedoms | May 17, 2019 |
So I wasn't wrong, and it wasn't my imagination after all: the self-esteem movement does produce narcissists, and does not make "children any more successful, honest or otherwise better citizens."

Wow, the difference between Chinese and American toddlers seems to show clearly that the higher expectations for self-control (their 2-yr olds have the self-control of our 3-4 yr olds?!) lead to higher levels of self-discipline by the time they get to school, "low levels of narcissism, and later successes."
-Ok, so when my Principal told me I was being too harsh on the 7th graders, she was indeed wrong. Thank you, even if that doesn't get me my job back. ( )
  ShiraDest | Mar 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Baumeister, Roy F.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tierney, Johnmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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However you define success -- a happy family, good friends, a satisfying career, robust health, financial security, the freedom to pursue your passions -- it tends to be accompanied by a couple of qualities.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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