Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

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Penguin, Sep 1, 2011 - Psychology - 304 pages
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One of the world's most esteemed and influential psychologists, Roy F. Baumeister, teams with New York Times science writer John Tierney to reveal the secrets of self-control and how to master it.

Pioneering research psychologist Roy F. Baumeister collaborates with New York Times science writer John Tierney to revolutionize our understanding of the most coveted human virtue: self-control. Drawing on cutting-edge research and the wisdom of real-life experts, Willpower shares lessons on how to focus our strength, resist temptation, and redirect our lives. It shows readers how to be realistic when setting goals, monitor their progress, and how to keep faith when they falter. By blending practical wisdom with the best of recent research science, Willpower makes it clear that whatever we seek—from happiness to good health to financial security—we won’t reach our goals without first learning to harness self-control.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

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Great Storyteller
Fascinating people and anecdotes are used to make psychological points and theories come alive.

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Summary of the Conclusion:
1. Know your limits;
2. Watch for symptoms of willpower depletion;
3. Pick your battles, set time limits and deadlines;
4. Make a to-do list or at least a to-don't list;
5. Beware the planning fallacy (things always take longer than you think);
6. Don't forget the basics (like changing your socks, eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep);
7. The power of positive procrastination (I'll have it later)
8. The Nothing Alternative: Raymond Chandler would set aside four hours every day for writing; if he couldn't write, then he couldn't do anything else either. It was either write or nothing.
9. Keep track of your progress or lack of progress; quantify your behavior.
10. Reward often: when you set a goal, set a reward for reaching it.
 

Contents

The Decline of the Will
The Comeback of the Will
Evolution and Etiquette
Why Will Yourself to Read This?
The Radish Experiment
Name That Feeling
The Mystery of the Dirty Socks
Lessons from the Street and the Lab
From Selfesteem to Narcissism
Exceptional Asians
Nanny Deb and the Triplets
Rules for Babies and Vampires
Wandering Eyes
Playing to Win
The WhattheHell Effect
The Dieters Catch22

Brain Fuel
Inner Demons
Eat Your Way to Willpower
Which Goals?
Fuzzy Versus Fussy
Drew Careys Dream InBox
The Zeigarnik Effect
Zero Euphoria
Crossing the Rubicon
The Judges Dilemma and the Prisoners Distress
Lazy Choices
Choose Your Prize
Im Selfaware Therefore I ?
The Quantified Self
NotSoInvidious Comparisons
Willpower Workouts
From Strength to More Strength
The Toughest Stunt of All
The Empathy Gap
The Ties That Bind
The Brain on Autopilot
But Enough About Me
The Mystery of AA
Heaven like Hell Is Other People
Sacred Selfcontrol
Bright Lines
Planning for Battle
Let Me Count the Weighs and the Calories
Never Say Never
The Deadline Test
Know Your Limits
Watch for Symptoms
Pick Your Battles
Make a ToDo Listor at Least a ToDont List
Dont Forget the Basics like Changing Your Socks
The Power of Positive Procrastination
Keep Track
Reward Often
The Future of Selfcontrol
INTRODUCTION
IS WILLPOWER MORE THAN A METAPHOR?
WHERE DOES THE POWER IN WILLPOWER COME FROM?
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TODO LIST
DECISION FATIGUE
WHERE HAVE ALL THE DOLLARS GONE?
CAN WILLPOWER BE STRENGTHENED?
OUTSMARTING YOURSELF IN THE HEART OF DARKNESS
DID A HIGHER POWER HELP ERIC CLAPTON AND MARY KARR STOP DRINKING?
RAISING STRONG CHILDREN
THE PERFECT STORM OF DIETING
THE FUTURE OF WILLPOWER
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About the author (2011)

Roy F. Baumeister directs the social psychology program at Florida State University. He has written for more than 450 scientific publications and consistently ranks among the world's most frequently cited psychologists. This is his twenty-eighth book.
John Tierney writes the "Findings" science column for the New York Times. His writing has won awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Physics. This is his third book.

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