The #1 best-selling summary of The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
2 Summaries in 1:
1. In-depth, comprehensive, chapter-by-chapter summary
2. BONUS: A downloadable PDF 2-page summary with key points to complement the in-depth summary for reference and review
(Note: this summary is written and published by edify.me. It is not the original book and not written by the original author.)
The Willpower Instinct is based on a popular class at Stanford University called “The Science of Willpower” taught by the author, Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. Using the latest research from psychology, neuroscience and other disciplines, McGonigal explains why we fail at self-control, and how we can strengthen our willpower to improve nearly every aspect of our lives, including work, health and happiness.
This summary will help you understand how willpower works and how to build more of it. You’ll learn about the things that drain willpower and how to avoid them. And you’ll discover common psychological traps of temptations and techniques to fight willpower challenges.
In this summary:
Chapter 1: I Will, I Won’t, I Want: What Willpower Is, and Why It Matters. 3 types of willpower; willpower challenges and self-awareness; how meditation improves willpower; 5-minute meditation guide.
Chapter 2: The Willpower Instinct: Your Body Was Born to Resist Cheesecake. The “fight or flight” response vs. the “pause and plan” response; heart rate variability and the willpower reserve.
Chapter 3: Too Tired to Resist: Why Self-Control Is Like a Muscle. 4 tips to managing your “willpower muscle”; the energy budget model of self-control; willpower training; choice architecture.
Chapter 4: License to Sin: Why Being Good Gives Us Permission to Be Bad. 6 types of moral licensing; goal liberation; the halo effect.
Chapter 5: The Brain’s Big Lie: Why We Mistake Wanting for Happiness. Dopamine and neuromarketing; 4 tricks neuromarketers use to manipulate your reward system; variable vs. predictable rewards.
Chapter 6: What the Hell: How Feeling Bad Leads to Giving In. Stress and willpower; terror management; the what-the-hell effect; false hope syndrome.
Chapter 7: Putting the Future On Sale: The Economics of Instant Gratification. Instant gratification vs. future rewards; the marshmallow test; discount rate; future-self continuity; 4 techniques to fight temptation and instant gratification; the 10-minute rule; pre-commitment; hyperopia.
Chapter 8: Infected! Why Willpower Is Contagious. Social aspects of willpower; unintentional mimicry; emotion contagion; goal contagion; social proof and support; pride vs. shame.
Chapter 9: Don’t Read This Chapter: The Limits of “I Won’t” Power. Ironic rebound; the operator and the monitor; 4 steps of acceptance; surfing the urge.
Chapter 10: Final Thoughts.
Summary: 55 minutes
Full Book: 5:05 hours
Savings: 4:10 hours
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What made this summary stand out is how it was organized into short chapters, coupled with a brief mention to research every time a study was referenced. This really gave it credibility.