I hate to sound cliched– but let's face it. It's THAT time of year. We take a look our lives and ourselves and then decide where we're falling short. There's a positive way to think of all this. When I worked at Nordstrom years ago and my boss would give me my yearly job review, and we'd discuss my strengths and… "challenges"… things to work on.
So many of use set off in January, thinking about our challenges, making resolutions and promising ourselves we will follow through on that exercise program/new job/healthy diet. Then… we fail. An we feel terrible about it.
What if all that devestating feeling of "failure" really boils down to the way we view WILLPOWER ?
I have always thought of willpower as a personal trait. Either you have it or you don't. But health psychologist Dr. Kelly McGonigal PhD, challenges that idea about willpower (and she has tons of data to back up her theories) in her book, The Willpower Instinct: How Self Control Works, Why it Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It.
For quite a while, Dr. McGonigal has taught a course all about willpower for Stanfard's Continuing Eduation Studies program called "The Science of Willpower," and she draws on much of that course in her book.
She takes us back to the beginning of willpower and explains why it was important.
Going back to cave people days, willpower was necessary to keep oursleves and our tribe alive. Fast forward thousands of years and willpower is still an essential part of being human.
Dr. McGonigal clearly knows her stuff and is great at explaining the science behind her theories in a fun and engaging way. Even more significant than explaining about willpower, McGonigal gives us exercises to improve our own willpower and also gives us a whole host of reasons WHY improving willpower is a way to improve quality of life in a myriad of areas.
I would recommend this book for anyone interested in improving their own willpower, and understanding the science behind it.
Maybe before we start that exercise program/new job/healthy diet… we should read The Willpower Instinct… and give ourselves a chance to work on our willpower first.
Disclousure: I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.