Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: Willpower

Read: Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney
Stars: Five

Drinking: Earl Grey Classic, Fortnum & Mason

Willpower is like a scientific study and a self-help book rolled into one.  Only 1000 times better.  The book looks at the old idea of "self-control," which they term "willpower" after the Victorians.  Using Baumeister's laboratory experiments combined with other studies, the authors explore such topics as why some children can resist immediately eating a marshmallow and hold out for two while others give in, why diets don't work, and why couples that work long hours fight more.

The best parts of the book, besides eating marshmallows and M&Ms for psychological experiments, are the sections on how to recognize your own willpower depletion and how to "restock" so to speak.  They also discuss tricks to increasing your willpower over time.  Everything is backed up by science and fun anecdotes. So give up on that new year's resolution to diet and resolve to increase your willpower!

Also, they start out profiling Amanda Palmer, who is awesome, so if nothing else, read the first chapter about her being a living statue bride in Boston.