Good book for procrastinators: The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal

It takes willpower to buy, read and utilize a book about willpower

For those of you who are postponing your writing, you may want to have a look at this book, The Willpower Instinct. The challenge is that somehow you have to muster up the willpower it takes to buy and read this book before you’ve bought it, read it and learned how to muster up the willpower to buy it and read it.

McGonigal, a psychology instructor at Stanford University, approaches several issues related to self-control by citing relevant scientific research findings and presenting them in interesting ways that are understandable to the general public.

I like her explanations of the built-in conflicting impulses humans contain because of our brain’s evolution. By virtue of having a large, complex brain with the capacity for abstract thought as well as instant survival responses, we have both powerful impulses to seek immediate gratification (avoiding writing our novels) and to pursue longer term goals (working on our novels). It’s predictable that internal conflict will arise because our mammalian fight/flight survival wiring will be at odds with our forebrain’s judgements, at least from time to time.

McGonigal’s book presents a number of concepts that will help you understand why seemingly reachable goals can be so elusive, and each chapter includes exercises that can help expand your own self-control. She makes some good points about how the physiological and neurological impacts of poor nutrition and stress are related to decreased willpower, and about how healthy eating habits and stress management are useful in improving productivity.

If you are a blocked or procrastinating writer, you will relate to the issues discussed in The Willpower Instinct. Now… are you able to muster up enough willpower to click on the book cover above and learn more about it?

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About David Arnot Rasch

Author, psychologist, speaker, teacher, coach, workshop leader
This entry was posted in Common Writing Block Problems, Tips for overcoming writer's block and procrastination and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Good book for procrastinators: The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal

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