Monday, January 14, 2013

The Willpower Instinct - A Book Review

When I was in my 20s, I was a self-help souvant. I bought every book that I could find that promised me happiness and love and normalcy. If a therapist even mentioned a book in passing, I was off to find that ever elusive nugget of wisdom to help fix me.

Most of the time, I was let down and disappointed. I knew that I was codependent, I knew that I had trust issues, I knew that X+Y would never equal Z, so even through doing all of the prescribed exercises and jumping through the hoops, I was never able to really find what I was after. I was soured on the entire self-help genre, figuring I was beyond the help of these authors with their common sense approaches to fixing all that was wrong with normal society. I was obviously not normal and therefore could not be helped with advice meant to help everyone else.

I was a bit hesitant about signing up to review The Willpower Instinct, to say the least, however it seems that this book has come at precisely the right time for me. The subtitle of the book How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What you can Do to Get More of It really spoke to me. What exactly is self-control?, I wondered, and, How is it affecting my day-to-day life?

I always envision myself as the epitome of control. Home at a structured time, dinner prepared and always including a meat, a starch, a vegetable, I am reliable, responsible, trustworthy. There is nothing uncontrolled about my life. What could I even begin to change?

I read the book straight through (even though it is supposed to be done over a 10 week period with exercises designed to help you measure your success and identify your pitfalls). It was interesting, but a lot like what I had seen with other self-help books.

And then I got a bladder and kidney infection last week. I realized that my old friend Mountain Dew had once again crawled up into my life and enveloped me like a seething dragon. I was an addict, all over again.

Today, I start again at page one, going through the steps, learning to strengthen my willpower, my self-control, and get rid of this addiction one last time. Mainly because I thought I was dying, not because I really want to give it up, because, oh, my goodness, ya'll, it tastes SO good.

At any rate, I am going to do this 10 week program and watch it work in my life - who wants to join me?

I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.

1 comment:

  1. hey nice post meh, I love your style of blogging here. this post reminded me of an equally interesting post that I read some time ago on Daniel Uyi's blog: Improve Your Willpower .
    keep up the good work friend. I will be back to read more of your posts.



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