Willpower is the ability to control thoughts and actions despite any occurring temptations. Sometimes you might need the willpower to push yourself to take action toward success. Again, it all depends on your willingness/urge to achieve your goal.
Willpower is also the ability to delay gratification, resisting short-term temptations to meet long-term goals. One of the best ways to strengthen self-control is to avoid temptations at all costs. Want to know more about willpower and increase it? Here are the top 10 books about Willpower that will teach you to use willpower smartly and make self-improvement.
10 Best Books On Willpower
Willpower can be trained and improved over time, much like muscle. With consistent practice and effort, you can develop stronger self-control and enhance your ability to resist temptations and persevere in challenging situations.
Improving willpower and determination involves a combination of mental, emotional, and physical strategies. We’re going to talk about the ten must-read books for developing willpower. You can find the best books on cultivating self-control and developing scientifically called self-regulation.
|Name||Key Focus||Review (Goodreads)|
|Willpower||Personal Development, Productivity, Business, Philosophy, Health||3.9|
|The Willpower Instinct||Self Help, Neuroscience||4.1|
|The Power of Full Engagement||Leadership, Management, Self-improvement||3.9|
|The Marshmallow Test||Parenting, Education, Health, Psychology||3.7|
|The Paradox of Choice||Economics, Sociology, Philosophy||3.8|
|Willpower Doesn’t Work||Leadership, Business, Startup, Organizational-learning, Human-resources||4.0|
|The Power of Habit||Productivity, Science, Mental-health, Marketing||4.1|
|Mini Habits||Leadership, Self-improvement, Business||4.0|
|Atomic Habits||Leadership, Science, Productivity||4.3|
|The One Thing||Management, Willpower, Self-care||4.1|
1. Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
Roy Baumeister is a social psychologist at Florida State University. His book “Willpower” gives you a historical, scientific, and social perspective, which is much more important than most people initially think. It gives you a good sense of how our cultural idea of willpower has evolved and changed over time.
You can also earn research experience, new experiments, new terminology, and a good sense of thinking about it scientifically or methodically. As he says in the book, Self-regulation Failure is the major social pathology of our time.
The inability to have self-control is our major mental illness because society’s structure makes it far more complex. Want to learn more? Get the book right now.
Author: Roy F. Baumeister
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Category: Health & Wellness, Psychology & Mental Health, Compulsive Disorders
Position: 3 in Compulsive Disorders Category
2. The Willpower Instinct
Willpower is an energy dynamic in the body and mind, not a virtue in one’s character. The Willpower Instinct is the best book on Willpower and gives you many stories, ideas, and techniques to increase mental willpower. You can control your thoughts specifically, which is pretty cool towards the end of the book.
Kelly McGonigal repeatedly says in this book that people have better willpower when they know what they want. So if you’re going to build your willpower, you should work on your vision of that desired future you want to move towards. You must read this book to learn the entire strategy.
Author: Kelly McGonigal
Category: Applied Psychology & Counseling
3. The Power of Full Engagement
The third book in the series is The Power of Full Engagement. Managing energy is the key to high performance and personal renewal. This came out a lot early in 2003 by Tony Schwartz. He was the CEO of the Energy Project, and Jim Lehrer, who’s known as a performance psychologist. He coaches leaders to develop willpower throughout the organization. Jim Lehrer is what’s known as a performance psychologist, psychologist.
They’ve been in Harvard Business Review, Fortune Times, and Fast Company. What they give us is the best overall framework for understanding willpower. So what’s funny is that this book doesn’t use the word willpower. They say to get focused, stay engaged, and stay energized. But what they’re talking about is essentially the same thing. They give you techniques for each level of the self and aspect of the human identity.
So there’s willpower for the physical level. Then they have a part on willpower for the emotional level, then willpower for the mental level. Then lastly, willpower for the spiritual level. Get this book and learn more about willpower. Avoid hardcover because of low-quality issues, but you can pick paperback, which is good enough for font size, color, page, and cover quality.
Author: Jim Loehr, Tony Schwartz
Category: Business & Money, Job Hunting & Career Guides
4. The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control
In the 1960s, the author of The Marshmallow Test, Walter Mischel, performed a famous psychological experiment on children shown a treat, often a marshmallow. Then they could either eat it now or wait and have two later. In the study, children who could wait for the promise of two marshmallows were more successful later.
There are a couple of exciting things to take from this book. One is that salespeople are similar to the children who immediately eat the marshmallow. When they face a sniff of an opportunity with their customer, they immediately gobble up that opportunity and potentially leave other marshmallows on the plate. If salespeople could demonstrate patience in understanding the full scope of the chance to their customers, both parties would be more successful.
The author delves deeply into the infamous marshmallow test and how we can associate self-discipline and control early with success later on down the line. Even though this book is full of scientific concepts, it makes the reader think about the origins of self-discipline, whether in nature or the environment.
This book does a great job explaining this relationship, willpower, even though this book is deeply scientific. I found this book practical in finding strategies and concepts to put self-discipline into your life. If you like scientific books and like to see practicality in them, I recommend this book.
Author: Walter Mischel
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Category: Psychology & Mental Health
5. The Paradox of Choice
The Paradox of Choice is directly applicable to marketing. Many takeaways from the book are valuable for marketers in the for-profit or nonprofit world. I would suggest both marketing students and professional marketers. In his book, The Paradox of Choice, the author Barry Schwartz says there are two kinds of people: Maximizers and Satisficers.
“Maximizers” are people who exhaustively search all the options, seeking all possible information to make the best possible choice. On the other hand, “Satisficers” are those who settle for an alternative that is “good enough” for them.
- How do we feel about our decisions?
- How do we make decisions?
You can take many lessons from this book, whether about decision-making, relationships, etc. Don’t let the paradox of choice paralyze you or take away the joy from your decisions. The only negative side of this book is the confusing choices, but the valid points help to understand them. Get it and be a decision-maker by using your willpower.
Author: Barry Schwartz
Publisher: Audible Studios
Category: Politics & Social Sciences, Cultural
6. Willpower Doesn’t Work
Willpower Doesn’t Work talks about how most people think we have more willpower to follow through and do things. We often lack willpower. The premise of this book is that that’s not what we should focus on. We shouldn’t focus on having more willpower. We should focus on controlling our environment, setting up an environment, or automatically doing what we want.
It’s automatic because the environment we set up forces us to take that action. A couple of examples in this book are good. For example, your habit of constantly looking at your phone while studying. You set up an environment if you put the phone in another room. Here it’s impossible to check your phone. You’re not relying on your willpower.
So the book goes through here and talks about what they are call-forcing functions, which force you to do something. We no longer rely on willpower to set those up effectively in our lives. So it was a psychotherapy book. I recommend it highly to anybody that’s looking for something like this.
Author: Benjamin Hardy
Narrator: Benjamin Hardy
Category: Relationships, Parenting & Personal Development
7. The Power of Habit
The Power of Habit explains how our brains form habits driven by the cue routine and reward mechanism known as the habit loop. Studying animals and humans has shown the brain’s flexibility to adapt to new habits. Understanding how our brain forms habits can better change them to affect lives positively.
Human beings are creatures of habit. Some habits are good; some are not so good. By shifting our focus to positive habits, we can change the course of our lives. In Charles Duhigg’s book, “The Power of Habit,” five clear lessons are learned.
- The Habit Loop. This loop has 3 parts: A cue, a routine, and a reward. They all trigger each other, and various conditions must be met for the loop to continue effectively.
- Habit Cue Categories.
Duhigg does a great job writing this book. He gives clear scientific evidence and explains how a single person can impact the wider community, as seen in the civil rights movement. The real-life stories that emerge from this book make it a captivating read. Toward the end of the book, we must note that we list some points to change our habits. Although brief, they do provide some value. Don’t miss it!
Author: Charles Duhigg
Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
Book Position 3, in Medical General Psychology
8. Mini Habits
Mini Habits is popular psychology research about building new habits. Stephen Guise is a best-selling author and entrepreneur. He wanted to lose weight, work, read, and write more. But he found his efforts sporadic, and his results were nonexistent. So he took it upon himself to learn more about neuroscience, behavioral psychology, and cognitive psychology.
After a few months, he took what he learned and applied it to his own life. Then he took all that and shared a few of his books. It’s also funny and entertaining to read this book. He does a great job of bringing these complex scientific articles into Layman’s terms and making them exciting to read.
Many weight loss education tends to fail to include the psychological side. So the author talks about the emotional side of weight loss. He talks about mindset and the importance of mindset. So don’t miss the valuable things and experiments if you want to lose weight and discover your Willpower.
Author: Stephen Guise
Category: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Weight Loss
9. Atomic Habits
In the book Atomic Habits, James Claire talks about systematic steps that we can take to build better habits. The author gives us practical tools such as the two-minute rule and habit stacking to provide us with the necessary things to develop better habits. What I liked about this book was its practical element of it. A lot of these books that talk about habits talk about theory.
But the book gives us actionable steps to use willpower to improve our habits in practice. This book is incredibly valuable for anyone wanting to understand how to implement better habits into their lives and for people trying to eliminate negative ones. It is an excellent book to try and understand the key principles behind creating better habits. You can read the book or listen to a very popular audiobook.
Author: James Clear
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Position 1 in Personal Success, Business Processes & Infrastructure, Medical Social Psychology
Category: Health & Wellness, Psychology & Mental Health
10. The One Thing
The One Thing is an absolute game changer and has changed many business people’s life. The title implies the core focus is to do the one thing in your life that has the highest impact on results in entrepreneurship and business. We live in a distracted world with social media, email, and everything.
The truth is that one thing is that one action that you’re likely putting off, but it’s the most important to growing a business. It’s much easier to do the small things and feel like we’re progressing. But this book argues that it is a waste of time.
So use one thing. It is full of valuable information that you can use. You can open up any page, study it for 10 minutes a day and implement it into your business that will change your game, get you focused, and achieve massive success.
Author: Gary Keller
Publisher: Rellek Publishing Partners, Ltd.
Category: Business & Money, Investing & Trading
Willpower is not a biological instinct in the same way that reflexes or basic drives like hunger and thirst are. However, it does have a biological basis, as it involves the brain and various neurochemical processes. Willpower is associated with the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for executive functions like decision-making, impulse control, and self-regulation. The prefrontal cortex enables us to plan, prioritize, and manage our behavior to pursue our goals, which involves resisting short-term temptations and distractions.
Research has shown that glucose plays a role in willpower, providing the energy the brain needs to perform executive functions. When glucose levels are low, self-control may be weakened, making it harder to resist temptations or stay focused on a task.
There is also evidence that genetic factors may influence individual differences in willpower and self-control. However, it’s important to note that these genetic influences don’t determine one’s willpower completely, as environmental factors and personal experiences can shape the development of self-control.
We can use willpower for great things like weight loss, fitness, career, family, or whatever. Willpower is a muscle. It will never get stronger without actively creating and exercising our willpower. The ability to have willpower and make better choices is located in the prefrontal cortex, our newly evolved brain. It’s where fight or flight responses are stored, and stress responses are held.
These best willpower-related books help you with self-help and motivation. Also, these will boost and increase your willingness. So get these books and achieve your success.
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