Thursday, March 29, 2012


Just read an interesting 2011 publication called Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney.
I can't recommend it completely. It's a bit long-winded and it actually contains several typos. This is a hardcover book published by Penguin. Typos, people?
I also can't recall all of its points, because I read it each night just before sleep. This is actually one of the things I appreciated about the book: it put me to sleep. I'm serious. Sorry Baumeister and Tierney; I'm just saying. I am one of those people who cannot read novels, or apparently memoirs, before bed -- they keep me up all night because I can't bear to put them down. Willpower, on the other hand, is full of studies. The studies and their results are interesting, but it's not a story.
Since I was peacefully drifting off to sleep each night as I read it, I need to re-read it, with a pencil and a note pad this time.
If nothing else, this should generate another week of good sleep.
Moreover, it will help me to better understand and apply the authors' findings that (a) willpower is a finite resource depleted by use; and (b) willpower can be strengthened with training. This initially struck me as paradoxical, but of course it's no more paradoxical than muscle-power.
Why haven't I re-read the book yet? Well, it's a library book(!). This is part of the new austerity around here. I am LOVING the library. One catch -- no renewals if someone else has requested the book. So I rushed to finish up and return the book by its original due date, and promptly put in another request. Now I wait.
In the meantime, I can't get the book out of my head.
Fun fact from Willpower: it's weakened by low blood sugar.

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