If you're relying on willpower alone to help you lose weight, improve your relationships or achieve more at work, you're doomed to fail. The environment around us is far too powerful, stimulating, addicting and stressful to overcome it through sheer determination. Willpower, grit, being positive - basically, all the tools you've been told are the keys to creating lasting change in your life - are insufficient in this high-paced, information-overloaded world we live in. The only way to stop just surviving and learn to truly thrive in today's world is to proactively shape your environment.
That's the premise of Willpower Doesn't Work, by organizational psychologist and Medium's most-read self-help guru Benjamin Hardy. Building on copious existing research as well as his own experience of growing up in a broken family afflicted by addiction and drug use, Hardy explains how people can change their lives on every level by making small, impactful changes in their environments like:
Creating "enriched environments" - using tougher challenges and self-imposed deadlines to force yourself to rise to the occasion
Growing into your goals - using radical personal accountability to keep yourself on target and on track
Becoming the teacher - stepping into a leadership role (even before you think you're ready) to accelerate your skills
Rotating your environments - getting out of your rut by literally changing your physical surroundings throughout the day or week
From simple steps like removing things that conflict with your values from your environment (like junk food, junk media, even junk people) to incorporating new tools (like fasting or adding "positive triggers" to your world), these lessons make it possible to consciously shape your surroundings so you can lead a more productive and happier life. Hardy leans on his own story of making the decision to foster three young children to illustrate how any shift, no matter how huge, can become "the new normal" if you support that change with a productive environment.
"Benjamin Hardy is one of the leading voices on well-being and productivity.
Willpower Doesn't Work is an insightful guide to help us thrive in today's world." (Arianna Huffington)
"If you only read one book in 2018, make it this one...." ( Inc.)
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- Ute Benecke