self help books

11 Best Books on Willpower to Help You Achieve Your Goals

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Often our goals and dreams seem distant because of the lack in our willpower. Fortunately, there are many best books on willpower to help develop the strength and resilience needed.

Here, I’ve compiled a list of best books for willpower to inspire and motivate you on your journey to success. From classic works to modern bestsellers, these books about willpower offer many insights and strategies to overcome obstacles and stay focused on your goals.

Table of Contents

The Willpower Instinct, by Kelly McGonigal

The Willpower Instinct is one of the finest willpower books providing an understanding of what willpower is, how it works, and why it is essential for achieving goals. Through a combination of scientific research and practical advice, Kelly offers effective strategies to improve self-control and manage stress. With exercises, quizzes, and case studies, this willpower book offers all the tools you need to develop a strong will.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

The biggest enemies of willpower: temptation, self-criticism, and stress.

Meditation is not about getting rid of all your thoughts; it’s learning not to get so lost in them that you forget what your goal is.

There is a secret for greater self-control, the science points to one thing: the power of paying attention.

When your mind is preoccupied, your impulses – not your long-term goals – will guide your choices.

A short practice that you do every day is better than a long practice you keep putting off to tomorrow.

Willpower, by Roy F. Baumeister

Willpower book is a seminal work in the field of willpower research. It’s another among the best books on willpower and self-discipline. It draws on years of research to provide a deep understanding of your willpower. The book offers practical advice on how to manage your impulses and emotions, improve decision-making and achieve your goals. It’s among the best books to focus on goals. And it’s an insightful read for anyone looking to build their self-control and achieve success.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

What stress really does, though, is deplete willpower, which diminishes your ability to control those emotions.

For most of us, though, the problem is not a lack of goals but rather too many of them.

The best way to reduce stress in your life is to stop screwing up.

Use your self-control to form a daily habit, and you’ll produce more with less effort in the long run.

Restraining sexual impulses takes energy, and so does creative work. If you pour energy into your art, you have less available to restrain your libido.

Also Read: 7 Best Books for Overthinking

Mind Gym, by Gary Mack

Mind Gym draws on the experience of Gary, a sports psychologist who has worked with many elite athletes. And it’s the next among the best willpower books to read for self-discipline. It provides readers with practical advice on how to develop mental toughness and achieve their goals. It offers a range of strategies for improving focus, building confidence, and staying motivated, all of which can be applied in any area of life. With a mix of inspiring stories and practical advice, this book about willpower is an engaging read to help people succeed.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Discipline. It means doing what you have to do when you need to do it, whether you want to or not.

The desire to succeed needs to be stronger than the fear of failure.

Don’t look where you don’t want to go.

Under pressure people can perform fifteen percent better or fifteen percent worse.

The probability of achieving the outcome you want increases when you let go of the need to have it.

Grit, by Angela Duckworth

Grit explores the concept of grit and how it’s essential for success. It’s also considered among the best books on will power. Angela draws on her experience as a psychologist and researcher to provide a range of strategies for developing resilience, perseverance and self-discipline. It offers real-life examples and practical advice for cultivating a growth mindset, finding your passion, and achieving your goals. With a focus on the power of hard work and determination, Grit is an inspiring willpower reading to help build a strong willpower.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.

Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.

Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you're willing to stay loyal to it... it's doing what you love, but not just falling in love – staying in love.

As much as talent counts, effort counts twice.

Doing one thing better and better might be more satisfying than staying an amateur at many different things.

Also Read: 7 Best Books for Growth Mindset

No Excuses!, by Brian Tracy

No Excuses! is a practical guide to developing self-discipline and achieving success. Brian has compiled his experience as a motivational speaker and coach to provide readers with a range of tools and techniques for overcoming procrastination and achieving their goals. It has practical advice for developing positive habits, managing time and dealing with setbacks. The book focuses on personal responsibility and accountability to help anyone succeed in life.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Discipline is what you must have to resist the lure of excuses

Perhaps the most important insight of all with regard to success is that to achieve greatly, you must become a different person.

You can make excuses or you can make progress. You choose.

The Law of Forced Efficiency says, “There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important things.

If it’s to be, it’s up to me!

Also Read: 31 Best Books to Read for Life and Transform It

The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit is probably the best book about discipline. It’s about the science of habits and how they can be harnessed to improve our lives. Charles draws on scientific research and real-life examples to show how habits shape our lives, and offers practical strategies for changing them. The book has many tools and techniques for developing self-discipline, breaking bad habits, and creating positive ones. With a focus on the power of routine and habit, it’s a practical book on willpower.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Change might not be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.

The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can't extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.

Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.

Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.

To change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine.

Also Read: 14 Best Books to Develop Reading Habit

Atomic Habits, by James Clear

Atomic Habits is another among the best books on hard work and discipline. It’s an easy and practical guide on developing new habits and making positive changes in your life. James draws on scientific research and real-life examples to show how small changes can lead to big results. With a focus on the power of small and incremental improvements, Atomic Habits can help in developing self-discipline, improving focus and achieving goals.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.

You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.

When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.

Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.

Tiny Habits, by B. J. Fogg

Tiny Habits is another book on the concept of habit formation with practical advice for building better habits. It’s one of the best books about willpower, with a step-by-step approach to habit formation, and a focus on small and incremental changes that are easy to stick to. The book emphasizes on the power of simplicity and consistency to develop a strong willpower and succeed in life.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

In order to design successful habits and change your behaviors, you should do three things. Stop judging yourself. Take your aspirations and break them down into tiny behaviors.

Information alone does not reliably change behavior.

Write this phrase on a small piece of paper: I change best by feeling good, not by feeling bad.

After you put your feet on the floor in the morning, immediately say this phrase, “It’s going to be a great day.”

So many frustrating family dynamics and workplace dramas erupt because of the misplaced belief that manipulation motivation is the key to changing behavior.

The Compound Effect, by Darren Hardy

The Compound Effect is a practical guide to achieving success through small, but consistent actions. And it’s counted among the best books for discipline. Darren pulls up examples from his life as a successful entrepreneur and motivational speaker to provide readers with tools and techniques for developing self-discipline, improving focus, and achieving goals. The book offers practical advice for setting goals and developing positive habits, making it one of the most effective books on hard work and habit.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.

Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.

You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, or how you respond to what’s done to you.

Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE

Forget about willpower. It's time for why-power. Your choices are only meaningful when you connect them to your desires and dreams.

Also Read: 6 Best Books for Leadership to Transform Your Business

Drive, by Daniel H. Pink

Drive explores the science of motivation and provides insights into what drives people to achieve their goals. With various real-life examples, it’s one of the best books on finding your passion. Daniel shows how intrinsic motivation is essential for developing self-discipline and succeeding in life. The book focuses on the power of autonomy, mastery and purpose for finding and tapping into your own intrinsic motivation. It also suggests creating environments that foster motivation in others.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Greatness and near-sightedness are incompatible. Meaningful achievement depends on lifting one's sights and pushing toward the horizon.

Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.

People can have two different mindsets, she says. Those with a “fixed mindset” believe that their talents and abilities are carved in stone. Those with a “growth mindset” believe that their talents and abilities can be developed.

The joy of the task was its own reward.

We have three innate psychological needs—competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

Also Read: 9 Best Books to Find Purpose and Meaning in Life

The One Thing, by Gary Keller

The One Thing is a practical guide to achieving success by focusing on the thing that matters the most. The book uses Gary’s experience, suggesting readers to focus on one thing. It offers practical advice for setting priorities, creating a sense of purpose and managing your time effectively. With a focus on simplification, The One Thing is one of the most inspiring books to develop self-discipline and strong willpower.

Top 5 Lessons from the book:

Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls – family, health, friends, integrity – are made of glass.

Success demands singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects.

Multitasking is a lie

Your next step is simple. You are the first domino.

I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate.

Also Read: 6 Best Books for Self-Development and Growth

OK, those were all the books about will power I have today. These are some of the best books to increase willpower and achieve your goals.

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