Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Willpower Doesn't Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success” as Want to Read:
Willpower Doesn't Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Willpower Doesn't Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,155 ratings  ·  286 reviews
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 by white knuckling. The only way to stop just surviving and learn to truly thrive in today’s world is to proactively shape your environment. ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Hachette Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Willpower Doesn't Work, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Willpower Doesn't Work

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,155 ratings  ·  286 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Willpower Doesn't Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success
Dec 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
Willpower is the only thing that got me through this book.
Juraj Martinka
While this book conveys some useful piece of advice, it's also somewhat trivial and repetitive. The author keeps saying that "Willpower doesn't work" and that you should "offload it to your environment". What remains unclear is how exactly to do that (that is to create and sustain a proper environment) without exerting a lot of willpower and deliberate practice.

I don't think that the author fulfills his promise of "raising the bar", that is giving us the book that is substantially better than an
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I’d recommend “Mindset” by Carol Dweck or “Change Anything” by Kerry Patterson as better alternatives. This book seemed to be an aggregate/repeat of the material presented it the other two books, but less “scholarly” and less compelling.
Irritated that he doesn’t site studies or research and quotes little-known and non-academic men who are not subject matter experts when an abundance of scholarly work is available on the subject. (See books mentioned above.)
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This book focuses on environmental design - you hack your environment to help you achieve goals and develop positive habits. Since your environment is crucial to success, you should have different environments for different work or purposes. In your sacred space, you should journal, visualize, pray, etc. In your work environment, you should have no distractions and only work. You get the idea.
I think this book is probably geared towards entrepreneurs. The ideas were on creating work spaces (whi
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book outlining why willpower is insufficient to effect real change in yourself. Hardy's theme is that you need to change your environment to change yourself. He offers clear, doable ways to do this and alerts you to hidden pitfalls and how to avoid them. The writing is clear, the examples pertinent and inspiring. A valuable contribution to the personal development genre. ...more
Romans Karpelcevs
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book's premise is about changing your environment rather than yourself, and I firmly believe it is much more realistic to do so. It offers good advice and prompted me to have many ideas how I could apply them.

However, as it often happens, title is very overselling and distorting the book's content. First of all, it still relies heavily on similar concepts and research as "willpower instinct" and "power of habit" do, even when it said it doesn't. It takes willpower to change your environment
Mandy Horine
Jul 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
I could not finish this book. I rarely leave a book unfinished, but 20% in to reading this book and all I’ve learned is that this writer loves to use examples that don’t always make sense, and he loves to repeat himself. In my opinion the writing is terrible. I don’t recommend this book.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I LOVED 90% of this book. The other 10% made me want to claw my eyes out. Wish Hardy had included citations for more credibility.
Greg Hickman
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Essential for business owners.

Do what the book says and audit your life and environment ASAP. You’ll find opportunities to make small changes that yield Big returns.
May 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: yogi-book-club
Meh. Fundamental principles delivered via label-heavy, derivative methods. Do with your life as you will, via soul power! Book will provide a lightning rod for insightful lively discussion among book clubs. Certain common sense methods always work - remove temptation, time and diet impacters - but really must you pay $25k to "mentors" for entry into an elitist community where you can call others "losers" if they're choosing a different path for their own soul work? Because you feel shame for at ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I got to know of Ben’s writing from when I started writing on Medium in 2015. He was already a top-tier writer back then and I somehow resonated with his ideas so I began following him. He released a free book (Slipstream) in 2016, I read it and I liked what I read. So when he released this book about willpower, I didn’t hesitate to buy it.

Having read it in only about a month, I must say I was glued to the idea that everyone can change and that we don’t have to keep committing the mistake of att
Dianna Roberts
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book! Easy to read. Ben twisted my perception of “how to become successful.” Over the last couple weeks I’ve been employing his tactics as I read them. Wow! Already I’ve seen changes in my progression. Thank you, Ben Hardy, for your insightful advice.
Trevor Dayley
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do yourself a favor and read this book

One of the best, most inspiring books I've ever read. I just finished and I'm excited to go back through all my highlights and even start reading it a second time. Life changing for sure!
إسلام جمال
May 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
In the past, people were more slimmer than today! They didn’t need to rely on willpower to stay slim. What’s changed since then is our environment. These days, rather than working outdoors, most of us work sedentary jobs and sit at our desks all day. And the nourishment we rely on is often unhealthy food from a package.

The idea is to design an environment that leaves you no choice but to “adapt” into your self-ideal.
Max Peters
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I really like Ben Hardy, so I expected more from this book.

Here are some interesting ideas though:

>> If you so choose, you can proactively place yourself into situations that demand ten times or a hundred times more than you’ve ever dealt with before.
you are either rising up or shrinking down from the demands of your situation.
>>The expectations of those around you establish your own personal rules and expectations.
Human beings evolved needing two key types of environments: high stress and high
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a paradigm shifter. Benjamin's message is not about easy fixes to change your life, it is about taking responsibility of what you can and outsourcing energy to a positive environment so that we don't need to spend as much time gritting out way to the life we desire. It is a truly inspired look at human choices and goal achievement. Benjamin says things how they are without sugar coating them. You can tell he walks the walk. ...more
Hưng Hoàng
Jun 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book's title is not a click bait and the book DOES contain keys to success. The advice and strategies here are no magic formula, no genie-in-the-bottle sort of thing, but they are simple, plausible and practical. This book means a lot to me. You can see a little bit of filler and recycled ideas but it's worth reading. ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a great book, but I feel like some important suggestions were just grazed over, and there could have been a lot more 'meat'. I would read a section and it would abruptly end before it really took off. ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a different angle on being more productive: don’t rely on willpower alone. Remove bad stimuli, remove bad actors, remove anything negative from your environment and build an environment of accountability and one that helps you reach your goals.
Adrian Luben
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended for life changing path!
Jacob O'connor
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
The central premise is solid. We can't overemphasize how important environment is to our behavior. ...more
This may even be 6 stars. Awesome, awesome book. And I'm even a believer of Willpower. So that's saying something. The author quoted a cussword but he also used a few examples from General Conference. I liked that he brought up the idea of doing away with the 8 hour workday.

Let's dive into the notes:

People who know more about their family history have far greater control over their lives. Human organizations of any form whether families or companies fare best when they are connected with the st
Kamil Tatol
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Most people think it is only the "willpower" that they lack to live their dream life. It's not true - top performers always rely on other, more stable, and less scarce foundations in their life: systems, processes, and, above all, environment. It's worth deconstructing how our mind works and how to make a positive shift, so we can unlock our potential.

- Feeling like doing "your best", while still, something is missing
- Looking for more profound and efficie
Suzanne Noakes
This book styles itself as breaking through stultifying myths and misinformation that is holding people back from real and meaningful change. The author is basically gnawing the bones of the old nature vs. nurture argument that every Psych 101 class discusses. While he did make a valid point that change is the operation of agency (one's will or self-determination) within the local environment--which lands on the conclusion that most psych students arrive at: it is a combination of both nature an ...more
Greg Holman
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I made the mistake of reading the reviews prior to reading the book. This changed how I went into the book. Early on I was surprised that some of the concepts so closely aligned with my beliefs. Then I heard him reference Jeffrey Holland. I had to go back and confirm that was the name referenced. After that I googled and realized he is of my faith. Nothing in here was earth shattering, but many of the concepts are good and things I already do and got from other self help books. I found it intere ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book!!

The amount of raw helpful information that is made easily applicable to boost things like :

*Learning techniques /habits
*How to maximise your environment to be *productive
*How work has changed
*How ideas are made and how every idea you think of come from aspects of your life
*The knowledge to make habits and how to fix your life an make it possible to alter any part of you by altering your lifestyle.

This book i know I will reread In the near future. ^_^
Sara Fisher
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I couldn't get through this book. I kept waiting for him to get to his point but he was just rambling about how awesome he is for adopting his kids and how amazing it is to have mega-rich friends so he can just up and go to their huge ranches to get away and reflect on what a neglectful spouse he's been. At that point, I quit. It was beginning to sound like an Evangelical marriage renewal testimony. Look, I agree with the premise. But the presentation left a lot to be desired. Maybe go back and ...more
Dominic Robin
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-control
Fine ideas, but cite your ideas, dude! I don't care if "so-or-so" anecdotal person does something; that has not holding power for me. I would rather have half the ideas and four times the evidence. ...more
Fernando Escobar
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I went into this book with very low spectations. I was wonderfully surprised. Simple concept, very well developed.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Environment is way more important than you might have thought. So it would be smart to optimize your flow by making your surroundings perfect ffor what you are trying to accomplish.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • How to Consciously Design Your Ideal Future
  • Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork
  • Slipstream Time Hacking: How to Cheat Time, Live More, And Enhance Happiness
  • The Last Safe Investment: Spending Now to Increase Your True Wealth Forever
  • Working in the Gig Economy: How to Thrive and Succeed When You Choose to Work for Yourself
  • Eat Sleep Work Repeat: 30 Hacks for Bringing Joy to Your Job
  • Austerity: When It Works and When It Doesn't
  • How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving
  • Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy
  • The Chemistry Book: From Gunpowder to Graphene, 250 Milestones in the History of Chemistry
  • Acting with Power: Why We Are More Powerful Than We Believe
  • The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck
  • Saving Face: How to Preserve Dignity and Build Trust
  • The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills
  • The Grid: The Decision-making Tool for Every Business (Including Yours)
  • Building an Inclusive Organization: Leveraging the Power of a Diverse Workforce
  • The Advice Trap: Be Humble, Stay Curious & Change the Way You Lead Forever
  • A Handbook for New Stoics: How to Thrive in a World Out of Your Control—52 Week-by-Week Lessons
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Benjamin Hardy is a PhD candidate in organizational psychology at Clemson University, and a father of three. He currently lives in Clemson, South Carolina.

News & Interviews

  Here at Goodreads, we've noticed that a funny thing tends to happen when we start talking about audiobooks: The same few titles get...
44 likes · 11 comments
“Success isn’t that difficult; it merely involves taking twenty steps in a singular direction. Most people take one step in twenty directions.” 9 likes
“Surround yourself with people who remind you more of your future than your past. —Dan Sullivan” 7 likes
More quotes…