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The Skinny on Willpower: How to Develop Self Discipline – Book Review

One of the perks of being a personal development blogger is receiving wonderful surprises in your mail…

the skinny on willpower mail

Surprise... Surprise... A mail from the states... I wonder what is inside?

Ooh... a personal development book for my review!

Ooh... a personal development book for my review!

Yes, I get free books sent to me every now and then for reviews (how cool is that?) and today I found the time to read through and offer you my thoughts on The Skinny on Willpower: How to Develop Self Discipline by Jim Randel.

First up, just a little disclaimer… I do get a fair amount of books sent in for my review but I seriously don't have the time to read every single one of them… (In fact, there are still books sent in that I haven't touched yet) and I only review those I like… So publishers/book agents… send in your books for my review at your own risk… I won't be held responsible if they end up in “never never land“!

Okay, disclaimer(s) aside, let's get into the meat of this book review =)

The first thing that caught my eyes when I laid my hands on The Skinny on Willpower was the words “for REALLY BUSY PEOPLE!“. Hey… you know what? That means it should be a quick easy read and those words also made me feel important all of a sudden… I'm a really busy person with important work to do!  A great start…

I flipped the cover page and immediately, there's a detachable summary of the 15 key points the book was going to address… Now that's super handy… I've read entire books without knowing exactly the main take-aways simply because the points get hidden beneath all the content. No worries here!

A handy detachable summary that doubles up as a bookmark. Nice!

A handy detachable summary that doubles up as a bookmark. Nice!

After getting past the 1 page foreword and 1 page introduction, I was delighted to find stick figure drawings with story lines setting the scene for the lessons in the book. Ah… cartoons… the best way to absorb information!

Stick Figure Cartoons!

Introducing our main characters Billy and Beth!

Of course it helped that they were funny too…


Funny stuff!

funny 2

Another sneak peek...

Now, to be honest, those are not the best-looking drawings/cartoons in the world (Face it… Andrew Matthews draws better cartoons!) but they do help convey a story that I'm sure everyone can relate to (Setting resolutions, facing obstacles, having our willpower tested etc.)

Jim uses Billy and Beth to illustrate the difficulties involved in the journey towards achieving the goals we set in life and practical advice to ensure we stay on track. Plus, he does it in an entertaining manner.

The only gripe I have (besides the visual quality of the cartoons) is the generic examples/case studies referenced in the book (Hey perhaps, I've read too many personal development books and seen the same examples in different books over and over again?).

That said, it shouldn't deter you from getting the book because I believe it's still a good read.

Here are some of my personal take-aways from the book:

1) Be sure you're totally committed – This is something I agree with fully. I find that when we only want something but are not 100% committed to get it, it's very very hard to achieve it. It becomes just another “good-to-have”. We only get the “must-haves” in life.

2) Prepare for your challenge by reducing the instances in which you will need to exert willpower – Jim talks about setting clear-cut rules for ourselves so as to aid in decision making and preservation of our energy. He also suggests that we create mantras to say to ourselves whenever we feel ourselves weakening.

3) Self-discipline is not self-deprivation –  Here he talks about delayed gratification – “Self-discipline is about doing things today that may not be your “first choice” for the pleasure of experiencing bigger and better things tomorrow” What a lovely and wise quote…

Okay, we have come to the end of my book review (Aww…)

Wait, wait, wait… so, what happens to Billy and Beth in the end?

I'd love to tell you… but won't it be better if you find out for yourself? =)

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You’re welcome Debi. I’m glad you like the photos… I’ll use them more often next time when doing reviews.

And yes 100% commitment is very important for success. Happy that this tip helped you gain more clarity.

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment =)

Debi Talbert says:

Thanks for the review. The photos of the inside really helped with your sharing. The 100% committed tip helped me put some things in prospective. – Debi

Lee says:

these books look cool. I checked out the skinny on website and these books seem to be pretty popular.

Ken says:

u got me curious on billy and beth