For many of us, the day can seem like a long series of willpower battles. I’m trying to stay focused on this project, but I keep checking my e-mail. I’m trying to work out more, but I can never get myself to the gym. And I swear this will really be my last cigarette...okay, this will. Maybe just one more.
Meanwhile, in the workplace, we clutch at our willpower to support us through deadlines, meetings, customer demands and the thousand little stresses of our jobs. But the harder we try to hold things together, the harder it gets to work at the highest level, make good long-term decisions, and hold ourselves to our professional goals.
What if we told you that you could train your willpower? That most of us misunderstand willpower and actually hurt ourselves the more we strive for discipline? What if we told you someone with both science and sensitivity could map out for you a path through the maze of wants and wills — and guide you to a more empowered life?
Kelly’s insights have already changed the lives of hundreds of students in her Stanford University course "The Science of Willpower" and with her book, The Willpower Instinct. This exciting book collects the latest findings in psychology and neuroscience to explain the evolutionary and cognitive basis of willpower as well as the steps we can take to harness it.
In her next book, The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It, Kelly “delivers a startling message: Stress isn’t bad. She highlights new research indicating that stress can make us stronger, smarter, and happier if we learn how to embrace it.”
Kelly is Lecturer (in Management) for the Stanford Graduate School of Business and for the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, part of the School of Medicine's Institute for Translation Neuroscience.
She is the former Editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy. Her scientific research has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, and Monitor on Psychology. She’s been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, MSNBC.com, Web MD, TIME, Fitness, Women’s Health and more. In 2010, Forbes named her one of the 20 most inspiring women to follow on Twitter.
Inspiring is definitely the word. Kelly’s winning, lively style makes the daunting task of reclaiming our lives seem within anyone’s grasp. It’s a message we’re confident will help you achieve your personal and professional goals — and live the life you really want to live.
Kelly tailors each presentation to the needs of her audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest her range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.
The Upside of Stress: Why Stress is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It
Stress is unavoidable. But is it always harmful? Stanford psychologist and award-winning author Kelly McGonigal, PhD, offers a surprising new view of stress — one that reveals the upside of stress, and how to capitalize on its benefits. The latest science shows that stress can make us smarter, stronger, and more resilient. Stress can even help you connect with what you care about most and strengthen close relationships. This session will explore both what makes stress good for you, and what you can do to get good at stress. Learn how to cultivate a mindset that helps you thrive under stress, and simple strategies for transforming the biology of your stress response, to improve health and well-being. The new science of stress resilience will give you a renewed sense of optimism about your own ability to handle whatever challenges life brings.
The Willpower Instinct
According to the American Psychological Association, Americans name “not enough willpower” as the number one thing keeping them from their goals. But what if willpower were not some unattainable virtue, but a natural instinct you could train? What if willpower were a strength you could cultivate, or even a “contagious” state of mind you could share with others? Stanford University Kelly McGonigal, author of The Willpower Instinct and The Neuroscience of Change, describes the latest scientific insights into what willpower is, why you already have it, and how to develop it. Learn practical strategies for tapping into the body’s willpower reserves, training the brain for greater focus and self-control, transforming old habits, and overcoming the most common willpower challenges.
The Science of Change
What's your most important goal? Why does it matter so deeply? And how will you overcome the obstacles? Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal, author of The Willpower Instinct and The Neuroscience of Change, describes the latest scientific insights into why change is hard — and how people can succeed. Discover why the strategies many people use to ignite change — including stress, self-criticism, and guilt — actually sabotage success, and how to make mindfulness, self-compassion, and social support the foundation for lasting change. Learn practical, science-based strategies for getting started, taming an overwhelmed brain, overcoming setbacks, and staying motivated.
When it comes to health, there is often a wide gap between what we know we should and what we actually do. Stanford University health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, author of The Willpower Instinct and The Neuroscience of Change, describes the latest neuroscientific and psychological insights into what keeps us stuck, and what makes change stick. Dr. McGonigal will explore the three sides of willpower (“I won’t” power, “I will” power, and “I want” power), and how they work together to transform old habits and build healthier ones. You’ll learn why stress, including health-related guilt or fear, can sabotage behavior change, and how to create a sense of control and hope that boosts motivation. Dr. McGonigal will also share strategies for going beyond the “self” of self-control, including outsourcing willpower to the home environment, and how to make change contagious. The new science of willpower will increase your empathy for patients struggling to change, while giving you fresh ideas for enhancing patient compliance, prescription adherence, and behavior change.
A state community college
Thanks again for your wonderful interactions with all of us in Muncie. It is rare when someone touches the community, faculty/staff, and also students so powerfully.
An American financial corporation
I wanted to share our sincere thanks for your remarks yesterday. Everyone thought you were amazing, and the positive feedback continues to roll in. We really appreciate both of your participation in this important event for our women.
A higher education association
I also wanted to let you know you were the highest scoring speaker at the [ . . . ] Annual Meeting. Everyone really enjoyed your presentation!
A medical/business conference for cancer executives
Kelly – Everyone thoroughly enjoyed spending time with you on Friday! Thank you so much for customizing the talks and “embracing the stress” of connecting with middle and high school students. You did a wonderful job engaging and reading the audience.
A coaching conference
I just wanted to thank you also in writing. You made a huge impact on us at [ . . . ] in Malmø. It has been a joy working with you.
A conference on brain health
Hi Kelly, Everything was a wild smashing success. My email is blowing up today. It’s been a pleasure to work with you, and I’m truly thrilled with how this year’s event occurred and has had record breaking success.