11 Most Popular Books About Self-Control


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Self-control helps us make good choices, like eating healthy food instead of too much candy or saving money instead of spending it all at once. One great way to do this is by reading books. Some smart people have written books about how to get better at Self-control. These books teach us tricks and tips to be the boss of our minds and actions. 

Let’s explore.

1. The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-control by Walter Mischel

Have you ever wanted just one more cookie from the jar when you knew you shouldn’t? Walter Mischel discusses this in his book, The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self Control.” It’s all about waiting a little longer to get something even better than that first cookie. Mischel did a study where kids had to wait for two treats instead of just one. This book shows us how waiting can help us in many areas of life, like doing homework before playing. It’s a cool way to learn patience and control our wants.

2. Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

In “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength,” Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney tell us about a special kind of power everyone has – willpower. This isn’t about lifting heavy things or running fast; it’s about being able to say no to eating too much candy or playing video games all night. This book gives us ideas on making our willpower muscle super strong to make better daily choices.

3. The Willpower Instinct: How Self-control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It by Kelly McGonigal

Kelly McGonigal’s book, The Willpower Instinct: How Self Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It,” is a guidebook for your brain. It helps us understand why we sometimes eat too many cookies or watch one more TV show when we should be sleeping. McGonigal shows us that understanding how our minds work can help us get better at saying no to things we don’t need and yes to things that are good for us. The book contains easy tips to help us make friends with our willpower and use it to do great things.

4. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

Carol S. Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” discusses two ways we can think about our brains. Some people think they can’t get smarter or better at things, which is called a fixed mindset. Others believe they can grow their brains like muscles if they learn and work hard, called a growth mindset. Dweck shows us that by thinking, we can improve (having a growth mindset), do better in school, be happier, and have more control over our actions. It’s believing in yourself and your ability to improve at anything you set your mind.

5. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

James Clear’s book, “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones,” is about small changes that make a big difference. Imagine if you saved just one dollar every day. It might not seem like much, but over time, you’d have a lot of money saved up! Clear says that’s how habits work. By making tiny changes, like doing five minutes of reading a day or eating one fruit with every meal, we can improve our lives. This book teaches us how to make good habits that stick and how to say goodbye to the bad ones that keep us from being our best selves.

6. No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy

“No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy is your coach who shows you how to win in the game of life. This book tells us that being good at self-control means doing things even when we don’t feel like it, like doing homework before playing video games or saving part of our allowance instead of spending it all. Tracy teaches us that we can be better at almost anything, from school to sports, if we practice self-discipline. He gives us 21 ways to be more disciplined and how it helps us be happier and achieve our dreams.

7. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

In “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg, we learn about the magic of habits. Imagine if every time you put on your sneakers, you started to clean your room without even thinking about it. That’s the power of a habit! Duhigg tells us that a lot of what we do daily is because of habits. Some are good, like brushing our teeth, and some are not so good, like snacking too much.

8. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

“Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport is a book that tells us how to do really important work without getting sidetracked. You won’t finish your work if you keep looking at your phone or going outside to play. But if you focus and work on it without stopping, you’ll see the whole thing done much faster. Newport says that when we do deep work, we can learn better, finish homework faster, and do great things. This book teaches us how to stay focused and why doing awesome stuff in school and life is so important.

9. Self control  in Action: Powerful Techniques for High Performance, Self-Discipline, and Self-Mastery by Andrew Bryant and Ana Lucia Kazan

In Self control in Action: Powerful Techniques for High Performance, Self-Discipline, and Self-Mastery” by Andrew Bryant and Ana Lucia Kazan, we learn self-control is like a coach for our brains, showing us how to be the best version of ourselves. Bryant and Kazan teach us that with practice, we can better make choices that help us reach our goals, like studying a little bit every day instead of waiting until the last minute. They share secrets on staying calm and focused and not giving up, even when things get tough. It’s all about taking small steps to be more disciplined, which can help us do well in school, sports, and even when playing with our friends. By learning and practicing the techniques in this book, we can all become masters of self-control.

10. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

“Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink tells us what makes us want to do things. Pink explains that not always treats or rewards make us do our best. Instead, he says we do our best when we feel like we’re in charge of our choices when we get better at something, and when we’re doing something important. This book helps us see that the real power to do well comes from inside us, not just from outside rewards. Learning about this can help us make better choices and have more control over doing our homework, helping at home, and being a good friend.

11. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

“Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth is about not giving up, even when things get hard. Duckworth says the secret to being good at something isn’t just being smart or talented. It’s about having grit, which means you keep trying and don’t stop, even when you fail or things are tough. This book tells stories of people who did amazing things, not because they were the best from the start, but because they kept going and didn’t give up. It teaches us that we can achieve our dreams if we’re passionate and keep working hard, no matter what. This lesson can help us in school, sports, and any hobby we love.


All these books teach us something special about self-control. They show us that with a little practice and some smart tips, we can better control what we do and how we feel. Whether waiting a bit longer for something great or working hard on a goal, self-control helps us be our best selves. 

Remember, like any skill, self-control strengthens the more we use it. So, why not pick up one of these books and start practicing today? For more great reads, check out Alpha Book Writers. They have many books that can help you learn and grow every day.

Now, you’re all set with tools to help you with self-control. What will you choose to tackle first with your new skills?

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