Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. Daniel Goleman. Harper.




Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence Book Cover Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence
Daniel Goleman
Harper
October 8, 2013
Hardcover
320
9780062114860

For more than two decades, psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman has been scouting the leading edge of the human sciences for what’s new, surprising, and important. In Focus, he delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long-overdue discussion of this little-noticed and underrated mental asset that matters enormously for how we navigate life. Attention works much like a muscle: use it poorly and it can wither; work it well and it grows. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to contend with, let alone thrive in, a complex world.

Goleman analyses attention research as a threesome: inner, outer, and outer focus. A well-lived life demands that we be nimble at each. Goleman shows why high-performers need all three kinds of focus, as demonstrated by rich case studies from fields as diverse as competitive sports, education, the arts, and business. Those who excel rely on what Goleman calls smart practice – such as mindfulness meditation, focused preparation and recovery from setbacks, continued attention to the learning curve, and positive emotions and connections – that help them improve habits, add new skills, and sustain excellence.

Combining cutting-edge research with practical findings, Focus reveals what distinguishes experts from amateurs and stars from average performers. Ultimately, Focus calls upon readers not only to pay attention to what matters most of them personally, but also to turn their attention to the pressing problems of the wider world, the powerless and the poor, and to the future, not just of the seductively simple demands of the here and now.

Daniel Goleman, a former science journalist for the New York Times, is the author of thirteen books and lectures frequently to professional groups and business audiences and on college campuses. He cofounded the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning at the Yale University Child Study Center (now at the University of Illinois at Chicago). He lives in Massachusetts.