(#Ad) Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence  is a powerful guide for taking control of our attention. From the author of the #1 international bestseller (#Ad) Emotional Intelligence, comes a groundbreaking look at today’s scarcest resource and the secret to high performance and fulfillment:

attention. 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 analyzes attention research as a threesome: inner, other, and outer focus.

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 that helps 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.


Top 30 Quotes from “Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence”


“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant,” Albert Einstein once said. “We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ― Daniel Goleman

“Martin Luther King Jr. observed that those who failed to offer their aid asked themselves the question: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But the Good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man what will happen to him?” ― Daniel Goleman
“It’s not the chatter of people around us that is the most powerful distractor, but rather the chatter of our own minds. Utter concentration demands these inner voices be stilled. Start to subtract sevens successively from 100 and, if you keep your focus on the task, your chatter zone goes quiet.” ― Daniel Goleman
“Daydreaming incubates creative discovery.” ― Daniel Goleman
“The antidote for mind wandering is meta-awareness, attention to attention itself, as in the ability to notice that you are not noticing what you should, and correcting your focus. Mindfulness makes this crucial attention muscle stronger. ― Daniel Goleman
“Directing attention toward where it needs to go is a primal task of leadership.” ― Daniel Goleman
“Mindfulness helps especially for those of us for whom every setback, hurt or dissapointment creates endless cascades of rumination” ― Daniel Goleman
“For leaders to get results they need all three kinds of focus. Inner focus attunes us to our intuitions, guiding values, and better decisions. Other focus smooths our connections to the people in our lives. And outer focus lets us navigate in the larger world. A leader tuned out of his internal world will be rudderless; one blind to the world of others will be clueless; those indifferent to the larger systems within which they operate will be blindsided.” ― Daniel Goleman
“The longer someone ignores an email before finally responding, the more relative social power that person has. Map these response times across an entire organization and you get a remarkably accurate chart of the actual social standing. The boss leaves emails unanswered for hours or days; those lower down respond within minutes. There’s an algorithm for this, a data mining method called “automated social hierarchy detection,” developed at Columbia University. When applied to the archive of email traffic at Enron Corporation before it folded, the method correctly identified the roles of top-level managers and their subordinates just by how long it took them to answer a given person’s emails. Intelligence agencies have been applying the same metric to suspected terrorist gangs, piecing together the chain of influence to spot the central figures.” ― Daniel Goleman
“You see it in jazz musicians, who never rehearse exactly what they do, but just seem to know when to take center stage, when to fade into the background. When jazz artists were compared with classical musicians in brain function, they showed more neural indicators of self-awareness. As one jazz artist put it, “In jazz you have to tune in to how your body is feeling so you know when to riff.” ― Daniel Goleman


“A Persian fairy tale tells of the Three Princes of Serendip, who “were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.” Creativity in the wild operates much like that.” ― Daniel Goleman
“The sweet spot for smart decisions, then, comes not just from being a domain expert, but also from having high self-awareness.” ― Daniel Goleman
“Emotional resilience comes down to how quickly we recover from upsets. People who are highly resilient—who bounce back right away—can have as much as thirty times more activation in the left prefrontal area than those who are less resilient.” ― Daniel Goleman
“In a complex world where almost everyone has access to the same information, new value arises from the original synthesis, from putting ideas together in novel ways, and from smart questions that open up untapped potential.” ― Daniel Goleman
“If you are a duffer at golf, say, and make the same mistakes every time you try a certain swing or putt, 10,000 hours of practicing that error will not improve your game. You’ll still be a duffer, albeit an older one. No less an expert than Anders Ericsson, the Florida State University psychologist whose research on expertise spawned the 10,000-hour rule of thumb, told me, “You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal.” ― Daniel Goleman
“But amid the din and distraction of work life, poor listening has become epidemic.” ― Daniel Goleman
“Whenever you notice your mind wandering,” a fundamental instruction in meditation advises, “bring your mind back to its point of focus.” The operative phrase here is whenever you notice. As our mind drifts off, we almost never notice the moment it launches into some other orbit on its own. ― Daniel Goleman
“In any interaction the more high-power person tends to focus his or her gaze on the other person less than others, and is more likely to interrupt and to monopolize the conversation—all signifying a lack of attention.” ― Daniel Goleman
“The positive lens keeps the joy in practice and learning – the reason even the most seasoned athletes and performers still enjoy rehearsing their moves. You need the negative focus to survive, but a positive one to thrive. You need both, but in the right ratio.”― Daniel Goleman
“Tightly focused attention gets fatigued—much like an overworked muscle—when we push to the point of cognitive exhaustion. The signs of mental fatigue, such as a drop in effectiveness and a rise in distractedness and irritability, signify that the mental effort needed to sustain focus has depleted the glucose that feeds neural energy.” ― Daniel Goleman
“no birthday, concert, hangout session, or party can be enjoyed without taking the time to distance yourself from what you are doing” to make sure that those in your digital world know instantly how much fun you are having.” ― Daniel Goleman
“Rapport demands joint attention—mutual focus. Our need to make an effort to have such human moments has never been greater, given the ocean of distractions we all navigate daily.” ― Daniel Goleman
“The inability to resist checking email or Facebook rather than focus on the person talking to us leads to what the sociologist Erving Goffman, a masterly observer of social interaction, called an “away,” a gesture that tells another person “I’m not interested” in what’s going on here and now.” ― Daniel Goleman
“In fact, people who are extremely adept at mental tasks that demand cognitive control and a roaring working memory—like solving complex math problems—can struggle with creative insights if they have trouble switching off their fully concentrated focus. ― Daniel Goleman
“Ordinarily, small children learn much about emotions by looking at the other person’s eyes, while those with autism avoid the eyes and so fail to get those lessons.” ― Daniel Goleman
“Steve Jobs gave a heartfelt talk to a graduating class at Stanford University. His advice: “Don’t let the voice of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” ― Daniel Goleman
“In Japan, I learned the hard way that the moment of exchanging business cards signals an important ritual. We Americans are prone to casually pocketing the card without looking, which there indicates disrespect. I was told you should take the card carefully, hold it in both hands, and study it for a while before putting it away in a special case” ― Daniel Goleman
“The lore of creativity is rife with such accounts. Carl Gauss, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century mathematician, worked on proving a theorem for four years, with no solution. Then, one day, the answer came to him “as a sudden flash of light.” Yet he could not name the thread of thought that connected his years of hard work with that flash of insight.” ― Daniel Goleman
“Smart practice always includes a feedback loop that lets you recognize errors and correct them – which is why dancers use mirrors. Ideally that feedback comes from someone with an expert eye – and so every world-class sports champion has a coach. If you practice without such feedback, you don’t get to the top ranks. The feedback matters and the concentration does, too – not just the hours.” ― Daniel Goleman
“Of course companies need leaders who beam in on getting better results. But those results will be more robust in the long run when leaders don’t simply tell people what to do or just do it themselves, but have an other focus: they are motivated to help other people be successful, too.”
― Daniel Goleman

(#Ad) Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence


Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman (born March 7, 1946) is an American psychologist, author, and science journalist. For twelve years, he wrote for The New York Times, reporting on the brain and behavioral sciences. His 1995 book Emotional Intelligence was on The New York Times Best Seller list for a year and a half, a bestseller in many countries, and is in print worldwide in 40 languages. Apart from his books on emotional intelligence, Goleman has written books on topics including self-deception, creativity, transparency, meditation, social and emotional learning, ecoliteracy and the ecological crisis, and the Dalai Lama’s vision for the future. (Wikipedia)


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