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Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellenceby Daniel Goleman
Synopses & Reviews
The author of the international bestseller Emotional Intelligence returns with 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. 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 to them personally, but also to turn their attention to the pressing problems of the wider world, to the powerless and the poor, and to the future, not just to the seductively simple demands of the here and now.
An investigation of the growing trend among major companies, including Fortune 100 giants, to promote mindful activities like meditation and yoga in the workplace, and its often surprising effects on productivity, strategy, and employees mental health.
A New York Times reporter reveals what business leaders around the country are already discovering: Meditation may be the key to fostering a happier, more productive workplace.
For the past few years, mindfulness has begun to transform the American workplace. Many of our largest companies, such as General Mills, Ford, Target, and Google, have built extensive programs to foster mindful practices among their workers. Mindful Work is the first book to explain how all sorts of businesses and any kind of worker can benefit from meditation, yoga, and other mindful techniques. As a business reporter for the New York Times who has also practiced meditation for two decades, David Gelles is uniquely qualified to chart the growing nexus between these two realms. As he proves, mindfulness lowers stress, increases mental focus, and alleviates depression among workers. He also offers real-world examples of how mindfulness has benefited companies that have adopted it — from the millions of dollars Aetna has saved in health-care costs to the ways Patagonia has combined leadership in its market with a pervasively mindful outlook.
Gelles's revelatory book picks up where bestsellers like Thrive and 10% Happier leave off, by detailing how mindfulness works in and for the companies that adopt it, revealing the profound impact mindfulness can have on the world of work. Mindful Work goes beyond other books on the subject by providing evidence for the practical benefits of mindfulness and showing readers how to become more mindful themselves.
In Focus, Psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, author of the #1 international bestseller Emotional Intelligence, offers a groundbreaking look at todays scarcest resource and the secret to high performance and fulfillment: attention.
Combining cutting-edge research with practical findings, Focus delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a long overdue discussion of this little-noticed and under-rated mental asset. In an era of unstoppable distractions, Goleman persuasively argues that now more than ever we must learn to sharpen focus if we are to survive in a complex world.
Goleman boils down attention research into a threesome: inner, other, and outer focus. Drawing on rich case studies from fields as diverse as competitive sports, education, the arts, and business, he shows why high-achievers need all three kinds of focus, and explains how those who rely on Smart Practices—mindfulness meditation, focused preparation and recovery, positive emotions and connections, and mental “prosthetics” that help them improve habits, add new skills, and sustain greatness—excel while others do not.
About the Author
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 Studies Center (now at the University of Illinois at Chicago). He lives in Massachusetts.
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