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.
“Daniel Goleman has surpassed himself in the breadth, depth, and readability ofthis fascinating meditation on what is most important for human, organizational, andplanetary flourishing. Focusshows us how to go about paying attention in all the ways that really matter.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reductionand author of Mindfulness for BeginnersJon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reductionand author of Mindfulness for BeginnersJon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based St
“Ive been studying attention for more than a decade, but I learned something new on every page of Focus. It is a powerful guide for taking control of our attention and will lead you to nothing less than taking control of your life.” Tony Schwartz, author of < i=""> The Power of Full Engagement <> and CEO of The Energy Project
“With compelling insights, wide-ranging examples, and cutting-edge science, Daniel Goleman makes the convincing case that the ability to focus is a key to excellence, in both our personal and professional lives-and also explains how to boost that focus.” Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of < i=""> The Happiness Project <>
“Attention is so important that ordinary people take it for granted, while scientists subject it to microanalysis. Steering deftly between these extremes, Dan Goleman synthesizes what is known and what we need to know.” Howard Gardner, John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognitionand Education at the Harvard Graduate School of EducationHoward Garnder, John H. and Elizabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Educati
“Daniel Goleman has written the perfect prescription for todays deficit of attention in business and life....Highly recommended!” Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality and author of < i=""> Peak <> and < i=""> Emotional Equations <>
“Goleman has provided a highly readable manifesto for turning our smartphones off once in a while.” Financial Times
“Brimming with insights and backed up with solid research, Mindful Work takes us to the front lines of a revolution that is transforming the business world.”
“Gelles has done a masterful job of capturing the 'mindfulness movement'. His candid analysis and his dialogue with people from all facets of this movement paint a wonderfully clear view of a potent proposition for living and working in better ways.”
—Scott Kriens, Chairman, Juniper Networks, and Director, 1440 Foundation
“In this compelling book, Gelles describes how apparent paradoxes can resolve into a business culture where taking a breath is part of making a buck.”
—Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together
“In this wise and revealing work, David Gelles explains how Eastern wisdom is transforming the Western workplace. Smart, hopeful and inspiring, this is a book with a wide reach and a clear focus.”
—Mark Epstein, author of The Trauma of Everyday Life and Thoughts without a Thinker: Psychotherapy from a Buddhist Perspective
“A delightful, authoritative, and provocative guide to the new world of mindfulness at work. David Gelles covers the story from the inside out, giving readers exactly what they need to assess whether mindfulness is for them — and, if so, how to forge ahead. Give this book your full attention.”
—Daniel Goleman, author of Focus and Emotional Intelligence
“This stunning new book is by far the most insightful, practical guide to mindfulness and meditation. Gelles, who has deep experience with mindfulness, takes us inside leading companies like Google, General Mills, Aetna, and Patagonia to show how meditation is transforming workplaces. Mindful Work could change your life.”
—Bill George, Harvard Business School, former CEO of Medtronic, and author of True North
“Gelles deftly shows the power of mindfulness to change individuals, businesses and our world for the better. Mindfulness is a practice we need to embrace, and we cannot be afraid to follow this path.”
—Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO, Salesforce
“Mindfulness in the workplace is a real trend and few are as well equipped to explain it as David Gelles. He expertly conveys how companies incorporate mindfulness principles into their cultures and offers practical tips to managers on how to do the same.”
—Reid Hoffman, co/founder & chairman, LinkedIn and co-author of The Alliance
“This carefully researched, heartfully written, and delightfully readable book tells one of the most interesting true stories of our time: the fascinating and sometimes messy coming together of the wisdom world and the corporate world.”
—Chade-Meng Tan, Jolly Good Fellow of Google, author of Search Inside Yourself
“Readers curious about the benefits of mindfulness at work or in their personal lives will appreciate this book.”
"Intriguing, timely, and enjoyable new book, a fascinating account of the increasing adoption of these ancient oriental disciplines by western businesses as means of improving corporate efficiency, reducing employee stress, and, directly or indirectly, boosting the bottom line."
, Psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, author of the #1 international bestseller Emotional Intelligence
, offers a groundbreaking look at today's 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).