In Focus, Psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, author of the #1 international best-seller 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.
©2013 Daniel Goleman (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
This is an important topic addressed by the Grandfather of Social and Emotional Intelligence and Learning. However, there was an important problem.
The decision to have Dr. Goleman narrate his own text was not helpful. Although a journalist, he's clearly no sort of performer, and has no understanding of how to use his voice appropriately. His volume trailed off occassionally, or he rushed through sentences. I notice this often when authors narrate their own works. Perhaps it's because they are so familiar with their work, they forget that the rest of us are not. Most bothersome, though, was his tendency to whisper at the end of a sentence, as if to emphasize his point. We often do this when speaking, but it has no place in an audiobook performance. I found myself "rewinding" the book again and again to catch what seemed to be an important phase, and eventually just gave up and carried on with the book, ultimately missing what seemed to be important ideas. So, a note to Audible's producers: unless the author is an experienced performer, don't let them narrate! Also, he butchered the pronunciation of bestselling psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's name, which he shouldn't have done if he's connected in the field.
Nonetheless, Dr. Goleman's analysis of our attention to outer, inner, and other types was very insightful. It's particularly helpful to teachers (like me) who are interested in helping kids. I'm looking forward to watching some of his supplamental videos on the topic.
To be fair, I didn't make it all that far into into Focus. Goleman opens the book with a lengthy diatribe on "today's youth" and how all the ding-dang social media and the new-fangled contraptions are ruining their brains – essentially the sort of "back in my day" argument you can get for free at your local barber shop or assisted living center.
After skipping forward to subsequent chapters, it became clear that Goleman is intent on shaming those who have embraced technology and its faster pace of information flow than providing any sort of real insight or instruction into managing and leveraging it.
I'm not terribly interested in reminiscing about an obsolete lifestyle or being told that accepting the advantages of progress is going to rot my brain or make me somehow emotionally retarded. A discussion of how to better focus by embracing available tools rather than running away from them would have been much more welcomed.
Goleman's general sentiment toward what he broadly generalized as "distractions" was disheartening to say the least. I found the strength of his argument in this regard reductive, weak, and somewhat pejorative.
There was nothing glaringly bad about his narration.
Most of it? Or perhaps everything that made him sound like a man bitterly holding onto the final vestiges of a "golden era" that never truly existed by belittling younger generations.
Three quarters of the content was the author's political agenda. I can not emphasize this enough. If you want to read about global warming and the importance of the redistribution of wealth, this is the book for you. This book was a little about the importance of focus, but had zero content about improvement strategies.
Not this guy. Not ever again.
Disappointment and disgust
This book has little to do with focus.
No. The book had too much information that did not deal with the topic I was expecting from the book description.
No. Same reason as the last answer. Not enough information on the topic.
His voice is nice, however too low/Quite. I just got a new phone and headset, the volume does not go up as high as my previous equipment. I had difficulty listening when there was any noise in my surroundings. I do have some hearing loss. He did a nice job reading and has a pleasant voice. I just do not like being limited that much on where I can listen to the book.
I was expecting to hear about issues with focus/attention and how to help improve this area myself. There was very little practical recommendations for personal improvement. What I did get was a lecture on global warming, CO2 and climate change. Twice I actually went back into the Audible app to see if I had selected the wrong book to play. If the publishers summary was accurate I would have never bought this book. I don't want to discuss the pros and cons of the climate issue. I wanted a self help book to improve attention. I am an Independent and am sick of listening to democrats and republicans lie and spin the truth to fill their pockets with money or gain more power. This author on several occasions used republicans as bad examples to illustrate his point. Unfortunately on several occasions he used biased information to analyze his example. Several times he could have used president Obama or democrats to illustrate his point, but he would not say anything negative about them. As I said earlier, I am an Independent and am sick of this behavior from both major parties. If an author is going to be biased with his examples, when can I trust him. Some of the book reminded me of listening to some biased reporting on what we call our "news". If you want to improve your focus and attention look for another book.
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