• Clearer, Closer, Better

  • How Successful People See the World
  • By: Emily Balcetis
  • Narrated by: Emily Balcetis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

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Clearer, Closer, Better

By: Emily Balcetis
Narrated by: Emily Balcetis
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Publisher's Summary

Successful people literally see the world differently. Now an award-winning scientist explains how anyone can leverage this "perception gap" to their advantage.

"Get ready for this book to change how you see everything you see." (Adam Grant, New York Times best-selling author of Originals and Give and Take)

When it comes to setting and meeting goals, we may see - quite literally - our plans, our progress, and our potential in the wrong ways. We perceive ourselves as being closer to or further from the end than we may actually be depending on our frame of reference. We handicap ourselves by looking too often at the big picture and at other times too long at the fine detail. But as award-winning social psychologist Emily Balcetis explains, there is great power in these misperceptions. We can learn to leverage perceptual illusions if we know when and how to use them to our advantage.

Drawing on her own rigorous research and cutting-edge discoveries in vision science, cognitive research, and motivational psychology, Balcetis offers unique accounts of the perceptual habits, routines, and practices that successful people use to set and meet their ambitions. Through case studies of entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, and celebrities - as well as her own colorful experience of trying to set and reach a goal - she brings to life four powerful yet largely untapped visual tactics that can be applied according to the situation.

Narrow your focus: Closing the aperture of your attention helps you exercise effectively, save money, and find more time in your day.

Widen the bracket: Seeing the forest instead of the trees reduces temptations and helps you recognize when a change of course is in order.

Materialize your plan and your progress: Creating checklists and objective assessments inspires better planning and adjusts your gauge of what’s really left to be done.

Control your frame of reference: Knowing where to direct attention improves your ability to read others’ emotions, negotiate better deals, foster stronger relationships, and overcome a fear of public speaking.

A mind-blowing and original tour of perception, Clearer, Closer, Better will help you see the possibilities in what you can't see now. Inspiring, motivating, and always entertaining, it demonstrates that if we take advantage of our visual experiences, they can lead us to live happier, healthier, and more productive lives every day.

©2020 Emily Balcetis (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Emily Balcetis' Clearer, Closer, Better is as entertaining as it is important - a book that teaches you how to see the world, both literally and figuratively, in the service of cultivating a life of happiness, meaning, health, and prosperity. Balcetis writes with such verve that you’ll forget you’re learning, but along the way you’ll discover how titans of business, the arts, sports, and fashion perceive the world to maximize their prospects of success. One of the most important - and engaging - books I've read in a very long time." (Adam Alter, New York Times bestselling author of Irresistible and Drunk Tank Pink)

"Clearer, Closer, Better offers an incisive analysis of the many ways we get things wrong - misinterpret, don't look closely enough, see what we want to see, respond to the way things are phrased or positioned instead of the thing itself - as well as a highly applicable road map to getting them right." (Amy Cuddy, best-selling author of Presence)

"If you're staring down a goal that seems overwhelming, this book will give you a new way of looking at it. A rising star in the field of social psychology, Emily Balcetis gets real about the challenges of applying scientific insights to the messiness of daily life. In Clearer, Closer, Better, she offers sage, practical advice that I've already incorporated into mine." (Elizabeth Dunn, co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending)

What listeners say about Clearer, Closer, Better

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Find the info on a podcast

I was really excited to read this book because of the Andrew Huberman podcast and the interview he had with the author. Unfortunately, all of the pertinent information from this 8-hour book was revealed in a 1 hour episode. All this book offers in addition are more stories and examples that are honestly overkill in light of the lack of actual information. The author reads the book herself and honestly that's the only reason I was able to finish it, because she is pleasant to listen to. I just wish the book had a larger amount of useful information.

1 person found this helpful

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Great ideas bad book.

The book premise is great. The ideas are cleaver. The story telling was really bad. I herd her pod cast on hidden Brain and was very impressed. The book was a letdown.

1 person found this helpful

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Could've been a 2h book.

I was led to read this book after her appearance on Huberman labs podcast. t
That was really interesting, but in the book there's a lot of fat that is not really interesting or related. Great research work, but poorly written filling. Will be looking for the new version.

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Excellent research

Great job breaking down the subject into understandable sections. Well worth the read. I will take a lot of this to both home and work life.

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I wish I could remember why I purchased

It was only a week or so between the time I chose and purchased this audio book and when I had an opportunity to listen. I wish I could remember why I wanted to purchase it. The listen is trying. The writing style simplistic and tedious. I learned little and was pretty bored by chapter 5. An absolute waste of time if you have a couple more than just a couple decades under your belt. Buyer beware

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Would have been a great article

This author has managed to get an entire book out of a very small amount of useful information.

The stories are so wordy and talky, very little fact based simple scientific analysis.

Story after story after story, many thousands of words long and completely unnecessary. Save yourself the time and money, only read if you like lots of long cutesy, feel-good stories. I’m sorry I purchased this book.

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Needs a better editor.

Geez, on and on and on and on about the minutiae of her attempts at drumming and her family. Do I really want to know that she woke up in her son’s bed with vomit? This book would have been much better if it were about 1/3 as long and without a lot of the jokiness. Sorry, don’t want to sound too mean.
I used to work in l a university research lab and this book sounds like many of the grad students’ first attempts at presenting their work. They too, would include way too many details that were interesting to them, but should have been winnowed from the presentation.

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  • Simon
  • 01-24-21

Mostly personal anecdotes

Good narration and entertaining in itself but a few too many personal stories and not enough science for my liking.

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  • Ryan
  • 08-03-22

What is slog fest - full of fluff

I don’t usually write back reviews but I felt very let down and annoyed by this book. I bought this book after her interview on the Huberman podcast so I could learn more about the visual role in goal setting and learning how to set better goals. Obviously the author is very intelligent and I was excited to learn more.

Unfortunately getting that information is difficult in this book. It goes off on so many tangents talking about the intricacies of different drums in a drum kit to the name of facial muscles and details about how we use them differently when we lie, to in-depth deep dives into different art…to what point though?!

I feel like the author loves story telling so much she squeezes in every story she can and uses exciting turns of phrases even if it doesn’t serve a purpose to the overall plot or giving us the useful info we bought this book for. When she does deliver the main content it’s almost hidden in amongst stories you can’t tell what’s important and what’s not.

Some decent ideas in here if you’re willing to work hard to get it or if you love to listen to hours ranting about someone struggling to learn to play the drums in fanciful details then this book is for you. Otherwise just listen to her interview on the Huberman podcast

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  • James
  • 08-02-22

Important Stuff Embedded In Huge Amount of Guff

Some good stuff in here but also so much painful guff. The anecdotes were so long winded and the kernel of information was drowned. Painfully slow, despite being only 8hrs.