Sunday, December 22, 2013

Slower & Simpler - Focus

Slowing down helps me focus on the moment, on the person right in front of me, on what is important to me in my life.

Not surprisingly, there is a book that reflects on three types of focus, their importance, and that just possibly we are losing our ability to focus. This isn't really a news flash, is it, with all the multi-tasking we do everyday with our electronic leashes??

Are We Losing Our Focus?

--by Jill Suttie, syndicated from Greater Good, Dec 20, 2013
In a new book, Daniel Goleman argues that focus leads to greater happiness, better relationships, and increased productivity.
My teenage son does homework while watching sports games on his computer and Facebooking his friends. Of course, I understand the draw—homework can be boring and tedious. But, I wonder what kind of impact this multi-focused attention is having on his learning and social life, not to mention his future success.
According to Daniel Goleman’s new book, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, I should wonder.
Goleman, renowned psychologist and author of the bestselling books,Social Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence, writes that attention—or the ability to focus on one task to the exclusion of others—is a lost art among today’s teens, not to mention many adults. Yet focus is an important skill to have in life, and is connected to greater happiness, better relationships, and increased productivity.
The most successful people, he writes, excel at balancing three types of focus: inner, other, and outer. Inner focus demands paying attention to our values, intuition, and ways of responding; other focus involves knowing how to be present and develop empathic connections with other people; and outer focus means being aware of larger systems and trends in society.
To find that balance, we first need to understand how our minds and hearts work. Goleman explains that our brains our designed for two types of thinking—fast and slow—that interact with one another and compete for our attention. Voluntary attention, willpower, and choice are examples of slow thinking—what you might need to study for a science test, for example. Reflexive attention, impulse, and habit are part of fast thinking, which you might need when sizing up a potential date. Knowing how each type of thinking is stimulated and how they work together can help us master our focus to better effect and make wiser choices.

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