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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Focus

I’m a sucker for what pmarca calls productivity pr0n. From early pioneers like Seneca, Franklin, and Carnegie, to today’s wonder-of-the-minute, I always looking for a better way.

Sometimes it's like that six year old with the hammer, who saw everything as a nail.

Daniel Goleman’s Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence is a marvelous book. He starts with a premise – that the ability to focus is the key to success, and then includes some twenty studies, most of which I’ve read, and his own detailed definitions of many, many aspects of focus.

Just like Eskimos have a hundred words for snow, Goleman has a comprehensive series of definitions for aspects of focus, how focus occurs, how to encourage focus, and how to manage focus. He even makes the point in the book that a person with a deep interest in a subject will notice more about it than an amateur.

When I read that part about interest creating focus, I didn’t realize at the time it was self referential to the author. I doubt Goleman does, even now.

What I really liked was that his definitions are immediately useful. I’m reading his book and inserting my own observed examples. There is a lot of data in the book, but like true best practices, they are immediately recognizable and useful.

As an example, answering the question, “Why can I never remember what I did to make a perfect golf shot?” Goleman writes (p.66) that there are two major streams of self awareness, “I” is the continuing internal narrative explaining our past and future to us, and “me” the raw experience of the immediate moment.

After I read that, I just sat back sucking my tooth and marveled.

Then of course, he got right into how to harness that unharnessable raw experience. Made immediate sense, too.

Treat yourself well in 2014. Make an appointment to read Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence.

But wait! There’s more! Check out Tips 4 The Big Chair! This new year extend your winning!