Summary of Focus

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Focus book summary


8 Overall

7 Importance

8 Innovation

8 Style


Daniel Goleman, author of the groundbreaking, mid-‘90s classic Emotional Intelligence, turns his attention to the subject of attention – and explains why focus is essential for navigating life, performing at your best, leading others and, ultimately, improving the world for future generations. His illuminating explanations of brain functions will be useful to businesspeople and educators. Ironically, Goleman digresses often, and his efforts to incorporate issues that matter to him – such as climate change and economic inequality – prove confusing. Still, he’s superb at thoughtfully explaining how people think and feel. getAbstract finds that his simple explanations of the workings of the human brain, and his depiction of focus as a triad of attention paid to “inner, other and outer” targets make reading his work more than worthwhile. Goleman compares attention to a muscle you can flex and strengthen. For a buff psyche and enhanced mental tone, try this attention workout.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How your brain exerts attention;
  • How to use three kinds of focus; and
  • How to build your focus to enhance your learning, performance and leadership.

About the Author

Science journalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee Daniel Goleman wrote The New York Times bestseller Emotional Intelligence.



Paying Attention
How well you pay attention affects every aspect of your life. Effective focusing skills enhance mental processes, including understanding, learning, listening, being creative and reading other people’s signals. Most people underestimate focus or overlook its importance...

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    Julia Koller 3 years ago
    I find it ironic that a book on attention is included on a website that specializes in "compressed knowledge". That said, this is a good read, with the quality of writing I have come to expect from Daniel Goleman.

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