Mindful's interview with Daniel Goleman, bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence, on his new book, Focus, and how we can hone one of the greatest gifts we have. 

Illustration by Andrew Holder

Focus and the Science of Attention

What is focus, and why is it important to talk about focus now? Daniel Goleman talks about the subtle and elusive nature of attention and makes the case for appreciating attention itself and its power in our lives before we start to look at how to work with it and improve it.

The Endangered Human Moment

Since the devices we depend on have “built-in” seductions, we need to be more mindful of when our attention wanders off, Goleman. Goleman talks about why the social brain suffers when we trade face time for screen time, and how we can preserve focus when it comes to relationships and interactions.

The Three Types of Focus

Goleman goes over the three types of focus addressed in his book: inner focus, attuning us to our intuitions and guiding values; other focus, smoothing the connections we have to people our lives; and outer focus, which let’s us navigate the larger world.

Training the Brain, Changing the Brain 

How can we train our attention? Goleman talks about mindfulness, meditation and other techniques used for “flexing the muscle of attention.” He talks about  contemplative neuroscience’s contribution to finding out how the mind wanders and how to bring it back and how that act of bringing the mind back actually has profound significance for the wiring of the brain.

Looking for more ways to develop focus? Try this 9-minute sensory focus practice from Daniel Goleman’s new audiobook, Cultivating Focus: Techniques for Excellence.

This web extra provides additional information related to an article titled, “Focus!” which appeared in the December 2013 issue of Mindful magazine.