Download e-book for kindle: Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher

Self Help

By Winifred Gallagher

ISBN-10: 0143116908

ISBN-13: 9780143116905

A innovative examine how what we be aware of determines how we event existence

Acclaimed behavioral technological know-how author Winifred Gallagher's Rapt makes the novel argument that a lot of the standard of your lifestyles relies now not on reputation or fortune, good looks or brains, destiny or accident, yet on what you decide to be aware of. Rapt introduces a various forged of characters, from researchers to artists to ranchers, to demonstrate the artwork of residing the lifestyles. As their tales exhibit, by means of targeting the main confident and efficient components of any scenario, you could form your internal event and extend your international. through studying to concentration, you could increase your focus, increase your internal horizons, and most vital, consider what it capability to be totally alive.

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Additional info for Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life

Sample text

David Lykken, the University of Minnesota’s late, great personality psychologist, observed that these individuals have vast stores of “mental energy,” which he defined as the capacity “to focus attention, to shut out distractions, to persist in search of a solution” for a challenging problem over long periods without tiring. Among his exemplars is the slightly built, one-eyed, one-armed Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, who 18 RAPT helped save Britain from Napoleon. ” Another such attentional Olympian was the mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan.

When you feel frightened, angry, or sad, reality contracts until whatever is upsetting you takes up the whole world—at least the one between your ears. Life seems like a vale of tears, the future looks bleak, and the only memories that come to mind are unpleasant. The best explanation for why bad feelings shrink your focus is that in a potentially ominous situation, homing in on and reacting to any trouble quickly is more important than taking your time to get the big picture. Just as bad feelings constrict your attention so you can focus on dealing with danger or loss, good feelings widen it, so you can expand into new I N S I D E O U T: F E E L I N G S F R A M E F O C U S 37 territory—not just regarding your visual field, but also your mind-set.

48 RAPT . . A S T H E A B U N D A N C E of vaguely annoying sayings such as “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” proves, the idea of restoring emotional equilibrium by refocusing on a problem in a different way is not new. What is is the impressive research that increasingly shows that Pollyanna’s insistence on “looking at the bright side,” even in tough situations, is a powerful predictor of a longer, happier, healthier life. In one large, rigorous study of 941 Dutch subjects over ten years, for example, the most upbeat individuals, who agreed with statements such as “I often feel that life is full of promise,” were 45 percent less likely to die of all causes during the long experiment than were the most pessimistic.

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Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher

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