Focus: Chapter 1 (The Subtle Faculty) by Daniel Goleman
=> Key takeaway (page 2)…
“In very recent years the science of attention has blossomed far beyond vigilance. That science tells us these skills determine how well we perform any task. If they are stunted, we do poorly; if muscular, we can excel. Our very nimbleness in life depends on this subtle faculty. While the link between attention and excellence remains hidden most of the time, it ripples through almost everything we seek to accomplish.
This supple tool embeds within countless mental operations. A short list of some basics includes comprehension, memory, learning, sensing how we feel and why, reading emotions in other people, and interacting smoothly. Surfacing this invisible factor in effectiveness lets us better see the benefits of improving this mental faculty, and better understand just how we do that.
Through an optical illusion of the mind we typically register the end products of attention—our ideas good and bad, a telling wink or inviting smile, the whiff of morning coffee—without noticing the beam of awareness itself.
Though it matters enormously for how we navigate life, attention in all its varieties represents a little-noticed and underrated mental asset. My goal here is to spotlight this elusive and under-appreciated mental faculty in the mind’s operations and its role in living a fulfilling life.”