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Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher
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Rapt Quotes Showing 1-13 of 13
“Temperamentally anxious people can have a hard time staying motivated, period, because their intense focus on their worries distracts them from their goals.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“People who are diagnosed as having "generalized anxiety disorder" are afflicted by three major problems that many of us experience to a lesser extent from time to time. First and foremost, says Rapgay, the natural human inclination to focus on threats and bad news is strongly amplified in them, so that even significant positive events get suppressed. An inflexible mentality and tendency toward excessive verbalizing make therapeutic intervention a further challenge.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“If you really want to focus on something, says Castellanos, the optimum amount of time to spend on it is ninety minutes. "Then change tasks. And watch out for interruptions once you're really concentrating, because it will take you twenty minutes to recover.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“Because you actually might not know what activities truly engage your attention and satisfy you, he says, it can be helpful to keep a diary of what you do all day and how you feel while doing it. Then, try to do more of what's rewarding, even if it takes an effort, and less of what isn't. Where optimal experience is concerned, he says, "'I just don't have the time' often means 'I just don't have the self-discipline.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“Whenever you squander attention on something that doesn’t put your brain through its paces and stimulate change, your mind stagnates a little and life feels dull.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“Your motivations--get that promotion, throw the best parties, run for public office--aren't impersonal abstractions but powerfully reflect who you are and what you focus on. An individual's goals figure prominently in the theories of personality first developed by the Harvard psychologist Henry Murray. According to his successor David McClelland, what Friedrich Nietzsche called "the will to power," which he considered the major driving force behind human behavior, is one of the three basic motivations, along with achievement and affiliation, that differentiate us as individuals.

A simple experiment show show these broad emotional motivations can affect what you pay attention to or ignore on very basic levels. When they examine images of faces that express different kinds of emotion, power-oriented subjects are drawn to nonconfrontational visages, such as "surprise faces," rather than to those that suggest dominance, as "anger faces" do. In contrast, people spurred by affiliation gravitate toward friendly or joyful faces.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“Yet he argued that even a tedious topic can take on a certain fascination if you make an effort to look at it afresh: "The subject must be made to show new aspects of itself; to prompt new questions; in a word, to change. From an unchanging subject the attention inevitably wanders away.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“Einstein didn't invent the theory of relativity while he was multitasking at the Swiss patent office."

quoting, David Meyer, a cognitive scientist at the University of Michigan”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“After he wrote The Paradox of Choice, Schwartz got fervent amens from European governments as well as individual readers for insisting that the management of your focus has become one of decision-laden modernity's major challenges. Many behavioral economists and social psychologists also share his concern about what he calls "the consequences of mis-attention.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“Recently, the search for what he calls "the splinters that make up different attention problems" has taken Castellanos in a new direction. First, he explains that your brain is far less concerned with your brilliant ideas or searing emotions than with its own internal "gyroscopic busyness," which consumes 65 percent of its total energy. Every fifty seconds, its activity fluctuates, causing what he calls a "brownout." No one knows the purpose of these neurological events, but Castellanos has a thesis: the clockwork pulses enable the brain's circuits to stay "logged on" and available to communicate with one another, even when they're not being used. "Imagine you're a cabdriver on your day off," Castellanos says. "You don't need to use your workday circuits on a Sunday, but to keep those channels open, your brain sends a ping through them every minute or so. The fluctuations are the brain's investment in maintaining its circuits online.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“Once out of your cradle, you don't focus on the world in the abstract, perceiving things for the first time, but in synchrony with your accumulated knowledge, which enriches and helps define your experience, as well as ensuring its uniqueness.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“All day long, you are selectively paying attention to something, and much more often than you may suspect, you can take charge of this process to good effect. Indeed, your ability to focus on this and suppress that is the key to controlling your experience and, ultimately, your well-being.”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
“stressed and/or tired to do anything more than sprawl on the couch”
Winifred Gallagher, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life