Book review: Focus

Focus by Daniel Goleman
Bloomsbury, $36.99  

book review - focus by daniel goleman​I wish I'd had Goleman’s insights drummed into me years ago.

He teaches us the importance of paying attention, a failing in all of us, when 40 percent of the time we drift off the job in hand when reading.

I know from personal experience that I’m easily distracted. One of my school reports said, “Michael is inclined to daydream. If he spent more time paying attention and less time looking out the window, orders in class would not have to be repeated for his benefit.”

Goleman paints a picture of our world of information overload, where digital device distraction outweighs concentration – and technology subverts our ability to delve deeply into the subtle nuances of human interaction. As a result, our brain circuitry is being rewired so it can only cope with short, sharp messages. The author suggests we will become deficient in intellectual and social interaction due to internet addiction.

Focus provides some remedies and exercises we can perform to minimise the impact of attention deficit, but it doesn’t so much give answers to these vexing questions, as identify the dangers of a future that will deliver a vast supply of information devoid of meaning.

A thought-provoking read, not Goleman’s best, but worth a look.