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In Rapt, acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher makes the Walmart eBooks .. yet I kept putting it down and it took me so many months to finally finish this book. .. Log in to get better recommendations with a free account. look at how what we pay attention to determines how we experience life Acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher's Rapt Buy the Ebook. I was just updating a blog post about this: Free Books - For Your Nook, Kobo, Kindle and Audio Books But it really depends on where Download Free ebooks.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. A wise research psychiatrist once told me that he had identified life's greatest problem: How to balance self and others, or your need for independence with your need for relationship? Since writing Rapt , I've come to believe that we now face a fundamental psychological challenge of a different sort:
The meat of the book is sandwiched in the middle, where the author guides the reader through the leading research on focus and attention. We learn that attention can be diffuse or focused, and ther I'm disappointed that this book about attention was not, itself, more sharply focused. We learn that attention can be diffuse or focused, and there are benefits to either state. We also learn that meditation and mental exercises have been shown to improve the mind's ability to attend. As someone with a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder, I was especially disappointed at how few words Gallagher spent on this central issue.
A long digression into the power of "now" -- with odes to Eckhart Tolle -- tells us that our lives have more meaning when we pay attention to the present moment. Tolle wrote a book along this theme, which I hope is less superfluous than Gallager's summary. She would have her readers surrender thoughts of the future, or any sort of social consciousness, in order to breathe in breathe out breathe in breathe out and live life in the moment. Jun 09, Scott Key rated it it was amazing. This book has changed the way I work.
Author Winifred Gallagher has marshaled quite a bit of research into fourteen chapters and has made it approachable with a good takeaway at the end of each chapter that can be integrated into several areas of life where attention is important.
If you have read Malcolm Gladwell and John Medina, much of what you read here will not be new. Gallagher learned about the power of attention for ill or for good when she was diagnosed with cancer and decided not to le This book has changed the way I work.
Gallagher learned about the power of attention for ill or for good when she was diagnosed with cancer and decided not to let it "monopolize [her: The experience was a catalyst to the writing of Rapt.
Her thesis, and the realization she got during treatment was that "life is the creation of what you focus on -- and what you don't. By and large, we are not multitaskers. Some repetitive or physical actions can be done together -- the proverbial act of walking and chewing bubblegum.
However, we aren't programmed to do things such as talk and check email or to drive and text. One activity or both will suffer as a consequence. In fact, it is hard to be truly productive unless you enter the "flow" state, which requires focused concentrated effort ninety to one hundred twenty minutes. Any interruption, even if for a minute or less consider the little guitar noise on outlook telling you about a new message, or the siren call of the blackberry's buzz even when you don't actually read the message , is a derailing event requiring about fifteen minute's total recovery time.
As a result, an entire day can pass with the result of no substantively completed work but with lots of emails read even if not answered. Her chapter on creativity is equally compelling. In short, a spark of creative inspiration is the result of hours of contemplation or study. If you constantly short-circuit attention, you are not likely to be the next Wordsworth or experience some sort of creative spark no matter your chosen profession.
Finally, the chapter on relationships and quality of life is worth the read. How you frame the action of those around you shapes fundamentally how successful you are in your friendships, lovelife, and career.
It all comes down to showing up and attending to what is on your agenda day in and day out, focusing positively on those around you, and framing the people and events you encounter with a focus on the positive. Most significantly, it comes down to being fully present moment to moment. Such is the difference, Gallagher suggest between a life lived fully and a life lived that is a nightmare from which you will hopefully wake up think the buddha's enlightment before it is too late.
View all 3 comments. Jul 11, Heather rated it really liked it Shelves: Indeed, your ability to focus on this and suppress that is the key to controlling your experience and, ultimately, your well-being. I especially enjoyed her illustration "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. I especially enjoyed her illustration that the phrase "paying attention" has a monetary aspect to it for a reason--we have limited stores of focus, attention, and will power.
When we spend our attention on one thing, we leave less attention in reserves for other things. Attention is also like a muscle; The more it is practiced, the more it can do, and the longer you can hold focus.
I also liked her idea of taking a "daily vacation" -- a period of 20 or 30 minutes each day where you do something that delights you, then looking back that evening and rehashing the experience of that pleasurable moment.
All in all, I enjoyed this book, although in retrospect I kind of wish that I had read it with my eyes instead of just listening to it on audible because I would've liked to take notes. I always listen to audible books in the car so that doesn't afford me the opportunity to write down quotes that I like, etc. Perhaps worth reading again sometime! View 2 comments. Oct 05, Bonnie rated it really liked it. Rapt caught my attention after reading an excerpt in the Utne Reader.
The thesis was pretty straightforward — what you focus on determines your experience of life. I was intrigued because I had always struggled with paying quality attention to my children, ostensibly the focus of my work as a stay-at-home mother. I wanted to experience my life with them better, and I wanted something more than a simplistic parenting book that suggested setting aside 20 minutes of play without distraction each da Rapt caught my attention after reading an excerpt in the Utne Reader.
I wanted to experience my life with them better, and I wanted something more than a simplistic parenting book that suggested setting aside 20 minutes of play without distraction each day with each child. Winifred Gallagher covers a lot of ground in the psychological study of attention and focus, from bottom-up attention to your immediate circumstances and needs — the demands of the world to top-down attention that you direct to things that you choose like your job, family, or hobbies.
Further, emotions guide attention, more often than not to negative places as a measure of self-preservation, and it is up to the individual to guide his attention to more positive emotions that actually expand his ability to focus. Rather than seeking to be happy at all times, Gallagher shows that one must guard what one attends to, with the example that older people are often better able to focus on the simple pleasures of life.
She sites research that shows that what one pays attention to shapes her brain and behavior. Flow is so arresting to the individual that he will continue to challenge himself at the activity to stay in the flow.
The import of attention is also revealed in decision making we often attend to our memories rather than our experiences and creativity great work requires rapt attention. The distractions of modern life — particularly, electronic — and desire to multi-task are shown to impede productivity and real learning in children.
Finally, mental and even physical ailments are often grounded in poorly directed attention. Oct 12, Mike rated it really liked it Shelves: Gallagher persuasively shows how whatever we focus on is—quite literally—how we spend our lives.
Our attention, in other words, is like currency. So the ways we choose to spend it determine the caliber and character of our experience. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi introduced us to Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience in New developments in neuroscience have since revealed even more about how brains function.
Yet Rapt draws from ancient wisdom traditions as well as from cutting-edge research in brain science. And Gallagher adduces compelling examples from the arts and humanities as well as controlled laboratory experiments. View 1 comment. May 26, Clara rated it liked it Shelves: Rapt provides a survey of a wide breadth of research on attention, yet manages to obfuscate more than it reveals. In one chapter, attention and conscious experience are synonymous; in another, implicit learning is the apogee of well-directed attention.
The author broaches claims with no substantive evidence, such as the idea that perpetual interactions in a multimedia context breed superficial brains.
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Such claims are bereft of the surveyed research because there is no research to back them up! G Rapt provides a survey of a wide breadth of research on attention, yet manages to obfuscate more than it reveals. Gallagher ends with a treatise on meditation, extolling the profound benefits of meditation without even attempting to explain the underlying mechanisms.
This second example only bothered me because the phrase was used in five paragraphs in a row. Either form is banal. Apr 29, Aaron rated it liked it Recommended to Aaron by: Like most people who read Rapt , I came to the book prehooked. I've never been much of an ace at focus — I was a poor student all the way through college, when I not so much snapped suddenly to attention as graduated to a curriculum based more on a few large tests than endless worksheets to be turned in on the hour — and I was suspected of ADHD more than once as a child and teen.
Like many, I never really got a conclusive answer. I certainly didn't feel like I had an attention problem, just that Like most people who read Rapt , I came to the book prehooked. I certainly didn't feel like I had an attention problem, just that a lot of stuff that I was expected to pay attention to was boring.
While I've spent much of life feeling scattered, forgetting to do things and demonstrating a definite overcommitment to considering how bored I'll be as the foremost consideration in most of my major life decisions, I've always managed to get through everything okay. Until recently. It came to me at work, 25 browser windows open at a time, that I wasn't actually doing any one thing for longer than seven minutes or so.
After becoming aware of this mostly unconscious trend in my task management, I tried to make it stop and failed completely. Focus never came, and I could almost feel a frantic buzzing to do something else at the very moment I tried to exert myself. Once I became aware of it at work, I quickly noticed I was doing the same thing at home. So I came to Rapt , like many, in the posture of supplication.
And Rapt has a great hook. It is, I'm sure, selling like prohibition whiskey. Feel distracted?
Have trouble focusing? Wonder if all of this multitasking is having an effect on your brain chemistry? Buy my book! I can dress your attentional problems up in The Omnivore's Dilemma style science-lite and fix you right up!
The book practically sells itself on premise alone. It's a much closer question whether it actually delivers. Gallagher is quick to identify the trifecta of major attentional issues: Unfortunately, her positions on these issues aren't very interesting. Drugs are helpful when used correctly, electronic devices are doing something to our brain chemistry, and we are probably overmedicating children.
The book is probably best in the early going — the pseudo-science of perception and focus is well dissected with cute but effective analogies about birds, the distinction between top-down and bottom-up attention is well-integrated into our experience of a hectic, electronic world, and the lengthy discussion about the essential elasticity of brain activity — that it learns through repetition and is profoundly altered by focus and conscious awareness — is laid out with enough precision to justify its position at the center of Gallagher's ultimate argument that only a mindful life can ever be a good or complete life.
And if this sounds like a Buddhist trope repackaged as neurology mated with self-help, you're already well ahead of the game — after a lot of discussion about ADHD, drugs, perception and some terrible digressions into cultural relativism Asians are like this, Americans are like this, it's very hard to be an American, what with all this noise and toys , Gallagher ultimate arrives at the fairly complete conclusion that meditation is the answer.
For everything. She has the good sense to seem a little embarrassed that this is the sum total of what she has to show for all of the build-up, but that hint of ambivalence actually gives the book a lot of its strength. I'm as wowed as you guys are!
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Oh, and turn off your goddamn E-Mail. My big gripe with this isn't the meditation bit — there are literally thousands of years of empirical evidence sitting solidly at her side on that claim, and I'm glad the science and the practice have come around to the same felicitous conclusion, especially when the other option is Ritalin — but rather on the idea that focus is the key to a healthy life.
Absent from her lauding statements about Asian I'm almost tempted to say Oriental here, her distinctions are that sweeping vs American capacity for focus is the seemingly obvious problem of obsessiveness, Japanese and Korean students committing suicide in the face of poor exam scores, the overwhelming social pressures that create that singular focus and the various physical and psychological problems that come in with it.
He grinned proudly, as if personally responsible. Reddish-yellow sunlight filtered through the thick quartz windows into the sleep-compartment.
Tony Rossi yawned, stirred a little, then opened his black eyes and sat up quickly. With one motion he tossed the covers back and slid to the warm metal floor. He clicked off his alarm clock and hurried to the closet. It looked like a nice day. The landscape outside was motionless, undisturbed by winds or dust-shift. The boy's heart pounded excitedly. He pulled his trousers on, zipped up the reinforced mesh, struggled into his heavy canvas shirt, and then sat down on the edge of the cot to tug on his boots.
He closed the seams around their tops and then did the same with his gloves. Next he adju Five o'clock Ed Loyce washed up, tossed on his hat and coat, got his car out and headed across town toward his TV sales store.
He was tired. His back and shoulders ached from digging dirt out of the basement and wheeling it into the back yard. But for a forty-year-old man he had done okay. Janet could get a new vase with the money he had saved; and he liked the idea of repairing the foundations himself!
The Captain peered into the eyepiece of the telescope. He adjusted the focus quickly. He sighed and pushed the eyepiece away. But it's not a pretty sight. He bent down to look, squinting. Let's go back at once. A little whimsy, now and then, makes for good balance. Theoretically, you could find this type of humor anywhere. But only a topflight science-fictionist, we thought, could have written this story, in just this way…. It was quite by accident I discovered this incredible invasion of Earth by lifeforms from another planet.
I wrote to the Government, and they sent back a pamphlet on the repair and maintenance of frame houses. I was sitting in my easy-chair, idly turning the pages of a paperbacked book someone had left Taylor sat back in his chair reading the morning newspaper.
The warm kitchen and the smell of coffee blended with the comfort of not having to go to work. This was his Rest Period, the first for a long time, and he was glad of it. He folded the second section back, sighing with contentment.
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