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Rapt

Attention and the Focused Life

by Winifred Gallagher

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Your world, and even your self, is largely constructed from the thoughts and feelings, people and things you've focused on throughout your life. Much more than you probably suspect, you can, as you move forward, actively direct your attention to create the kind of experience you want and become the person you want to be.

Drawing from the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, Rapt illuminates attention's essential function: transforming the vast, chaotic world into your own orderly, user-friendly personal version. Your brain's selective gatekeeper, it's involved in virtually every aspect of life?learning and memory, thought and emotion, work and relationships. As the expression 'paying attention' suggests, you have a limited store of this cognitive currency, which you should invest wisely, because the stakes are high. On the deepest level, what you focus on can literally change your brain, and thus your behavior. On the experiential level, taking charge of your attention is the key to personal power and freedom?and the hallmark of the successful and satisfied.

Along with organizing your internal and external worlds, attention opens the doors to the sublime experience best described as 'rapt.' By cultivating this ability to be completely engrossed?whether by rolling waves or a soaring aria, by rearranging your furniture or writing a poem?you improve your capacity for concentration, broaden your inner horizons, lift your spirits, and most important, feel what it means to be fully alive.

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Your world, and even your self, is largely constructed from the thoughts and feelings, people and things you've focused on throughout your life. Much more than you probably suspect, you can, as you move forward, actively direct your attention to create the kind of experience you want and become the person you want to be.

Drawing from the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, Rapt illuminates attention's essential function: transforming the vast, chaotic world into your own orderly, user-friendly personal version. Your brain's selective gatekeeper, it's involved in virtually every aspect of life?learning and memory, thought and emotion, work and relationships. As the expression 'paying attention' suggests, you have a limited store of this cognitive currency, which you should invest wisely, because the stakes are high. On the deepest level, what you focus on can literally change your brain, and thus your behavior. On the experiential level, taking charge of your attention is the key to personal power and freedom?and the hallmark of the successful and satisfied.

Along with organizing your internal and external worlds, attention opens the doors to the sublime experience best described as 'rapt.' By cultivating this ability to be completely engrossed?whether by rolling waves or a soaring aria, by rearranging your furniture or writing a poem?you improve your capacity for concentration, broaden your inner horizons, lift your spirits, and most important, feel what it means to be fully alive.

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