Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman

Book Review

From one of the most respected figures of authority in the field of psychology comes another book that is bound to get the attention of business and psychology readers from around the world. Daniel Goleman returns with an important topic in the field of self-development – ‘Focus’ – and he doesn’t disappoint.


Self-development readers would know that one of the most widely held beliefs of becoming a master in any given field where an individual can learn and improve their skill(s) to an expert level is the dedication of 10,000 hours to practice – be it language, sport, music, or any skill. Several self-help/business authors and motivational speakers like Robin Sharma, Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy are only a few of the people who have promoted this concept in their books before and for the first time, this theory is being challenged with the backing of brain science and human psychology. While Daniel Goleman’s ‘Focus’ touches on many areas of human brain and human behavior which lead to distractions and incompletion of tasks and general routines, he argues that true mastery as a result of focusing on something comes from mild alterations and tweaking in the way we do things – not necessarily spending hundreds of hours repeating it.

When speaking to people, are you already thinking of what you want to say to them next? What about looking at something behind a person when they’re speaking to you? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, perhaps it’s time you understand why your focus is easily distracted. In an office environment, loss of focus can affect other generally required characteristics such as multitasking. Understanding the biological reasons for the way our brains function where focus is distracted is how I found this book to come handy.

I’m still influenced by other authors in their teachings of mastery and focus needed to build up on a specific skill. That may be the reason why I might just have to read this book again to buy in to Daniel Goleman’s core argument in ‘Focus’.

Recommendation: Anyone interested in the field of psychology and personal development – specifically, for habit reforms and changes in work/life daily routines.

Rating: 7.5/10

NB: For those interested in further reading, make sure to pick up a copy of Daniel Goleman’s ‘Emotional Intelligence’.


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