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Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by [Gallagher, Winifred]
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Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 268 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description


aAs the 19th-century philosopher William James wisely understood, what you selectively notice and attend to is what makes up your experience. It is your life! Winifred Gallagher gets it. She has written a provocative, illuminating, and captivating book on the power and importance of attention in multiple domains of life a relationships, work, leisure, health. What makes some people happier, healthier, more fulfilled, more creative, or more engaged than others? Because of what they pay attention to.a
aSonja Lyubomirsky, author of "The How of Happiness"
"Many will benefit from this thoughtful book. Among other 21st century challenges, the increasing velocity of communication threatens to drive us into a permanent sea- storm of distraction. Thank you, Winifred Gallagher, for bringing our attention back to the essential matter of attention."
aDavid Shenk, author, "Data Smog" and "The Forgetting"
aThis wonderful and inspiring book asks readers to remember something so simple and yet so little appreciatedawhat you focus upon profoundly affects your quality of life. I canat think anyone who wouldnat benefit from the message contained herein. Itas a powerful and much needed prescription for these tumultuous times.a
aSarah Susanka, author of "The Not So Big Life" and "The Not So Big House series"

About the Author

Winifred Gallagher's books include House Thinking, Just the Way You Are (a New York Times Notable Book), Working on God, and The Power of Place. She has written for numerous publications, such as Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. She lives in Manhattan, and Dubois, Wyoming.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 604 KB
  • Print Length: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (9 Mar. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001V6P12E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #143,087 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is just fine, nothing special to add.
It is just a little bit over price, it was delivery on time
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On very rare occasions I finish reading a book which I know I will return to more than once, and Winifred Gallagher's "Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life" is one of these.

Her central thesis is that in order to make the most of life and what you do during it, the quality of experience is based on how you attend to what you are doing, thinking and being.

As she says at the beginning of the book, the ability to focus on anything in a state of being "rapt" is dependent on interest,skill and culturally and socially aquired ways of experiencing the world. This state is a process by wich you focus attention on a text, a sensory experience or activity to the exclusion or near exclusion of all else for a finite time. It is also about way of giving of yourself, and loving.There is also an element of fear included in being rapt, as beautifully stated early on in the book when she analyses a work by painter George Stubbs of a horse being attacked by a lion.

In short the reoccuring theme is, you are what you pay attention to and this is a guiding principle for many of us throughout our lives, consciously and unconsciously.

At the heart of her theoretical approach is the work of nineteenth century psychologist and philosopher William James who is mentioned several times. He is an author I have read of rather than read, and now due to her use of his work feel drawn to.

Gallagher's project is to reveal how through meditation, psychology and the benefitsof belief religious or otherwise we can enhance our abilities to learn and focus on the life enhancing aspects of our experience. From this point of view it is a deeply religious book but falls short of being explicitly so.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book, very educational and entertaining. Reader is marvelous. Really enjoyed it!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is about attention and how the way we use it affects life in all of its aspects.

The author uses state of the art research findings to describe how our attention works and how to make best use of it when we want to feel better and get the most from our day/life, when we work as well as in our personal lives. Moreover, the author discusses some of the common attention-pitfalls that have a significant detrimental effect on our lives.

The book is very well written, which makes it seem like you are having an enlightning conversation rather than as if you were consulting the latest research.

Personally, this book has confirmed my belief that it really matters what we attend to. Common sense might say there is only one way to experience life, but the opposite is actually the case. Making the effort of carefully choosing what to attend to (and what not to attend to) is no less than life-changing.
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