Focus

Source: KQED Mindshift, Dec 2013

The ability to focus is a secret element to success that often gets ignored. “The more you can concentrate the better you’ll do on anything, because whatever talent you have, you can’t apply it if you are distracted,” Goleman said. He pointed to research on athletes showing that when given a concentration test, the results accurately predicted how well each would perform in a game the next day.

 Perhaps the most well known study on concentration is a longitudinal study conducted with over 1,000 children in New Zealand by Terrie Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi, psychology and neuroscience professors at Duke University. The study tested children born in 1972 and 1973 regularly for eight years, measuring their ability to pay attention and to ignore distractions. Then, the researchers tracked those same children down at the age of 32 to see how well they faired in life. The ability to concentrate was the strongest predictor of success.

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