What can we learn about focus from Daniel Goleman?

Focus is a word that I often told Little Prince in spring 2017, especially during meal time. He was relatively slow in eating, and in the mornings I often need to rush to work.

It is not only him who needs to hone an essential skill of focusing, but also me.

In summer 2017, I observed that while Honey Panda and I have a lot of things to do for our jobs and at home, we often spent tiny amount of our time on our mobile phones/tablets (reading news, curious about others through social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and google [1]), when added is substantial. We often felt tired. For me who slept around midnight and had to wake up to feed Little Princess, I felt tired throughout the day and could not focus on my important (and soon to be urgent) work.

On 20170623, I watched several videos of Ms Yeah, possibly a lady boss, who has creatively used whatever she could find in her office to cook and kept a pig as a pet. The day before, I must return a collaborative report to a colleague, who is a hardworking mother, by 20170623, so that I could enjoy a family outing on 20176024. Although Ms Yeah’s ideas and their executions made me laugh (I particularly like the afternoon tea and food-based make-up videos), to focus on executing my plans, no more Ms Yeah’s videos for me until next summer!

On 20170712, I brought Little Princess to meet my parents who just arrived from overseas. They were thrilled to see her after the last time they met her in late March/early April. Little Princess babbled a lot to them and made many funny sounds. Seeing how happy my parents, especially after Dad lost 10% of his previous weight and Mom lost 2-3 kg from taking care of him after he fell unwell, I ignored my tiredness of commuting. I also wonder that I must focus on spending more time with them, bringing their grandchildren to play with them, and simultaneously complete my required work-related tasks.

I miss the moments when I could wake up early to bring Little Prince to interesting events and venues such as the Central Fire Station with a colonial-flavored architecture in May 2014, whereas Honey Panda snored at home as a consequence of his late night entertainment.

Reviewing on my life so far, there are still many things that I aspire to fulfill as listed in my bucket list.

To realize dreams, we need to focus!


On page 22, Daniel Goleman shared that “people are in flow relatively rarely in daily life. …Most of the time people are either stressed or bored, … only ~ 20% of people have flown moments at least once a day.” How to experience flow daily? Can we make it a habit? This question reminds me on the writing habit of Maya Angelou.

To have more flow:

  1. align what we do with what we enjoy.
  2. a career change.
  3. tackle a task that challenges our abilities to the max yet manageable.


Minimize being too analytic and self-critical

On page 30, we learned that “when the coach reviews plays from a game and only focuses on what not to do next time, it’s a recipe for players to choke.” This just-in-time reminder will help me to help Little Prince practice his storytelling for competitions, at least for our practice starting from 20170721.


More ideas @ ref2017*/daniel_goleman_focus*jpg


[1] While internet including social media can be a source of of inspirations (e.g. my sister’s and my participation in an international students’ program in 2010, which I knew from a high-flyer who attended Wellesley College and Harvard University), I noticed that Honey Panda and I, who started from relatively poor family in the past, ended up feeling jealous. We compared ourselves to others, especially those who had better starts than us (e.g. people from rich family, people who succeeded to grab opportunities).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: