#228 Johann Hari on How To Reclaim Your Attention
CAUTION: Contains swearing and themes of an adult nature.
Why have we lost our ability to focus? What are the causes? And, most importantly, how do we get it back?
Today’s guest and author of the brilliant new book, Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention, went on a three-year journey to uncover the reasons why our teenagers now focus on one task for only 65 seconds, and why office workers on average manage only three minutes. Johann Hari interviewed more than 200 leading experts in the world on attention, and learned that everything we think about this subject is wrong.
We think our inability to focus is a personal failing – a flaw in each one of us. It is not. Johann argues that this has been done to all of us by powerful external forces. Our focus has been stolen. He discovered there are twelve causes of our modern-day attention crisis, all of which have robbed some of our attention. In this conversation, Johann explains some of those key causes and importantly he shares the steps that we need to take, both individually but also collectively as a society, to get our attention back.
This is such an important topic. Our ability to focus and pay attention plays a crucial role in every aspect of our life: reaching our goals, maintaining close relationships, thinking deeply, as well as our ability to be kind, compassionate and empathetic. Our ability to pay attention is at the very heart of living a happy and meaningful life.
This is a thoroughly engaging conversation and Johann has a unique gift for storytelling. I think you will really enjoy listening.
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