• Temperamentally anxious people can have a hard time staying motivated, period, because their intense focus on their worries distracts them from their goals

    Winifred Gallagher
  • People who are diagnosed as having "generalized anxiety disorder" are afflicted by three major problems that many of us experience to a lesser extent from time to time. First and foremost, says Rapgay, the natural human inclination to focus on threats and bad news is strongly amplified in them, so that even significant positive events get suppressed. An inflexible mentality and tendency toward excessive verbalizing make therapeutic intervention a further challenge

    Winifred Gallagher
  • If you really want to focus on something, says Castellanos, the optimum amount of time to spend on it is ninety minutes. "Then change tasks. And watch out for interruptions once you're really concentrating, because it will take you twenty minutes to recover

    Winifred Gallagher
  • Because you actually might not know what activities truly engage your attention and satisfy you, he says, it can be helpful to keep a diary of what you do all day and how you feel while doing it. Then, try to do more of what's rewarding, even if it takes an effort, and less of what isn't. Where optimal experience is concerned, he says, "'I just don't have the time' often means 'I just don't have the self-discipline

    Winifred Gallagher
  • Your motivations--get that promotion, throw the best parties, run for public office--aren't impersonal abstractions but powerfully reflect who you are and what you focus on. An individual's goals figure prominently in the theories of personality first developed by the Harvard psychologist Henry Murray. According to his successor David McClelland, what Friedrich Nietzsche called "the will to power," which he considered the major driving force behind human behavior, is one of the three basic motivations, along with achievement and affiliation, that differentiate us as individuals.A simple experiment show show these broad emotional motivations can affect what you pay attention to or ignore on very basic levels. When they examine images of faces that express different kinds of emotion, power-oriented subjects are drawn to nonconfrontational visages, such as "surprise faces," rather than to those that suggest dominance, as "anger faces" do. In contrast, people spurred by affiliation gravitate toward friendly or joyful faces

    Winifred Gallagher
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