August 26, 2012

Every time I am entering a bookstore, I always find myself in architecture/arts or self-help books section. 

But on that Saturday, a certain bookstore was on sale (up to now, actually). I grabbed the chance to browse for interesting ones. Then I saw this paperback on the 70% off shelf. Reading the title and back notes, I got interested and bought it right away. I actually thought that it was some kind of inspirational book but when I started reading it, I felt excited to discover that it's related to Neurology/Psychology. 

If you know me personally, you would probably notice that I am an avid Brain fan. A kid that is very much fascinated on how the brain works- its complexity, its mystery and all. The frustrated medical student in me is hyped again as well as my love for knowledge and discovery.

I'm not into "highlighting" notes. Even back when I was a student- most of my handouts may seem unread during exam weeks because there are no signs of underlines and whatsoever (well except for the folds, of course). But as they say, there's always an exception to the rule. Still at Chapter 5, you can already see a lot of highlights and post-its on what to further research. I've never been this dedicated to a material. One of the factors that made me interested is that most of the text written backs up my "philosophies" and provides evidences on what I believe in.

So here's a segue. See the book behind that book? It's a dictionary! The main reason of reverting to this hard-bounded reference is that I deleted all the apps on that touch glass thing- and yes, including the handy dandy dictionary. I know, it's time consuming to browse for words but there's a joy in flipping those pages.

Back in high school, probably one of "bonding moments" with my younger brother is the "Guess the Country's capital" game. And when we got bored with that, we shift to "Name that flags" game. Are we that lame? :)) But I tell you, It's fun + It's educational! Haha!

So back on the book I am talking about- It's all about Attention. While reading, I put the playlist on shuffle so that I wouldn't be distracted. with that 1800++ songs, almost half of them are unfamiliar to me. Tendency is, I wouldn't bother to sing-along and my focus will still be on the reading material. I was actually doing that way back in College- I'm playing Classical/instrumental songs so that the lyrics won't caught my attention.

But there are times when the bottom-up attention created by the favorite songs playing simultaneously- will keep you from digesting your material even if you repeatedly reading it. On situations like that, diverting to top-down attention by "blurring" the lyrics and treat it as a background music instead of your main focus- Haha! I'm learning!

a. Bottom-up attention- what are the most obvious thing
b. Top-down attention- what are the things you want to concentrate on

But there's a biggest distraction on my side. This "hipster wanna-be" filthy rag doll- complete with the beanie and the black-framed glasses. Meet Rina-chan, my pet. :))

Okay, Before I forgot, the title of the book is "Rapt: Attention and Focused Life" by Winifred Gallagher. You can purchase it at National Bookstore for 188.00 Php. (originally 600 something Php)

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