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Why Focus Is The Hidden Driver Of Excellence

Why Focus Is The Hidden Driver Of Excellence

Dan Goleman is an internationally known psychologist and science journalist. He is co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He is also a board member of the Mind & Life Institute. As a science journalist, Dr.Goleman was awarded the Washburn Award. He was also awarded the Lifetime Career Award from the American Psychologists Association and was made a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has authored many books, the most lauded of which is Emotional Intelligence which was on the New York Times Bestseller List for a year and a half. Some of his other titles include ‘The Meditative Mind’ and ‘Focus, The Hidden Driver of Excellence’.

In this interview Melli and Dan talk about why focus is the key to excellence in any field and why we need to be aware of the effects of technology on our brains.

Dan speaks about how we can make HH the Dalai Lama’s vision for a compassionate world a reality and how we can become more conscious consumers and better custodians of the planet.

In the second video enjoy a mindfulness practice led by Australian mindfulness teacher Hannah Perkins.

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Show Notes

Join The Mindfulness Summit Journey here

Come and join the community discussions at any time on our Facebook page

Check out Melli’s blog, events and retreats at MrsMindfulness.com

You can check out Dan’s books and events on his website here

You can go to Dan’s work on ‘more than sound’ here

You can check out his book ‘A Force For Good’ here on Amazon

Dan mentioned the Environmental Working Group’s ‘skin deep’ website which you can find here

You might also like to explore…

If you’d like to know more about Hannahs teaching go to huntermindfulness.com/home/hannah-perkins




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Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

Upgrade for Full Access Pass

Buy full access pass

Purchase a full access pass to unlock downloads for the full interview transcripts, audio, video and separate audio meditation tracks.

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132 Responses

  1. Toni Rand

    Hi Melli. I am really enjoying the mindfulness summit and gaining a lot from it – thank you so much for putting it together. Unfortunately I am having the same trouble as some of the other people in accessing day 24 – is there any way we can view this talk please. Thanks.

  2. Hey guys, gosh darn technology aye? We apologize! So so so sorry. We’re all trying to figure this out as fast as possible and we’ll leave this session up for an extra 24 hours to make up for this error. I think we should have it live again within the hour.

    1. Valerie Nee

      I am so glad you left Day 24 up for another 24 hours as I was traveling yesterday and couldn’t tune in, and really didn’t want to miss Dan. I am brand new to mindfulness ( though to quote your first guest I have been worshiping the teapot for years). Your summit has motivated me to start drinking the tea! Thank you so much, Melli.

  3. Kimble Perry

    Strangely, the 1st time I tried to access the video, I found many comments about Dan and his talk. This time round in trying to access Dan Goleman’s interview/talk, those comments have disappeared. Now, I see that others like me have not been able to access his talk, either. I am in UK so it is 01:00 (a.m.) So I am going to go to bed and hopefully still be able to access this video. Goleman’s material has been very important to me for decades.

  4. Kimble Perry

    Melli is going find out how many people are watching her fantastic project!!!!!! Nothing like a glitch to bring us all out of the woodwork and ask “where is it? How do I ….?”
    All the best to you Melli, You are a champ!

  5. Carol

    Thank you so much Melli for this wonderful programme you have put together. I have found it extremely useful and packed with practical tips. Unfortunately, I missed the Mindful Parent talk with Kristen Race too, just wonder if it would be possible for it to be accessible again, please?

  6. Kathy Glennon

    8:15 PM EAst coast….I am watching the video but initially got the one on parenting..I thought I’d just hit the wrong one. But I don’t see the mindfulness based practice by Hannah that was referenced.

    I am enjoying the variety of speakers and perspectives.

  7. lucia azevedo

    10:36 PM Sao Paulo, Brazil. Couldn’t see Dan’s interview, the sound and image are not in sync, the image keeps freezing..
    And couldn’t listen to the audio only, the link didn’t work.
    I am also having trouble downloading the other interviews, I signed up as affiliate and downloaded the first ones, but day 5 and after the link does not work. The link for the audio does,
    But despite the technical issues I am just loving this summit!!! I can’t thank you enough for bringing so much inspiration to my life! I did the 8 weeks program of mindfulness last year, but this is enriching and deepening my understanding and my practice. Very very good!

  8. Elizabeth Hitchman

    I enjoyed the talk today with Dan, it was insightful and inspiring. I’m enjoying the summit and gaining an abundance of knowledge.

    I wish l could have seen the second video with Hannah Perkins, unfortunately I could not see this particular video on my screen.

    Will proceed with another meditation via the website. Thanks Meli for providing mediation practice audios on this summit site.

  9. Len Moskowitz

    In my opinion, his recommendation of working on compassion and loving-kindness for everyone (presumably including those who are evil and intend you harm), is misguided, to say the least.

    1. Cerys

      Hi Len – I’ve been very much harmed by abusive people acting out their evil intentions so I really get what you’re saying. There is potential for ignoring issues of responsibility and consequence. But I learned in this Summit that compassion and loving kindness includes self-care not just other-care. Had I not been so caught up in “turning the other cheek” (a construct I learned from religion) I might have felt empowered to better protect my safety and avoid being a human doormat! Dan mentioned the Dalai Lama’s compassion perspective includes taking action so it may not be as passive as it sounds. Idk food for though 🙂

  10. MIna Gurung

    This session was very insightful! Thank you Dan for highlighting the importance of cultivating Loving Kindness alongside mindfulness practice. I remember attending Dr. Rick Hansen’s seminar last year and he’d mentioned that “there are some great meditators but also are very mean to others”. Combining both these practices can certainly help benefit for self and other beings.

  11. Barbara smith

    Thank you for helping me through life. I am getting so much from each person. You are doing so much in making us aware of what is possible. Again thank you for your perseverance I putting this together.

    1. Gigi Melugin

      How wonderful to wake up to Hannah’s meditation!
      Melli, I KNOW you & others have put a LOT into this summit, & I think I speak for many in great gratitude for bringing us all together in this. I think this could be the start of a “new age” in this One World we live together in. Thank you & Matt for sharing your vision — I believe you truly WILL make a difference! <3 _/I\_

  12. Rutty Bessoudo

    Sorry, but several times when Dan was speaking was terrible. Coulsn’t understand what he was saying. Is there a chance you could improve the quality of this audio?

  13. Linda

    I wanted to say how much I have enjoyed hearing different people explaining different ways to be mindful.

    I find it sad that there seems to be a lot of people who would like to own the full access pass to the Mindfulness Summit but cannot afford it.

    There should be some way to make owning the full access pass available to all people that can use it like through a donation or some other way.

    I do realize a lot of generous people have donated there time to make this Mindfulness Summit a success and I am grateful for that but clearly there a need here that’s being overlooked.

  14. Cerys

    Thanks Melli. I could access the video but parts of it were garbled. Not sure if that’s a tech issue in my end or the tape?

    I’m glad Dan spoke about the issue of mindfulnes+ego absent from empathy. My question is are there pitfalls to mindfulness practices?

    I think Dan raised one. And Sam Harris raised another when he talked about people not becoming so consumed by a mindfulness focus that they disengage from tackling the scientific and technology development of their careers.

    I’m wondering if other speakers noted potential pitfalls and their thoughts on dealingbwith those?

  15. Åsa Holmberg

    Where did my comment from yesterday go? Now I can’t see if you answered it, Melli. The one about creating a closed Facebook-group for everyone in this class, so we can continue to peptalk and share experiences even after the summit is over. Love Åsa.

  16. Kimble Perry

    Thank you Melli and her team for dealing with the access issue to Dan’s talk.
    Due to my professional formation I found his talk dense and stimulating. I am about to partake in the meditation offered on this page, as well.

    There is benefit to hearing all the positives of extending kindness to the world. We need to hear it again and again, just to give the brain cells the A.O.K to accept, model, and pattern this principle despite all the commercial and political input to the contrary. My observation is that we need, however, to acknowledge that brain cells and their activity of connecting occurs on a subconscious, non-conscious level/plane. I cannot consciously order, command, or make my brain systems to rebuild as I plan. What I can consciously do is offer it reasons for linking up in new ways. The interweave of ‘I’ can consciously demonstrate how old methods of Being may have once worked, but are not working beneficially anymore , only then respectfully INVITE the brain to use this information , offered in kindness and not manipulation. Bringing to the light of consciousness Freudian and Socratic style is only one step of the process of growth.
    It is wonderful to hear respect for all the different ways of finding flow….. so important to validate each person’s path towards creating the space for maturity to take root that he describes. Otherwise, we risk just “getting old” and feeling worthless and devalued.

    What I question is the idea that the only way to work on patterns is through conscious awareness. I am experiencing methods which instead value the wisdom of the unconscious. A person described to me recently, that the body only wants to grow and heal, all we have to do is ‘get out of its way’. As Dan G notes, so much of our wandering mind IS about worrying (I dare say because it ‘knows’ that it is only the instrument for the unconscious to do the actual healing ). The unconscious has its freedom to do what only it can do, creating biophysical balance, when a space in activity is created as the conscious mind rests in its own flow, trusting the unconscious to act. Only then we can realise how beneficial empowering the unconscious is.

  17. Pauline

    Wonderful minus question marks please! A truly authentic deep teaching on Mindfulness and Compassion. I loved the meditation too, I will be listening to these over and over again, many thanks Dan. As a practicing Tibetan Buddhist this days teaching resonated deeply for me, at times a bit frustrated by the jazzing up of Mindfulness by some of the teachings on this rather fabulous summit.

  18. Maria Cristina+Silveira

    Here in Brazil I could watch this brilliant talk and it made me very happy. Thank you both, Mellissa and Daniel Goleman. Very interesting one of the last messages about the children’s attention and the mission of schools. I am a teacher and love this idea! I am waiting for the brazilian edition of Force for good with the admirable Dalai Lama.

  19. Sally LaFaver

    Hi Melli
    ` I’m unable to get the sound for today’s video session with Katherine Weare. I tried to get yesterday’s also … but the sound isn’t coming through. I don’t know about the others … I am able to get the audio for Mark Williams. And also for the interview with you. I’m puzzled. Anyone else having this difficulty? Many thanks, Sally

  20. Helena Saray

    Thank you Melli for the wonderful conversation with Dan Goleman. It was full of knowledge and wisdom. I like that he touched upon the two levels of mindfulness; (1) one’s own mind and (2) interpersonal combined with love and kindness practice. I also agree with him that all this consciousness needs to be taught at a young age and brought into the educational system in order to have a larger impact in our future generations.

    Its so inspiring and wonderful to see that people like you and all these wonderful speakers you have gathered have been contributing to this change, as has so many wonderful scholars, teachers, and masters who have come before us.

    Thank you Hannah Perkins for the peaceful guided Meditation.

  21. JannP

    Finally got to Daniel but my iPhone just did not want to load the talk. It balked and stopped and skipped. I’ll try it again at a later date with my Full Access. How long will I be able to access these talks? Thanks for the variety of perspectives. How hopeful is this conference !!

  22. Wendy Holladay

    I have just watched Dan Coleman interview, truly inspirational I love the idea of Mindfulness with Kindness and not ego. I totally understand that. Thanks again for the summit.

  23. Wendy Holladay

    The meditation was great. Feel ready for the day now. I have missed not being able to connect with myself the last few days but it’s great to be back. Off to work now to share the day with vigour. Thanks

  24. maria

    Thank you Melli. I love this interview with Dan Goleman. I am looking forward to reading his new books. I also believe cultivating kindness is the important piece in all of this. What a wonderful world it would be with more connection and kindness. I hope you plan to do more on-line mindfulness ‘stuff’ after this summit because I am really enjoying tuning into seeing you each day. This interview series has been sooooo great.

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