Clearer, Closer, Better: How Successful People See the World (Paperback)
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Successful people literally see the world differently. Now an award-winning scientist explains how anyone can leverage this “perception gap” to their advantage.
“Get ready for this book to change how you see everything you see."—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take
When it comes to setting and meeting goals, we may see—quite literally—our plans, our progress, and our potential in the wrong ways. We perceive ourselves as being closer to or further from the end than we may actually be depending on our frame of reference. We handicap ourselves by looking too often at the big picture and at other times too long at the fine detail. But as award-winning social psychologist Emily Balcetis explains, there is great power in these misperceptions. We can learn to leverage perceptual illusions if we know when and how to use them to our advantage.
Drawing on her own rigorous research and cutting-edge discoveries in vision science, cognitive research, and motivational psychology, Balcetis offers unique accounts of the perceptual habits, routines, and practices that successful people use to set and meet their ambitions. Through case studies of entrepreneurs, athletes, artists, and celebrities—as well as her own colorful experience of trying to set and reach a goal—she brings to life four powerful yet largely untapped visual tactics that can be applied according to the situation.
Narrow your focus: Closing the aperture of your attention helps you exercise effectively, save money, and find more time in your day.
Widen the bracket: Seeing the forest instead of the trees reduces temptations and helps you recognize when a change of course is in order.
Materialize your plan and your progress: Creating checklists and objective assessments inspires better planning and adjusts your gauge of what’s really left to be done.
Control your frame of reference: Knowing where to direct attention improves your ability to read others’ emotions, negotiate better deals, foster stronger relationships, and overcome a fear of public speaking.
A mind-blowing and original tour of perception, Clearer, Closer, Better will help you see the possibilities in what you can’t see now. Inspiring, motivating, and always entertaining, it demonstrates that if we take advantage of our visual experiences, they can lead us to live happier, healthier, and more productive lives every day.
About the Author
Emily Balcetis, PhD, is an associate professor of psychology at New York University. She received her PhD from Cornell University in 2006, and is the author of more than seventy scientific publications. Her work has been covered by Forbes, Newsweek, Time, Telemundo, National Public Radio, Scientific American, The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, and GQ. She has received numerous awards, including from the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences, the International Society for Self and Identity, the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. Balcetis has lectured at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago, among other renowned institutions, and she delivered a TEDx New York talk that has been viewed by several million people. She lives in New York City with her husband and their son.
“Emily Balcetis’ Clearer, Closer, Better is as entertaining as it is important—a book that teaches you how to see the world, both literally and figuratively, in the service of cultivating a life of happiness, meaning, health, and prosperity. Balcetis writes with such verve that you’ll forget you’re learning, but along the way you’ll discover how titans of business, the arts, sports, and fashion perceive the world to maximize their prospects of success. One of the most important—and engaging—books I’ve read in a very long time.”—Adam Alter, New York Times bestselling author of Irresistible and Drunk Tank Pink
“Clearer, Closer, Better offers an incisive analysis of the many ways we get things wrong—misinterpret, don’t look closely enough, see what we want to see, respond to the way things are phrased or positioned instead of the thing itself—as well as a highly applicable road map to getting them right.”—Amy Cuddy, bestselling author of Presence
“If you’re staring down a goal that seems overwhelming, this book will give you a new way of looking at it. A rising star in the field of social psychology, Emily Balcetis gets real about the challenges of applying scientific insights to the messiness of daily life. In Clearer, Closer, Better, she offers sage, practical advice that I’ve already incorporated into mine.”—Elizabeth Dunn, co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending
“Ambitious . . . relatable and often thought-provoking.”—Kirkus Reviews
“With insight, charm, and deep wisdom, Emily Balcetis wraps big ideas in sparkling prose to produce a book that’s too good to miss.”—Daniel Gilbert, PhD, author of Stumbling on Happiness
“Get ready for this book to change how you see everything you see. Emily Balcetis is a world-class expert on vision and perception, and her lucid language and striking studies are eye-opening.”—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, and host of the TED podcast WorkLife