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Publication Date: February 25, 2020

Clearer, Closer, Better

How Successful People See the World

By Emily Balcetis
Narrated by Emily Balcetis /

Successful people literally see the world differently. Now an award-winning scientist explains how anyone can leverage this “perception gap” to their advantage.

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.

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