Learn the key ideas of the book by Gennaro Romagnoli

Facci caso

Concentrating on what really matters in life

How much attention do we really pay to important things? This problem affects us all, and we usually attribute it to a lifestyle that keeps us on our toes, where we are constantly bombarded with information and stimuli. “Pay Attention. How not to get distracted by nonsense and pay attention to what really matters in life” does not only provide us with rules to follow in order to improve our level of attention, but it also explains how and why our brain reacts to our external environment, and how this affects the world itself.

Facci caso
Read in 16 min.
Listen in 21 min.

Many useful tips to:

  • Train your attention, because your quality of life depends on it.
  • Take responsibility for yourself.
  • Recognise the vastness of your inner world, to regain confidence in your abilities.

The author of the book:

Gennaro Romagnoli graduated in Psychology at the University of Padua in 2004 with first class honours. He then qualified as a psychotherapist at the AMISI European School of Hypnotic Psychotherapy, and has been teaching at the ICNOS School of Brief Systemic-Strategic Psychotherapy in Rome since 2009. Well-known for his book “Pinsel”, he also has one of the most listened to personal growth and psychology podcasts in Italy, and in 2019, he started another podcast on the subject entitled “Meditate today”.

The evolution of attention: maintaining awareness in the era of distraction has become necessary in a world vastly different from prehistoric times, when being distracted was necessary for survival

This might sound strange, but the ability to shift one’s attention from one thing to another is the result of evolution: if prehistoric man had lost himself in admiring a beautiful landscape, a flower, or any one of the wonders of nature, it could have cost him dearly.

Unfortunately however, today’s world is really putting human capacity to stay focussed to the test, because it continues to provide various types of entertainment, and exposes us to a deluge of information, in an attempt to steer our daily actions: as politicians and mass media know, the hunt for our attention has begun.

It takes very little to understand our subjective reality, meaning the world in which we perceive and experience what surrounds us, and it varies based on what we give our attention to: the quality and quantity of attention that we pay to things, and to people, alters our perception of their value.

Human beings should be able to regulate their levels of attention, based on needs and circumstances. For example, when we learn to drive a car, we are entirely focussed on it, because one small distraction could have serious consequences. As it gradually becomes familiar to us however, driving becomes increasingly automatic, and the person at the wheel is able to chat with the passenger beside them, or listen to the radio. But what if it suddenly starts pouring with rain? The driver is likely to ask the passenger to be quiet, to lower the volume of the music, and switch from “autopilot” to “manual mode”.

The problem nowadays, is that not everyone is able to make the most of the marvellous mechanism of attention, or at least not all of the time.


The key ideas of "Facci caso"

The evolution of attention: maintaining awareness in the era of distraction has become necessary in a world vastly different from prehistoric times, when being distracted was necessary for survival
Attention processes to navigate this world are not passive, information selection is a complex procedure, which enables us not to look at the world as pure data
The usefulness of automatisms is undeniable, because they allow us to save energy, but applying them means relinquishing part of the world around us
The organ of control: how to take the reins from automatisms and direct our attention to what we choose to focus on
Our attention resides in the brain and therefore in our body: it feels everything that happens to it, and tiredness, emotions and a vast array of options, are obstacles that need to be bypassed to make it work better
Anders Ericsson and the deliberate practice of awareness: it is possible to develop “superpowers” using tricks like “the tomato technique”
INW: Intention, Now, Without Judgement: the acronym for exercising mindfulness and being aware of every gesture
With a light heart: freeing your mind by journaling is an activity that allows you to empty your brain of unnecessary data
Is it possible to escape from difficult situations? The outcome of a relationship mainly depends on your approach to other people
Take-home message

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