Importance of Focusing on Focusing – What Does Google Know?

To break down the moving parts of the nurses’ work experience …

To free us up and open ourselves to new thoughts and practical solutions,

I study Jean Watson, Daniel Goleman and others.


Daniel Goleman (2013), known for his writings on emotional intelligence, says that there are

3 domains of focus that build on the basic mechanics of our mental life:

 the Inner        the Other       the Outer

 They each generate vital abilities. The first two are the fundamentals of emotional intelligence.

The Inner –

Our inner life involves self-awareness, which is the foundation for self-management.

Inner focus keeps us aware of our intuition, beliefs, values and better decision-making.

The Other –

The other life involves empathy, which is the basis for relationship skills.

This focus feeds our connections with the people in our lives.

The Outer –

The outer world involves the external systems and forces that impact and challenge our mental capacities. These consist of our work, community, church, economy, etc. Systems knowledge and awareness help us adapt.


The Inner and Other domains inform

our Outer focus in how we navigate our world.

 “A well-lived life demands we be nimble in each”,

“We flounder if we cannot attune ourselves to these forces” (Goleman, 2013, p. 4.).

That being said….

images-14 copy 3

Jean Watson has identified that nursing’s thwarted evolution as a practice, discipline and science is related to our failure to develop the foundational “human tasks” required for caring-healing work with self and other (Watson, 2005, pp. 132-139; 2008, pp. 231- 241).

I interpret this as meaning:

we as nurses have not developed our Inner and Other personal skills enough to meet the requirements needed to navigate our Outer world of the healthcare system and nursing’s higher level Caring.

I know as a nurse and nurse leader, I have experienced myself and other nurses often stumbling in our efforts to being our best personal selves. This affects our ability to navigate our demanding work and ability to care meaningfully.

We know that the process of growing Inner and Other clarity, also grows our ability to navigate our Outer skills in our work and in our caring – healing.

When we focus on all 3 domains

we are happier with ourselves, our peers and our work.

images-3 copy 7

Google knows this.  They have built a course at Google University called Search Inside Yourself available to all employees (Goleman, 2013).


Goleman D. Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. New York: Harper; 2013.
Watson J. Caring Science as Sacred Science. Philadelphia: FA Davis Company; 2005.
Watson J. Nursing – The Philosophy and Science of Caring, Revised Edition. Boulder: University Press of Colorado; 2008.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *