For most people, this time of year signals a chance for some decent thinking time, either while sitting on a header or chaser bin, or hopefully while on holiday with your family. Don’t underestimate the value of your thinking time.
It is important to take these opportunities to clear your mind of all of the day to day “operational” thinking and think BIG. Do you have a list of goals that you want to achieve? Not just work, but also in life. Well you should!
Have you ever noticed how your brain focuses upon particular details and brings them to your attention? A simple example is when you decide you might like to buy a particular car, and then you see them everywhere. It’s not that they weren’t everywhere before, it’s just that your brain wasn’t bothering to bring them to your attention. We live in a hectic, massively overstimulating world, so we rely heavily on our brain function to only focus on things that matter to us. For these exact reasons, setting yourself goals is important.
Research has shown that those with clearly identified goals, and particularly those which are written down, are much more likely to achieve them. It is worth taking note of the fact that I used the word “written” as well, not typed. Handwriting requires a much greater level of brain function than typing, and will therefore be more likely to engage a stronger emotional commitment to the goal. Stick with me here, this isn't just some light and fluffy feel good stuff someone made up. It is backed by science.
While some believe that “things just happen for a reason” the reality is that you have so much more control over outcomes in life than you give yourself credit for. Sure some things come out of the blue, but it is your reaction to these that gets you to where you are today.
Setting yourself clear goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound (SMART) is critical. Your brain is built to help you achieve in life. The way you program it is what determines the way in which it operates, and how effective it is in achieving your goals.
While this might sound even more airy fairy, visualising your goal is also important. In sport, particularly golf, visualisation is used extensively by players as it helps them program their brain to perform the required shot most effectively. It allows them to use their subconscious brain function as well as their conscious.
There is a truck load of science that tells us that if you have clear and specific goals, you write them down, and you continually remind yourself of them, you are much more likely to achieve them. Put simply, your brain does everything it can to help you, bringing relevant information into focus along the path to achieving that goal.
To put it into context, if one of your goals is to "mark 150% lambs consistently", and you do a good job of reminding yourself that, over time your brain will go to work finding things relevant to that goal. Miraculously you will start seeing things on twitter, in the newspaper, hearing things at conferences or workshops that previously might have passed you by. They might all be little things, but collectively they help build the process to achieving your goal.
Essentially this whole concept is the answer to why sometimes it just seems lucky that everything fell into place for you. The real answer is that your brain did all of the work to find you the opportunities, bring them into focus, and then you acted on them appropriately.
So don’t just rely on Santa this year, make your own Christmas list, and start programming your brain to Achieve them.
While there is a large amount of scientific evidence relating to the various aspects discussed in this article, there is a great book called “The Answer” by Allan & Barbara Pease. It encapsulates many of these theories and will help you develop a greater understanding of the concepts.