Monday, February 20, 2012

How do we Notice?? Part 1

In a recent post, I broached the topic of how our attention causes us to notice certain things.  My friend of many years, Hal Macomber, responded with further insight into the topic, one he has considered for a long time.  This depth is worth noting and I'll do this in the next few days.

Hal gives a clear example of how we notice, instinctively:

The effect is governed by the reticular activating system, an ancient part of our brain that keeps us safe. The fundamental trigger of the system is the commitments we live. For instance, a parent's naturally acquired commitment is to the safety of her child. Parents are walking-around always-seeking hazard-finding machines....and without consciousness for that. Making commitments, setting goals, getting clear about our own and others' concerns is the way to direct our noticing. Yet so many people don't have specific enough goals or commitments that they produce the shift. Rather, many people notice little that could help them.

The parent is wired to notice things which will harm or help her child.  So, she notices them.  This comes naturally, for most.

Yet are the other goals we have in business or life that clear?  Do I have a personal mission statement which helps me choose which activity to pursue and which to ignore?  Do I know what are the key steps for my business to succeed?  Have I written them down so I will recognize opportunities more clearly?  

Put simply, to what am I committed?  If I don't know, I won't notice much.

More to follow.

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