The Experiment

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Are you up for a personal experiment? Don’t worry; it’s a very easy experiment.

All you have to do is take a look around you and count all the things in blue you can see. Could be the jeans you are wearing, a pen, maybe the colour of your chair, the water cooler… count as many things as you can. Done? Now try to remember them while we take a slight detour…

The Detour

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In 1953, a survey was conducted with the graduating class of Yale. The question in the survey?

“Do you write down your goals?”

The response showed that only 4% people wrote down their goals.

In 1973, 20 years after the initial survey, the researchers track down the surviving members of the class of ’53 to see how successful they were. And what they found astounded them. 4% people who wrote down their goals were worth more than the other 96% put together!

The research showed that writing down goals work like magic. But why does it work?

For the answer, let’s get back to our little experiment…

Back to the Experiment

Remember all the blue things you counted around you in your room? Are you ready to narrate them one by one?

Ok – now, without turning around, can you start naming the “brown” things you saw around your room 2 minutes ago?

If you are like most people and don’t have photographic memory, you won’t be able to name more than 2-3 brown things. But you’ll be able to name 8-10 blue things.

How come? Because before you turned around, you had a goal of counting blue things. And your mind was focused on counting blue things – not brown things. It filtered out all the brown things.

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Writing down goals is nothing but a filtering device for your brain. You will focus more on the things you’ve written down as your goals. And you will jump on them when they present themselves as opportunities.

Action Summary:

November 12, 2012