It’s interesting how almost every leader in the world says luck was a key ingredient to their success.
While it may feel like random luck to them, it’s often something that has been subconsciously constructed in their mind.
Despite always hearing that we need to create a clear vision for where we want to go in life; I find many of us don’t take the time to do it. However, understanding the brain science behind how a vision accelerates your success by producing opportunity luck can often change this for most of us.
The Neuroscience Behind Vision & Luck
Here are the facts; your brain has an attention filter that dictates what it focuses on. That filter dictates what your conscious mind becomes aware of in your environment. There are so many things happening all around us at once, it’s simply impossible for us to be aware of it all.
When we try to focus on too much at one time (like when we multi-task) our attentional system can get too busy and cause cognitive overload, which diminishes our judgement, decision making, focus, communication and everything when it comes to performance.
If you imagine this attention filter being a bouncer at a night club; the only things on the guest list that are allowed to get through to your conscious mind are change and importance.
This filter is always on high alert for any changes happening around you; such as someone’s tone of voice being off, a person on a bike speeding towards you or the feeling of driving in your car and recognizing that the road has gone from smooth to bumpy. The attention filter also picks up on things that are important to you and you alone. How does it know what is important to you? Well, it’s learnt from the things that you’ve focused on throughout your life.
For instance, if you’re a big fan of a particular sports team and you’re walking down the street in a different city, you might catch your team’s logo out of the corner of your eye. If you’re really wanting to go travelling to New York, you will likely recognize when you hear people talking about it, even if you’re at a crowded party.
How to Create Luck for Yourself
This is why it’s important to know what you want in life. A vision is created in order for your brain to know what is important to you and to keep it top of mind.
When you create a vision, set goals and review them regularly, you will go throughout your days and likely hear and see things that relate to this vision that you wouldn’t have picked up on otherwise. Successful people are abundantly aware of what they want in life and thus they pick up on things around them all the time.
The key to creating a vision is starting now!
Most people wait until ‘the time is right’ or when they have a better idea of what they want to do. This is dead wrong. If you plan to actually put your vision on paper in let’s say 3 months time; you’ve missed out on 90 days worth of new ideas that could be shaping your future. By starting to get your ideas on paper immediately, even if they are extremely vague, will cause you to think about them more often.
Keep a journal next to your desk and add new ideas to it every few days when they come to you. By having your vision top of mind, you will pick up on related things in your environment, and over time your brain will begin to synthesize them all like pieces to a puzzle. Your vision will grow exponentially by consistently working on it and this is how those aha! moments are created.
Take 5-10 minutes to determine what you want to do in the future, what industries excite you, what world leaders relate to you, what products motivate you, and what companies inspire you with how they impact their customers. How do you want to impact people in this world?
This is how you create opportunity luck. Having an idea of what you want in life, putting it down immediately on paper, thinking about it regularly, adjusting it every few days, keeping it top of mind and being ready take action when your mind picks up on the things around you that relate to it.
It may feel like luck, but in reality you made it happen.