What Makes You You? 8: Check out What Catches your Attention!


So, what grabs your attention out of that deluge of information that bombards you every second?

Now is the time to check out your second personality preference and gain further insights that will make your life more rewarding and enjoyable. Do you like to concentrate on the detail when new information comes your way or does that drive you mad? Or perhaps you prefer to connect that new information to the big picture, to where you are ultimately heading? Or maybe that feels too airy, fairy? These are two very different ways of processing information. Knowing which works best for you is crucial to your success.

Last week you checked out what energises and enthuses you. This week’s questions help you to check out your second personality preference – where you focus your attention?

Research tells us

. . . that out of the millions of separate pieces of information hitting us every second we only concentrate on a very small amount. And even the small amount we pay attention to is collected by our unconscious rather than our conscious mind. Some of this information is essential for us to be able to operate in the real world – to survive at all. As you read this, for example, I can guarantee that you are not aware of your breathing or of how you are sitting.

Other information we decide to notice because it is relevant to what we have been thinking about or need to do. Even this will often filter through into our unconscious, only becoming conscious when we need to know. Our unconscious is really good at tapping us on the shoulder and making us pay attention if something is important or relevant. Can you remember the last time, for example, that something was brought to your attention which you had only been talking or thinking about it that day, or the day before? Or somebody you had been thinking about phoned or texted you or turned up at a meeting unexpectedly? We tend to identify this as a coincidence – but it rarely is. Having primed your unconscious about something being important to you it obediently remains on the lookout and brings it to your attention and, on occasion takes action to make it happen.

An understanding

. . . of how our unconscious and conscious mind operates, of course, supports the work of entertainers such as Derren Brown. It is also at the heart of why visualisation activities are crucial to achieving your goals – but more about that in my July and August blogs.

We all gather information through our senses. The questions below are designed to check out your second personality preference of how you ‘take in’ information. by helping you identify whether, in order to understand what you are seeing or experiencing, you use this sensory information to collect and examine the detail or relate it to a more general and bigger picture in your mind.

Try to answer the questions as quickly as possible rather than spend a lot of time pondering on them – this taps you into your unconscious preferences rather than your ‘learned behaviour’. If you still find it hard to answer ‘yes’ to one of the two questions then ask yourself what you would do first.

Question 2 – How do you prefer to respond to new information?

Do you tend to see the big picture – identify what is coming over the horizon?

or . . .

Are you more interested in knowing about what is in the here and now, the detail that is in front of you?

Some people find it much easier to make sense of the world if they can look beyond what is in front of them and see how it fits into a longer term view. How it relates to patterns rather than specific detail.

Others find it much easier to work from the detail in front of them and then relate it to the longer term picture.

Taking a view about the here and now as well about the future are essential if you are to achieve your longer term aspirations as well as your individual goals. However, if you start from the place where you are most comfortable you will move further fastest.

Why does this matter?

If you understand what and how you pay attention to new information and experiences you will open the door to a more satisfying and effective way of working as well as greatly reduce your likelihood of stress.

We’ll look at the next preference area in – What Makes You You? 9 – in my next blog

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