Even if you know what you want (see Failure Tip: 1) An excellent way to mess up your chances of getting what you want is to be vague about it as possible. Then you have a very good chance of not hitting the target because you don’t know what it is, or what you might pass on the way to achieving it.
Imagine that you are a detective investigating a hold-up at a bank and the description of the suspect you are given is: He is a short, tall, fat, thin man, in his 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. He is completely bald with blonde hair a moustache or beard or clean shaven. He speaks with a pronounced Australian, Irish, Russian or Jamiacan accent. The photo fit picture you are given is a blurred oval. How do you fancy your chances of capturing the perpetrator?
How about if a surprise witness came forward and described him as a 5′ 8” white man, in his early 40’s, with greying dark hair and speaking with with a strong Geordie accent. He has a wooden leg and a tattoo on his forehead with the words “It was me! Copper!” Not only that she gives you a photograph she took at the scene. How do you fancy your chances now?
The clearer we are about what we want the more likely we are to find it. It sounds obvious but it’s amazing how often people will think of what they want in generalities. “I’d like a nice house”, “I want to be healthy” What would a nice house be like for you? How would you know it was the right kind of nice house? What would you see, hear and feel when you are healthy? How would you know that you are healthy?
There are two reasons for having a clear idea about what you want. It gives your brain a direction to go in, and it let’s you know when you get there. What does what you want look like, sound like and feel like? How will you know when you’ve got it?
Explain to someone else in specific sensory detail (what will you see, hear, feel, taste, smell) what it is that you want and how you will know when you’ll get it, in a way that the other person would be able to got out and achieve exactly what you want.
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