Intention will transform your life if you pay attention. It works every time and it is not a secret. Intention is what will happen. It is in the future. Attention is right now…it is what you are presently focused on. Whatever you pay attention to will grow stronger and whatever you ignore will wither and disappear. If you read my last blog, Part 1 of this series, you will recognize this as the principle Sharlie was trying to teach me when she asked me to replace my fear with faith. She wanted me to focus my attention on the amazing miracle that was taking place inside her body rather than paying attention to the dire predictions of her doctors and all that could go wrong with her pregnancy.
Last year my sons and I set our intention on becoming 10-Star Diamonds and set a goal to distribute more than 500 USANA Sales Tools. Of course, we added a risk and a reward. My reward was to finally purchase a new car to replace my ’98 Maxima – a vehicle that has become somewhat of a legend in our family. We surpassed our goal and I purchased a car I fell in love with – a brand new midnight blue Lexus ES 350.
I knew the moment I laid eyes on my car it was mine. It was the only car I took for a test drive. I’d never seen this car before and I’d never wanted a car more than I wanted this one. But you know, an interesting thing happened. From the moment I drove it off the lot, I realized Lexus ES 350’s weren’t quite as rare as I’d assumed. In fact, they were all around me. I began seeing them every single day!
What happened? I had an emotional experience with purchasing my new car. I saw it…I loved the smooth, clean lines and the deep, mirror-like finish. The camel-colored leather interior felt like butter. I smelled that new car smell, listened to the clarity of the surround sound system and was awed by the navigation system and the fact that a lovely voice would help me find where I was going…and consequently, my brain was now wired a little differently. Because I paid attention to that particular color and model of car, I began seeing them everywhere.
Do you realize ninety-eight percent of everything scientists know about the brain has been discovered since 1996? That’s an amazing statistic, isn’t it? At the base of the brain there is a region called the Reticular Activation System or RAS. Think of the RAS as a filter. Because our brains are being bombarded with about eight million bits of information every second there has to be some system to filter out all the excess noise – all the stuff we don’t want or need. I read an analogy of this process that suggested we think of the RAS like an internet search engine. There are millions and millions of websites out there and we filter out what we don’t want by simply typing in a keyword.
So how do we block the messages we don’t want and allow the messages we do want to get through that filter? Attention. Our minds respond to attention and this focused attention can actually alter the structure of the brain. Whatever we’re focusing on is what gets through to our conscious minds.
So…if our intention is to advance a rank in our USANA businesses we first need to boldly state that intention. The more passion and emotion we can feel about our intention the better. This is where risk, reward, dream boards and visualization come in. They increase the emotion attached to intention. Intense emotion results in more neural pathways and stronger memory. We all remember exactly where we were when we heard about the terrorist attacks on 9/11. That event was so emotionally charged for each of us it created new mental pathways in our brains. The more emotion we can build around our intention the more successful our Reticular Activation System will be in filtering in thoughts, ideas, resources and strategies that will help us achieve our goals.
I have seen this process in action over and over again as I’ve built my USANA business and mentored others on our team. However, I want to be very clear on a key component of this process. These thoughts, ideas, resources and strategies that will come to us as we declare our intention and pay attention…must be acted upon. Intention and attention alone won’t get you to the level you want in USANA any more than wishful thinking will. It is critical to put energy and action behind those intentions.
Let me share an example. Once we stated our intention and began focusing our attention on reaching the 10-Star Diamond rank in USANA, ideas began to flow. We had numerous brainstorming sessions and came up with strategies we hadn’t previously considered. One of the ideas that emerged was to contact all the people we had signed up as Preferred Customers over the years who were currently on autoship. We contacted each of them, explained we were building a new leg in our business and offered them incentives to become part of that new team. They were already sold on the products and had nothing to lose. It was a brilliant idea that worked.
In my next blog I’ll discuss the “No Tension” part of this equation. It’s all about enjoying the ride!