How this one simple act gives you access to new possibilities

Last Saturday, I wrote about how a simple choice I made (buying a book from a certain author), shaped my attention and made me aware of things I would have been blind to otherwise. The effect extends to other choices we make, including the first steps in working out loud.

“Deciding what we pay attention to can shape our entire world view. It can decide which doors are open to us and which doors we never see.”

Seeing thing differently

Seeing thing differently

Your first relationship list

After you choose a goal (like finding a new job, getter better at a skill, or exploring an idea you have), the next thing you do is list people who could help you with that goal.

And for people on that list who don’t know you, your initial contribution is to offer a universal gift: recognition. If they have a Twitter account, for example, you’ll follow them. If they have a blog or have published something online, you’ll subscribe or hit a Like button.

What happens next

The first simple act - writing down a list of people who might help you with your goal - shifts your attention. And your initial contributions help you listen. You become increasingly aware of their work, their thinking, and the feedback from others.

Now that you’re paying attention, you notice people and ideas you hadn’t seen before. You make connections you hadn’t thought of. You start to think differently about your goal.

In Working Out Loud circles, people see the difference in their first week.

“After just one WOL Circle meeting, I was already feeling more connected with my colleagues and more encouraged about my career.”

It’s no magic technique. It’s much more powerful than that. It’s a shift in attention toward a goal you care about, a shift that empowers you to see things in a new light.