Set your filter, you opportunity-seeker you!!

If you’re an opportunity-seeker, it’s even more important for you to have a strong filter for what information you capture.

For many people, it’s developmental to write things down, because they are too lazy or too unhabituated to do so.

For you, the opportunity-seeker, because the world is alive with all sorts of potentially spurious opportunities, it’s developmental to write fewer things down.

For many people, it’s developmental to say yes MORE.

For you, it’s developmental to say yes LESS!  That’s right, LESS!   Although I don’t follow his work, thanks to Roger Hamilton for that distinction some year 7 years ago in a West London hotel.

Your developmental edge is to say HELL YES to fewer things!  My friend Rich Litvin has a great diagram which shows that between Hell Yeah and Hell No, is basically Hell 🙂   Email him if you want it.  Or do yourself a favor and buy the book which impacted me most in 2013 (no affiliate).

If you’re an opportunity-seeker, stop capturing stuff which is ‘interesting’ – and be honest what isn’t interesting? – you could probably find an opportunity in someone’s recycling trash!  You find all of life interesting, don’t you?

Slow down, set your filters, know your priorities.  It’s why I recommend that book to all my clients, most of whom are not coaches.  Because it’s about prioritizing the essential.  Which, honestly, I have always found hard.  My main strategy for revising for English exams was, I kid you not, reading the dictionary (yes, I am one of those creepy people who enjoys that kind of thing 😉 ).  How’s that for focussing on ‘nice to knows’ versus ‘must knows’.

Instead start capturing what is really relevant, and especially relevant to the 3 to 5 big projects you have going on in this 90-day cycle (that’s a game changing Verne Harnish idea)  If you only have one project going on, good on you, you laser-focussed power bunny.  I just find that most creative people, including me, have more productivity when they have more than one major project to do but not more than a few.

Branson used to write numbers on the back of his hand.  Like when he would find out that some rival company was about to sign a band, he would write their name down and get to the nearest pay phone to see if he could get their agent and negotiate a better deal.  Yes, payphone!   That’s not a bad frame of reference…is this piece of information you are collecting important enough that it’s worth mild ink poisoning? (and a little admonishment from the inner critic part of you that is mum :))  Is it important enough that you would walk 10+ minutes to find a payphone?

Having a strong filter is NOT about being a controlling person.  Most through-and-through opportunity seeker adventurers are not classic controllers, they enjoy not having to manage things.  But if control is your issue – ask 3 close friends honestly and you’ll know pretty quickly – that’s going to be part of your inner work.  No, having a strong filter is about knowing what’s important to you and living a high-definition life.

And, of course, as an opportunity-seeker there will always be fun stuff to say yes to, which, if you’re 80 on your major projects, can happily get 20 attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which is why I said yes to a party last night on a boat sailing across San Francisco Bay to the backdrop of what would become an amazing red-sky sunset discussing how law and rights could really bring peace in our lifetimes 🙂

 

 

About Jack Butler

Jack Butler is a social entrepreneur, coach, workshop leader and speaker. His latest venture provides full spectrum human development through coaching, programmes and other development resources for leaders and entrepreneurs. He founded Future Foundations (www.future-foundations.co.uk), a leading youth personal development training organization. He is a professional member of the International Enneagram Association and a former fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Jack was the IAB 2007 Young Entrepreneur of the Year runner-up and took a double first class degree in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge. Jack spends his time between London and Brighton in the UK and Boulder, CO and the Bay Area in the US. In his spare time, he enjoys physical challenges (3 Peaks Challenge 2010, Tresco Marathon 2006) and supporting The Simultaneous Policy Organisation (www.simpol.org.uk). He is a Partner in Passion and Purpose of the Grubb Guild, a voracious reader of personal, cultural and spiritual development, and likes to inquire, journal, travel and write.
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