In my five-year study of the daily habits of the rich and poor, I learned about one common success habit the millionaires in my study ALL learned from their non-millionaire parents – Pursue Big Goals, a Main Purpose or a Dream. When parents teach their children about the importance of pursuing big goals, a main purpose or a dream, they are laying a foundation that will enable their children to become enormously successful in life.
When anyone pursues a big goal, purpose or dream, they activate all sorts of innate cognitive abilities. One of these is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS is as a sensory filter inside the limbic system, the second oldest part of the brain. Its main function is to block out almost all sensory input. If it didn’t, our brains would go into sensory overload and quickly use up all of the glucose available. Glucose fuels our brains and our bodies. Without it both would shut down. The RAS stops this from happening by limiting what sensory information gets into our brain. Here’s a good example how the RAS works:
Imagine you’re in a crowded airport. Thousands of people are talking. It’s all white noise to you. Then someone calls your name and you immediately turn around. That’s the RAS at work. It is tuned in to certain very specific sensory input, like your name, and it blocks out everything else, like the white noise at an airport.
When we set a big goal, purpose or dream, our RAS is toggled on and becomes tuned in to sensory data that helps us in realizing our goal, purpose or dream. Opportunities we didn’t see before, become obvious. The law of attraction is actually the RAS system at work. You are not actually attracting opportunities, but rather becoming aware of them, thanks to the RAS. This is why those who things they are passionate about are so much more successful than everyone else. Their RAS is working for them, allowing them to achieve great things in life.
When we pursue a big goal, purpose or dream, we are also introduced to another unique cognitive ability called “Unforced Focus”. This is the most powerful type of focus humans have. Unforced Focus allows us to learn at an accelerated rate. It gives us a super human attention span. New knowledge and new skills are easier to learn. Edison had it, Tesla had it, Einstein had it, Steve Jobs had it, Warren Buffet has it. People with Unforced Focus can work on something for hours on end, with laser beam attention, stopping only to eat and sleep.
When you pursue your big goal, purpose or dream you also trigger certain success traits: Passion, Persistence, and Patience. When these three success traits come together, success is virtually guaranteed.
I came up with a simple exercise to help your children find their passion in life:
- In the first column, list everything that has ever made you happy in life.
- Highlight those happiness events that require some type of marketable skill.
- In the second column, assign a # to each highlighted happiness event with #1 being the happiest one and #2 the next happiest one etc.
- In the third column, assign a # to each happiness event with #1 being the greatest potential income, #2 the next highest income etc.
- In the fourth column total the numbers. The lowest numbers represent your greatest passions.
Indulge your kids in pursuing each one of these passions for six months at a time. Your child will eventually find that one passion that will become a lifelong pursuit; one that will bring them success and happiness for their entire lives.