Opportunity Favors the Prepared Mind, part one

Opportunity Favors the Prepared Mind, part one
29.09.2016

Initiative & Motivation

 

Want to be able to recognize the next trends, pick up weak signals before they become mainstream? Be ahead of the game? How would it feel to work with people, who are good at noticing opportunities? Evidently, opportunity itself is always present. The question is - are you? To be an innovator is to spot opportunities where the rest of the crowd overlooks them. We look into this in next two letters (this being part one).

Being ourselves in the process of developing our digital learning platform Wellness Orbit, we for sure have encountered plenty of the "stay clear" attitude. The whole field of intra-personal skills didn't even have a solid name to be called by and was seen as either impractical (theories of psychology), full of hype (motivational speakers), weird (esoteric) or just full of shame (mental health disorders). Where most, possible business partners and investors alike, take a U-turn upon learning about our cause, we see an even bigger opportunity. Of course, huge opportunity also comes with huge risks and we have not made it just yet. But, walking our talk, I am thrilled to share some insights on how to keep a window open for the fresh.  

 

"OPPORTUNITY FAVORS THE PREPARED MIND" hints that:  

 

a) a thing called "mind" is to be tuned  

b) it involves a process of preparation (about this in our next letter)

 

Lets's look into the first part, the topic of mind. First mistake is approaching mind as something abstract, a general cluster of something. The thing to know is that there are 3 types of intra-personal functions (usually lumped together as "the mind"). Noticing, discerning and acquiring insights is provided by the tool of awareness. It is typically oversimplified and called attention. Out of the three, awareness is your object of tuning in this case. It is important to take into consideration that awareness is separate from the other 2 intrapersonal functions: thinking and emotions. What does this mean?

For example, we develop Wellness Orbit, but have no previous background in IT business, so there is not much previous data to lean on. It is scary, but also our topmost advantage - we are not tempted to apply some of the dozens of tried-and-tested "safe" scenarios. Being naive leaves you no other choice than to stay really alert ... You can't fake naiveté - once something is learned, the first thing to pop up is "been there, done that" mental attitude. It's a memory trace, of course. And there is a temptation to stop the quest for a solution right here, trying to apply the same cookie-cutter formula to a totally unique situation. While trying to spot new opportunities, memory & thinking kills the ability to stay fresh and notice - therefore the habit of thinking and using memory should not be indulged in. Similarly, emotions are the by-products of encountering new / settling for the old and as themselves, should not be over-emphasized. 

Practice for part one :

The right function to tune is the one that enables you to become aware of things in the first place - awareness. If we compare awareness to an antenna, it's time to learn to operate your antenna (- not the signals). Therefore, whenever possible - zone in to noticing. This happens during moments before thinking - prioritize them. For example, look at a spot on the wall - investigating and observing it, as if being curious. Be very alert and present. Discover that this observation happens in internal silence, for a while. There you have it - during this silence, while awake and investigating, you are being aware. Connected to the present. First repeat, then expand the practice. Do it 2/day.

 

A lot of the time, the most powerful ideas come only IN a moment.

The window of opportunity to use them stays open only FOR a short while.

 

 

Turn the odds into your favor!

Dr. Helena Lass

PS! Workshop on intrapersonal skills coming up in November. More here.