Once you’ve listed your dreams, the handwriting isn’t just on the wall, says Dr. Henriette Anne Klauser. It’s in the filter at the base of your brain, the reticular activating system (RAS) that helps direct your attention.
That’s why Klauser, author of Write It Down, Make It Happen: Knowing What You Want, And Getting It and four other books, advocates list-making to achieve your goals.
It worked for her 10-year-old son Peter, even though he forgot the list for two years. When he discovered it while cleaning his room, every item, including learning karate, sleeping overnight in a park and getting a pet bird had happened.
It also worked for Lou Holtz when he lost his job at 28 and his wife urged him to record his dreams. At last report, 91 of the 107 goals, including coaching at the University of Notre Dame, winning a national championship, meeting the Pope, dining at the White House, appearing on the Tonight Show and making a hole-in-one have happened.
It can work for anybody, Klauser says.
“When you write up your list, write what you would do if money was not an object and time was not a factor,” she advises, insisting that each record include the date. “Then I tell them money is not an object and time is not a factor.”
Klauser is among nine headline experts appearing at the Summit Business Conference (www.SummitBusinessConference.com) Oct. 18-19 in Boulder, Colorado, a rare gathering that brings Fortune 500-level advice business entrepreneurs and community leaders.
Her focus on writing started when she noticed that some of her university students and some of her fellow Ph.D. candidates suffered writing anxiety. Her first book, Writing on Both Sides of the Brain, is in its 39th printing.
“I wanted to put in concrete evidence about how the brain is functioning,” she says. “It was a natural thing when I heard about the RAS. I want to change the nature of people’s relationship with writing, to recognize that writing is a tool that can help us.”
Another book, With Pen in Hand, describes how writing can help deal with tragedy and loss, with a chapter about a Vietnam veteran who recorded his experiences because he couldn’t talk about them. Put Your Heart on Paper tells the stories of people who enjoyed improved relationships from sharing written thoughts.
In Write It Down, Make It Happen, Klauser explains that brain-heightened attention triggers “go-incidences” (rather than co-incidences) by gaining a sharper focus on the world.
Examples come easy: your ear catches your spoken name above the chatter across a crowded room; a mother awakes to her baby’s cry and no other sound; after Klauser bought a “eucalyptus” Honda, she began to notice how many other green cars are on the road.
“The world cooperates with the plan,” she says. “It activates part of your brain. You start paying attention. You make a commitment to its possibility and things start happening. Once you write down a goal, your brain is working overtime to see that you get it.”
For more information on Klauser’s presentation and how to register, visit www.SummitBusinessConference.com