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This is why you've heard that the world you see is a reflection of yourself. If you notice fat people it's because you're thinking about feeling fat. When you expect people to be kind to one another, you tend to notice acts of kindness. Your brain automatically searches for evidence that supports your habits of thought.
So where does selective perception fit into your achievement of goals? Let's ask this question: What are you REALLY thinking about yourself and your future? Are you feeling bullish on today, ready to get out there and conquer? Or are you seeing yourself in a holding pattern, perhaps even feeling the beginning of a downward spiral? When opportunity comes knocking, are you in the state of mind that allows you to notice it?
You are engaged in selective perception every day, meaning you're not taking in every bit of stimulus that's coming your way. You are sorting, mostly subconsciously, for the information that's relevant to you for the purposes you have at hand. Now think about this for a second - how do you determine what's relevant? If your perception of stimulus is subconscious that means it's habitual. You'll notice the environmental elements that reinforce existing beliefs and existing patterns. Is your current selection helping you to produce the results you want?
If you want to notice more opportunity, if you want to affect your perceptions in a positive way, you need to create a framework for relevance. This is accomplished by establishing a general intention, or by planning a more specific goal. Here's a simple example - you are considering buying a car. You've got a specific brand, model, and perhaps even color in mind. Suddenly everywhere you go you see THAT car - driving beside you, parked in parking lots, etc. You've set up your selective perception to be stimulated by the sight of that car.
Part of the reason that it's stress-inducing not to have a direction is that although you're receiving stimuli from an overwhelming number of sources, you're not able to perceive them. There are limitless opportunities, but when you are not helping your brain to sort for relevance it feels like there are none.
You might not feel ready to set a specific goal yet, for any number of reasons. But if you want to kick up your selective perception, at least establish a general positive intention. If you are looking to expand your income, release yourself from the need to know HOW you're going to do it right now. Just keep that intention front and center and your brain will sort all of the incoming stimuli to help you notice the ones that are relevant to your intention.
Of course noticing opportunity is only the first step. Acting on it is the next. If you see a brass ring hanging out there you have to reach for it if you want it. But that's a topic for another day.