"Your eyes can only see and your ears can only hear what your brain is looking for."--Dan Sullivan

Lars Ulrich moved to Orange County, California, when he was in High School. At the time, he was obsessed with the new wave of British Heavy Metal, which included bands like Saxon, Iron Maiden, and Deaf Leopard.

Ulrich stood out like a sore thumb in his High School, where, according to Ulrich, there were literally 500 kids wearing pink Lacoste shirts and one guy in a Saxon t-shirt. He was an outsider, doing his own thing. People looked at him like he was from another planet.

Ulrich was so isolated that he took out a classified ad in the paper called The Recycler. His ad was simple: "Drummer looking for other musicians to jam with." 

James Hetfield answered the ad.

Upon their first meeting, Hetfield was so shy that he wouldn't make eye contact with Ulrich. But they both shared the same riveted passion and interest in music. Together, they would co-found a band called Metallica, which went on to sell more than 100 million albums.

It all started because Ulrich 1) knew what he wanted and 2) publicly shared what he wanted in written form, which 3) attracted the right "Who."

In a world obsessed with "How," you'll get a lot farther finding the right "Who." 

Billionaires find "Who's" to run their companies. They find "Who's" to collaborate with. 

Anywhere you see extreme success and high performance, you can bet that there is a powerful collaboration going on, and likely, a wisely designed team behind the scenes. 

The Impact Filter: Get Immediate Clarity 

Dan Sullivan, the founder of Strategic Coach, has a tool he's developed for entrepreneurs, which he called The Impact Filter. 

The Impact Filter is designed to define success, determine importance, and sell both yourself and the right Who's on the project. If you can't sell yourself, then you won't be able to sell the right Who.

The Impact Filter is a single sheet of paper comprising five questions. First, you list the project, which is whatever you're trying to accomplish. That could be:

  • Write a book
  • Hire a new media person
  • Buy a house
  • Date with wife

Whatever you're trying to accomplish can and does deserve some forethought and intentionality. By giving yourself 10-30 minutes to complete the Impact Filter, you can first know if the project is worth doing, and second, you can know exactly what success looks like. By going through this simple process, you can define what you want in clear terms. This allows you to train your brain to begin looking for it.

In psychology, the term selective attention describes the idea that as humans, we have an incompressible amount of data coming into our brain through our senses. However, our conscious mind filters the information and grabs the attention of the things that seem relevant or important. It is for this reason that when you buy a new car you start seeing it everywhere or why you can hear your name in the see of noise in a loud room.

When you've defined what you want--and gotten very clear on all of the criteria for success--then you've got something that not only you can visualize and see, but can also communicate. When you communicate what you want to the world, the right Who's will selectively attend to and notice you and want to get involved. 

Once you've defined the project, you answer the following questions:

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What's the biggest difference this will make?
  • What does the completed project look like?
  • Best result if you take action?
  • Worst result if you don't take action?
  • What has to be true when this project is finished?

For the final question, you are given several spaces to write down all of the criteria for a "success" or "completion." In a coaching session, I was explaining the Impact Filter to a 36-year-old woman who'd been wanting to find her dream man for well over 10 years, but was frustrated that she continued attracting the wrong men.

"How bad do you want to get married?" I asked her.

"More than anything else," she told me.

"Alright, then fill out this Impact Filter. And write down all the things that must be true about the man you're trying to find."

For the success criteria section of the Impact Filter, she wrote that he needed to be Christian, interested in health, saw her as a powerful woman to be respected, and several other "non-negotiables" that she wanted in a relationship.

Once her Impact Filter was complete, I asked if she'd be willing to put it front and center on her profile on the dating websites she was on.

"Have you ever portrayed this much clarity in what you're looking for on the dating websites?" I asked.

"No way," she said.

"What do you think would happen if you had this posted on your profile? Would it attract what you're looking for and repel what you're not?" I asked.

"Probably."

Share Your Vision With Everyone

Taking it one step further, I asked if she'd be willing to publish her Impact Filter on her Facebook page and be completely transparent with her friends and everyone she knew about her genuine and long-held desire to get married.

"Would you be willing to be that honest about what you want, to publicize it to everyone?" I asked.

"I'm not sure," she replied.

In the book Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool for Aligning Your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future, business consultant and author, Cameron Herold, explains the importance of having a clear vision about what you want and then sharing that vision with everyone you know.

According to Herold, when you begin sharing your vision with others, not only do you create an environment around you of accountability, but you also invite help from the right people.

In the case of the 36-year-old bachelorette, if she began sharing her Impact Filter, or her goal with everyone she knew, yes, she'd potentially get some negative feedback. Some people argue you should keep your goals secret rather than public, because of the scrutiny you may get.

However, when you become committed to something, truly committed, then you stop worrying about scrutiny and opinions. You just get what you want. And you allow yourself to want what you want, regardless of what others say.

So yes, she may get some negative feedback. But something else might happen as well, which may not have happened if she wasn't so courageous and open. People in her network may see her "ad" for a husband and think of someone they know who may fit.

When it comes to making these kinds of connections, you are likely only one or two degrees of separation from what you're looking for. Thus, this bachelorette might get referrals that are tailored exactly to her Impact Filter.

If she's truly committed to what she wants, she'll conceptualize the result she wants and begin sharing it from the rooftops. She'll remove her ego. She'll respectfully disagree with the opinions of those who try to limit her goal.

And she'll make bold moves until she gets what she wants. All the while, her selective attention will increase and her identity will conform with her goal, making her increasingly magnetic to what she wants.

Conclusion

It turns out, getting what you want is not rocket science. It's actually surprisingly easy.

  • First, you've got to decide what you want. Quantify and clarity it.
  • Then you need to start communicating it out into the world aggressively and you'll begin attracting the right Who's. Just as importantly, you'll repel those who are the wrong Who's.
  • Continue developing yourself and making clear steps, daily, toward the attainment of what you want. 
  • Continue sharing your vision with everyone. 
  • Expect opportunities to come your way. 
  • Never stop until you get the result you want.