When it comes to your business, do you really know what’s important? This may seem to be an insulting question. After all, who would know better than you? You most likely already have goals, a working blueprint and a to-do list of important things.
Then, why ask the question?
The answer lies less in why we think something is important and more in how we think something is important.
Why we think something is important
Why we think something is important usually comes from assumptions that there’s a product, service or action that will be able to:
- Resolve a problem or issue
- Takes things to the next level
- Increase outcome results
- Stimulate activity and engagement
- Increase profits
- Make things easier and more efficient
- Reduce stress, aggravation, and frustration
- Improve any other positive aspect of your business
How we think something is important
However, how we think something is important is different because it implies judgment and action.
When we judge something is important we are basically relying on three types of judgments.
Value judgments, which are subjective. They express beliefs, biases, preferences, habits, feelings and memories. They become what’s personally meaningful when rating what’s important.
Critical judgments are objective. They rely on information – facts, evidence and research and the mental skills of analysis, logic, and reasoning. Rating what’s important with critical judgment increases validity. The perception is that it’s objective and more scientific at the same time.
Judgments of others are external. They are built around the credibility and authority of others who tell us whether something is important or not. It’s usually in the form of professional advice as to what works and what doesn’t work in making a business successful.
On the basis of these judgments, you’re ready to give what’s important greater attention and move it up on your priority list of things to do.
But, let me clue you in. By the time you’ve concluded what’s important, it’s already been initially decided by your brain. It’s your brain’s friendly way of taking the pressure off and deciding for you before you’re consciously aware of it.
Here’s how your brain decides what’s important
The front part of your brain is your prefrontal cortex. It’s the area designated for executive thinking, decision-making and impulse control. As your brain processes incoming information, it’s comparing it to any memories and emotional associations, as well as, ingrained patterns of biases, preferences, and habits.
As an example, let’s say you receive an email from an online marketer you’ve been following for a while. The marketer is offering a new training course on how to take information you already have and will show you how to turn it into a money-making training course. Before you can engage in any critical judgment, you brain is already searching its databases for its value judgments, especially those of memory and emotions.
If any previous association with this marketer is questionable or non-existent, a red flag may go up to indicate some hesitation. But, if a previous association is favorable, your brain is onto its emotional assessment.
What your brain is assessing is a response to the primary emotions of happiness, anger or fear.
As you read the email, your happiness neurons light up because it recognizes the value of this training for your business and therefore tags it as “important.”
Your anger neurons may light up when you find out how expensive the course is and you’re uncertain of where the money will come from. Anger can be a motivator to finding a way to get something that’s important or a demotivator of frustration or disappointment in not getting what’s important.
Your fear neurons may get activated when you find out the course is limited to 50 people who have to submit an application for approval. This may increase the level of importance if you believe you have a good chance of being accepted. Or, fear may limit its importance if your mindset is that your chances of being accepted are slim.
It’s your brain’s memories and emotions that are going to initially determine what’s important. Consciously you can modify that level of importance by rationalizing for or against how taking this course could benefit your business (critical judgment). And, a level of importance can be elevated by expert advice, testimonials or a marketer’s reputation (judgment of others).
What’s important to know is that how you judge what’s important will have more of an impact on your business than what you think is important. And within those judgments, your brain is going to respond to memories and emotions first then logic and reason.
Consequently, the things on your list of important things to do for your business that have the greatest chance of being acted upon will be the things you are most emotionally and logically connected to.
So, how do you think about what’s on your list of important things to do?
Images: Pixababy 570507
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