How Robert Cialdini’s Book “Pre-Suasion” Improved My Game

Countless words have been written about the role of attention whoring in the game today. While this is considerable, it’s worth paying attention to the concept of attention itself. Specifically, it’s worth noting how you can use it to your advantage. Channeling your attention correctly is perhaps the most powerful thing you can do, especially for your inner game.

For starters, the brain evolved to place extreme importance on those things it focuses on. Robert Cialdini, the “Godfather of Influence,” says in his new book Pre-Suasion:

Why do we typically assume that whatever we are focusing on in the moment is especially important? One reason is that whatever we are focusing on is especially important in the moment. It’s only reasonable to give heightened attention to those factors that have the most significance and utility for us in a particular situation: a strange noise in the dark, the smell of smoke in a theater, a CEO standing to speak.

This sensible system of focusing our limited attention resources on what does indeed possess special import has an imperfection, though: we can be brought to the mistaken belief that something is important merely because we have been led by some irrelevant factor to give it our narrowed attention. All too often, people believe that if they have paid attention to an idea or event or group, it must be important enough to warrant the consideration. That’s not true.

This is something known as the “focusing illusion.” Being aware of and compensating for this can make you a lot more confident, productive, and resilient. Though I’ve stumbled onto this in my experiences, Cialdini’s words crystallized them for me, making the distillation of experience into a productive system possible. Here are a few things I’ve learned about channeling attention to maximize ...

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