6 min read ⌚
Knowing What You Want – and Getting It!
How would you feel if we told you that being there’s a scientifically-proven way to boost your chances of succeeding in life, and that you already know the gist of it?
The title of today’s book, “Write It Down, Make It Happen”, tells the whole story. It smartly summarizes Klauser’s main point: in the long run, writing down your goals on a piece of paper is almost as good as writing Santa Claus a Christmas letter with your wishes.
Let’s find out.
Who Should Read “Write It Down, Make It Happen”? And Why?
Even though Klauser targets practically everybody, throwing a tip after tip on how to use your brain’s biology to your benefit, most of her advices should be much more relatable to writers. After all, poets and novelists are writing all the time, and they will probably profit most from using the techniques laid down in “Write It Down, Make It Happen”
Needless to add, this doesn’t mean that you – whoever you are – shouldn’t at least try the book! Especially, if you like Napoleon Hill’s books. Klauser loves them and quotes them throughout.
About Henriette Anne Klauser
Henriette Anne Klauser, PhD, is the President of Writing Resources, a consulting organization which helps writers, Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and universities throughout North America. Her other books include “Put Your Hand On Paper,” and “With Pen in Hand.”
“Write It Down Make It Happen Summary”
There are not many things in life more important than having a purpose. And there are few more vital skills than learning how to give yourself a purpose.
Because, “I want to win an Olympic gold medal” is not exactly a well-defined intention. It’s only one layer of a purpose.
In order to really set your mind straight, you need to be much more specific: “I want to win an Olympic gold medal, by running 100 meters under 9.7 seconds!”
Now, that’s better!
But, it’s not enough!
And how do you do that?
By writing it down on a piece of paper.
Lou Holtz is an even more extreme example. He jotted down more than 100 goals – 107, to be specific – for his life back in 1966. Half a century later, all but few were check-marked.
It couldn’t be down to writing goals down, now, could it?
Well, it is. Others say so. And science says so as well.
Of course, scientists are a bit more loquacious and erudite. So, they don’t just say “Write It Down, Make It Happen” like Henriette Klauser. “Use Your Reticular Activating System to Your Benefit” is what they are more accustomed to.
OK, we’re not that smart either, so we’ll call it RAS for short. Or, better yet, the filter of your brain. Because, that’s exactly what it does: it blocks out the irrelevant stimuli and enhances the significant ones.
If you’re a mother, you already know what this means: you can hear your baby crying two rooms down, even though you can’t hear the train passing by few seconds before!
Well, using RAS to your benefit means training your brain to filter out stimuli which may not lead to your deliberate goal.
And, how would your brain know which is your goal?
By writing it down for him.
And how would it know which of the things you write are not your goals, but your fears and possible impediments?
By writing it down for him – and then burning that piece of paper!
We’re not joking! Once again, science proves that we’re serious.
Fire and water have been with humans for millennia. And they seem to have some sort of a primal power. This is the reason why your best ideas come to you in the shower. And this is why burning something makes a lasting impression on your brain!
After all, it’s not like those ancient cultures invented all those water and fire rituals for nothing, right?
Key Lessons from “Write It Down, Make It Happen”
1. Writing Down Specific Intents Makes Your Brain Strive Towards Them
2. Use Your Reticular Activating System to Your Benefit
3. Take Long Showers and Keep Some Matches Near You
Writing Down Specific Intents Makes Your Brain Strive Towards Them
It may sound as if something right out of an SF book, but it seems that your brain learns how to counter what the world serves him through you. Visualization is a way to guide your brain to your dreamed-of destination.
In other words, your brain isn’t really good at distinguishing imagination from reality: that’s why you always wake up before you fall down in your dreams. If you trick him into thinking that a dream of yours is reality, it will work towards achieving it.
And which is the best way to trick him?
By writing down specific goals for your brain and letting it process them slowly and carefully. Not to mention: repeatedly.
Use Your Reticular Activating System to Your Benefit
Your brain has a feature which scientists call “reticular activating system” or RAS, for short. It’s a sort of a brain filter which helps your mind focus on important things and ignore irrelevant data.
That’s why you can hear your wife calling you from the kitchen even though you’re sitting in the living room with a couple of rowdy half-drunken friends watching football with the volume turned up to the maximum.
Your brain has learned that not understanding what your friend is speaking is not so bad, but ignoring a call from your wife can get you into all sorts of trouble. So, it filters out the first information, so it can give you the second.
If you write down your goals and intents – both in the short and long runs – you can train your brain to filter things which may not lead to the fulfillment of these hopes and dreams.
So, your unconsciousness will work for you even when you’re not aware.
Take Long Showers and Keep Some Matches Near You
Fire and water are the first two elements whose power people learned to exploit. And it seems that humans have some sort of a weird connection with them ever since this happened. We don’t know why that happens, but we know it does happen!
So, the next time you novelists out there suffer from a writer’s block, go and take a long, long shower. And, if that doesn’t work for you, start rapidwriting. True, it won’t result in a good chapter this time, but burning it will.
Because, that way, your brain will learn that it’s not a good idea to write like that.
In time, it will know more about writing than you do.
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“Write It Down, Make It Happen” Quotes
You need not write volumes to express a goal; a short and simple list of items, as specific as possible, will clarify your intentions as surely as an elaborate description, and perhaps will be even more powerful. Click To Tweet
Our Critical Review
If you’ve ever read any of the other books by Henriette Anne Klauser, don’t expect to find in here something more or different than what you’ve already learned in the rest of her work. “Write It Down, Make It Happen” is great for goal-setting and even greater for writers suffering from mental blocks.
But, probably only if it’s the first book on the subject you’ve ever read.