Get Painstakingly Specific
by Daryl Daughtry, Publisher
You should really get more specific. When you express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas to others, you should start using detailed and specific words to describe the people, places, things, names, numbers, and your sensory experience.
Using detailed and specific words means that instead of saying, “I went on vacation to Hawaii;”
you would say, “I spent 9 days in sunny, 85-degree weather, enjoying the tropical beaches of Maui, Hawaii.” Instead of saying, “Thanks for being my friend;” you would say, “Thank you for being someone that I can trust and count on when I’m feeling depressed and lonely.” Instead of saying, “That’s a nice dress;” you would say, “You look absolutely stunning in that dress and I never realized how green brings out the color of your eyes!”
You should use detailed and specific words because they create mental focus. Detailed and specific words make what you say much clearer and easier to understand, which increases the value of what you say to people. Details touch the heart deeper and ignite motivation.
Detailed and specific words spend less time being analyzed by your listener’s brain because they don’t need to fill in various details for themselves, or determine if what you said is true. As a result, those words tend to reach your listener deeper and with more power.
Also, they make you sound more truthful and trustworthy. Truth-tellers are confident about sharing even the smallest details about a topic, because they know what they say is true and reliable. You come across as a person of order and action. Sloppy, lazy minds don’t have time for tiny details and specifics. On the other hand, an engaged person can tell you exactly what needs doing, why it needs doing, when it’s going to be done, and how to do it.
Train your brain to value details. When you consistently speak in a detailed and specific way, it trains your brain to pay attention to, notice, and value, the small things in life that create huge differences in the results the brain is trying to deliver to you. Those details train your brain to give you exactly what you want instead of somewhere in the ballpark. Because your brain is wired to both please you and protect you, doesn’t it make sense that the more specific you are the better it can do its job?
Comedian, Lily Tomlin, once joked by saying, “When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.” I sincerely doubt she knew the wisdom in her joke, but she hit the nail on the head. We should always be painstakingly specific when instructing our brain as to what we really want. This gives the brain true clarity and allows it to serve you better because it no longer has to make assumptions.
People are actually pretty good at this when looking to buy or rent a home. They get real specific regarding what they can afford, how big the place should be, the area of town they would like to live in, and so on. This allows the brain, and the buying or rental agent, to present them with options that will match their needs. But, if they only declared that they needed a place to stay, the search would be a painful waste of time and energy.
The next time you give yourself a goal to achieve, try your best to be as clear and specific as possible. The clearer your goal is, the clearer the path to achieving it becomes. For example, if I lived in Chicago and my goal was to go somewhere south, my options would be endless and I wouldn’t know where to start. However, if I declared that I wanted to go to Cancun, Mexico, on a week-long vacation in mid-April, and stay in a condo with a king-size bed and an ocean view; my brain would know precisely what to search for online.
If I wanted to lose some weight, the words “some weight” wouldn’t be specific enough. If I only lost an ounce, I would have lost “some weight”, but I really wanted to lose 20 pounds and I needed a detailed course of action in order to accomplish it. So, that’s what I needed to say instead of over-generalizing.
If I was feeling overwhelmed, stuck, or stressed; those vague descriptions are really just symptoms that are coming from a specific source that needs to be addressed. If I can specifically identify the source, then the path to overcome it will be more clear and, upon overcoming it, those symptoms will go away.
In all areas of life, we need to get more specific. And trust me, your brain will thank you.