I learned about this from legendary copywriting teacher John Carlton. John mentioned that he heard about his from a Navy Seal friend of his.
Among the Navy Seals, I believe there are four levels of awareness.
1. White: Total Zombie
This is a semi sleep state. You are not fully aware of things around you. You are easily missing most of what’s happening around you in this state.
2. Yellow: Selective Attention
You are just aware enough to get by. You are there most of the time. That is how you live most of your life. As the name indicates, you are “selectively” aware of what matters to you “directly” and nothing else.
3. Red: Hyper aware
You are super aware of everything that’s around you in full detail. If you are in a movie theatre, you know who is sitting next to you, in front of you, behind you. You also know where the exits are and how many people you can beat to get to the exit if there is a need.
4. Black: Kill everything that moves
This is what happens in the battle zone.
You don’t need to be in the Red State all the time (unless you are a Navy Seal, may be) but you should be able to switch to the “Red” state almost at will and stay as long as you want.
And, at home or at the office, you don’t need to be in the Black state, please.
The better your awareness, the better your perception.
The better your perception, the better your (chances of) interpretation
The better your interpretation, the better your (chances of) choice
The better your choice, the better your (chances of) actions
The better your actions, the better your (chances of) success.