Have you ever experienced that you were thinking about something and a few hours later that word or thing shows up everywhere?
Yesterday, for instance, I was thinking about a Moscow Mule (cocktail): I walked the beautiful Sri Lanka beach and saw it promoted at every beach club. Of course, there were more cocktails promoted but my mind was attuned to my favorite cocktail. sidenote: if you haven’t had a Moscow Mule yet, TRY IT!
The reason for this comes from a part of your brain called the Reticular Activation System (RAS). It’s something I was introduced to a few years ago. And it seems to have some hidden powers. The Reticular Activating System is a group of nerves at our brainstem that works as an entry point for all data that enters our brain. Through our senses we humans need to process billions of bits of data every single moment. With the RAS we are able to effectively process the data. It filters out the unnecessary, so the important stuff get’s our attention.
In a crowd, everyone can tune out the people talking, however, once we hear our name we have full attention.
Our RAS subconsciously processes this information as important. For our survival, it’s important to have attention when someone says our name.
- If you’re a dentist you’ll tend to notice peoples teeth more often than others.
- And if you’re an architect you’ll notice the structure of buildings more than others.
Oke cool, but how does this help me get what I want?
Start imagining what you want. Literally, IMAGINE it. And you’ll eventually get it.
Every thought you put into mind is what comes to fruition. Start controlling the thoughts and beliefs you put in your mind and you’ll be able to get what you want. Some people will refer to this as the law of attraction. What can seem pretty new agey, However, with the function of the RAS explained, it get’s some scientific back-up.
When you feed negativity to your subconscious, you’ll see negativity pop up in your life. If you feed it positivity, you’ll get positivity in your life. So by taking control over your thoughts, you’ll change the direction of your life.
Change your thoughts and you’ll change your life!
I’ve seen it happen in my life. 5 years ago I created a mind map where I created long-term goals for my life. Every time I go back to the mind map I see different goals manifested. Of course, I put in tremendous amounts of work, but I now understand the link with my RAS. By consciously designing my life and setting goals, my RAS starts subconsciously focussing on information that is important for me to reach these goals. It’s crazy how it works. But believe me, it does.
3 practical steps
I’ve created 3 essential steps to make the RAS work for you:
#1 Create a positive and growth mentality.
Happiness and positivity lead to success, success doesn’t lead to happiness and positivity.
When you see opportunities in life and create a growth (abundance) mentality you’ll lay a foundation for success. How do you do it? First become aware of the bullshit beliefs you have. These are conditioned and can be dealt with. Start changing your thoughts and beliefs and you’ll change your mindset.
As an example: you might have the belief that you not smart enough. Becoming aware of it is the first step, however then start telling yourself that you are smart enough to achieve what you want. Make it a structure, it works.
Additionally, stop allowing negativity into your mind. Like read the negative news or putting bad stuff into your body. Feed yourself with good stuff (food, excursus, meditation, reading, etc.) and you’ll lay a foundation for growth and positivity.
#2 Create long-term goals
How do want to be remembered when you die? In every role of your life? and design your life backward. I designed my life in 4 key areas: personal (sports, hobbies, values), finances, career, relationships. Using a mindmap (like MindMeister) is a great way to make it visual and exciting.
#3 Create short-term goals
Every day you create goals that are in line with your long-term goals, that you want to accomplish and feel how it is to have them accomplished. For example, I write down 3 goals (personal and business) I want to achieve per day. Make sure that the last list you look at is your list of short-term goals; your RAS helps you keep them in mind. Even when you’re not consciously aware of the goals, your brain is aware of them and makes note of anything that relates to them.
To conclude, your RAS is an amazing filtering tool to make sure you focus on what you need. Start consciously putting the right things into your mind and you’ll start getting what you want.