You just bought a new red car over the weekend. On your way to work on Monday morning, you have noticed that suddenly there are so many red cars exactly the same as yours on the road. They were not there before! What happened? Just like you, did they decide to buy the exact same car as yours over the weekend? That’s unlikely. What happened is that your Reticular Activating System (RAS) has been activated. The cars have always been around you. It is just that you did not notice it before.
What is the Reticular Activating System (RAS)?
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a bundle of neurons in the brain. Its primary function is that it is in charge of a person’s sensation and attention. Anatomically, it is just the size of a little finger but it plays a very important role in our being because it filters the information being sent to our brain. It removes out any unnecessary information. There are millions of information out there at any given time. The brain cannot process everything so it only chooses information that it thinks is important to you.
For example, if you are in a room full of people and you heard somebody call out your name, then your first reaction is to look, right? That is because your RAS recognised the sound of your name. You are not going to even bother when somebody calls out other people’s names, are you? That’s how crucial the function of an RAS is.
How does the RAS know what is important to you?
As mentioned, the RAS filters information. It chooses only those who are important to you. But, how does it know which is important to you? It knows through what you focus on the most. It validates your beliefs. It works within the boundaries that you set into. So, if you believe in something strongly, then the RAS will focus on that.
Have you noticed people who kept on saying…
- I’m never gonna lose weight, never loses weight
- I don’t have enough money, never have enough money
- I’m not good at that, never get better in that particular field
On the contrary, people who focuses on the positive attracts more positivity in their lives. If you focus on the good things, good things will come to you. If you focus on the negative things, you will attract negative things into your life.
What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny. – Robin S. Sharma
If you focus on your goals, your RAS will open your eyes to information, people, opportunities and situations that will help you achieve your goals.
So, what do you focus on?