As a kid, I used to read a lot of storybooks. I was supposed to look up every new word I came across in the dictionary, but sometimes, I was lazy and avoided it. However, this word would not let me rest. It would haunt me and start popping up everywhere, in every conversation and on every page! I had no choice but to find out the meaning of this word if I wanted to stop being bothered by it.
Eventually, I found out about the ‘Reticular Activation System’ (RAS) – the culprit responsible for my harassment in childhood! RAS is a network of nerves located at our brain stem. One of its functions is to filter the information that we receive through our senses. It acts as a gatekeeper for what comes into our consciousness from our sensory organs. RAS parses the stimulus and only allows the necessary, the unusual, and the dangerous to come to our attention, thus preventing us from being overwhelmed by the information overload on our senses. RAS also makes us focus on what is important to us.
How does RAS figure what is important to us? Our focus and belief system provide the parameters of what is important to us. RAS seeks information and validates our beliefs for us. So, if we believe that we are bad at public speaking, we are quite likely to be. If we focus on our fears or illness, we create them in our life. If we think that we are blessed or lucky, so it is. If we believe we are in good health or a born leader, we will be because our brain will back us up and validate it for us. RAS helps us see what we want to and, thereby, influences our actions. With our habitual thoughts providing the blueprint for our reactions to events in life, what we focus on most, will appear in our life. What will you use this blueprint for?