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Get Your RAS Into Gear!

You decide, or the universe chooses for you, that it is time to get a new car. So after varying amounts of research, you decide that you are going to a brand new Jeep Wrangler. You go to the dealership, and 1 to 8 hours later, you leave in your brand-new car! Suddenly, like magic, you begin to notice that almost everyone has gone out and also bought a Jeep Wrangler! Everywhere you turn, you see Jeep Wranglers! So, what happened here? Has Jeep beefed up its marketing? Have you been transported through a wormhole to a world that only allows Jeeps? Nope! (Well, maybe the last one) – you are seeing your Reticular Activating System at work. The Reticular Activating System is a “network of neurons located in the brain stem” that plays a role in many of our daily functions, such as sleep. It also plays a role in which information and stimuli filter out and push into the forefront of our consciousness.

 

Put another way: it is the part of our brain that makes it so that after you learn about a new topic, you always hear people talking about it and why you always see your new car driving around!

What You Focus on Expands


Your RAS acts like your own personal search engine. Tell it what you want to look for, and it will find it!

However, with your RAS, like with search engines, the important things are which keywords you use and how you phrase them. Your RAS focuses on two “pathways”:

1. Want / Value / Love

2. Don’t Want / Fear / Threat

With a search engine, you decide the tone and direction a search will go. It is the difference between searching for:

 

“How do you know if there is mold in your house” and “Black mold in house deadly.”

 

You may get similar information, but the journey will be much different. Your RAS works in a very similar way. The way you program your thoughts has significance to the quality of your journey. An example of this is when you tell your brain day in and day out that things are headed downhill. Your RAS goes out and shows you every instance of this being true that it can find, AND it filters out anything that contradicts your belief.

In short – you see what you want to see.

The Power of Your RAS

Staying on the positive pathway of “want/value/love” can be difficult; however, using your thoughts to follow the positive pathway is essential if you wish to perform at your highest level.

 

The power of positive thinking may seem cliché to some, but that is only because we all know it to be true. Negativity is corrosive, and the more you wallow in it, the more it affects your outcomes.

 

Tax the story of a person we will call “Joe,” who I worked with at a restaurant during college. Joe was always framing everything through a negative lens: “we are going to make no money tonight because all this restaurant sells is burgers.”

 

For well over a year, I saw this come true for Joe night after night; meanwhile, I was making more money than I ever had. At least, that is the story I tell myself; however, I do not doubt that there were nights that Joe made good money and I made nothing.

 

The thing is, Joe never mentioned the nights he did well. Instead, he was too focused on his expectation that the restaurant stunk. By that same logic, I loved the restaurant and believed I would make good money every night. On nights when I left with only $40, it was easy to let that roll off my back (and out of my mind). What you focus on expands – this is the power of your RAS!

The Quality of Your Life

If you believe that you are a “player” in your life and not a victim, you must train yourself to walk the positive pathway as often as possible.

 

This is not easy. It is not a light switch, rather like with any muscle in your body, you must strengthen it through use. But just like with exercise, the payoff is worth the difficulty.

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