Ever been at a party and talking with an interesting person in a crowded room you are fully engrossed and unaware of any specific sounds, even the din of voices. But let someone across the room say your name and you most likely will hear it instantly. Ever gone shopping for a car and then you narrow it down to one or two and then suddenly you see that car everywhere?
That is your Reticular Activating System or RAS at work
The Reticular Activating System is the attention center in the brain. It is the key to “turning on your brain” You can deliberately program the reticular activating system by choosing the exact messages you send from your conscious mind. For example, you can set goals, or say affirmations, or visualize your goals. Second, your reticular activating system cannot distinguish between ‘real events’ and ‘synthetic’ reality. In other words it tends to believe whatever message you give it. Imagine that you’re going to be giving a speech. You can practice giving that speech by visualizing it in your mind. This ‘pretend’ practice will improve your ability to give the speech.
Setting a goal works, in part, because we set our RAS to pay attention to the things that will help us achieve the goal! Your RAS is working whether you have set it intentionally or not. Doesn’t it make sense then to set some goals so that you can program your RAS to pay attention to things you care about?
So what goals have you set for yourself?