According to Dictionary.com, your reticular activating system is “part of the reticular formation in the brainstem that plays a central role in bodily and behavior alertness; its ascending connections affect the function of the cerebral cortex and its descending connections affect bodily posture and reflex mechanisms.”
In other words, your Reticular Activating System (RAS), filters information so that you can process and focus on the most important. Your brain takes in millions of pieces of information that you can’t possibly process at the same time such as the feel of your seat, the temperature of the room, the clicking of the keyboard, the road noise and whatever you’re doing at the moment. One of the best things about your RAS is that it even works when you’re asleep.
Did you ever wonder how some people seem to get everything they want? From far away it seems so easy, right? Well, as much as we want to believe it’s easy, it isn’t. What it does take is intentional focus and discipline and your RAS can help.
How can you use your RAS to help you get what you want?
- Be crystal clear about what it is you want. The clearer you are the more likely you are to get it. Can you picture it in your mind? Do you know what it feels like when you get it?
- Set goals around what you want. By writing down your goals, (no they can’t just be in your head) it will help you zone in on what you are trying to accomplish. Your RAS can then work on filtering out unnecessary pieces of information to help keep the focus on your goals.
- Review your goals daily. Make it part of your morning routine when you get up in the morning or start work. Reviewing your goals daily helps keep your RAS focused.
- Review your goals before going to bed. This will give you the best shot at having your RAS continue to work on them while you sleep.
- Break your goals down into smaller more manageable pieces. Take your 3-year goals and figure out what you need to get done in 1-year, then quarterly, monthly, weekly and finally daily. What is one thing you need to do today to get one day closer to your goal?
What is the one thing you’re going to do today to set your RAS in motion?
By: Jackie Zach