How Effectively Are You Using Your RAS

Brain diagram

Before you can answer that question, you need to know what in the heck is a RAS.

According to Neuroscientists, the Reticular Activating System is a bundle of densely packed nerve cells located in the central core of the brainstem. It is about the size of a little finger and runs from the top of the spinal cord to the middle of the brain. This area of tightly packed nerve fibers and cells contain nearly 70% of your brain’s estimated 200 billion nerve cells! That’s a bunch.

So what is its purpose?

The biological purpose of the RAS is to act as our minds “filtering system” and protect us by bringing into our awareness things that are important to us at the moment.

Each day we are exposed to thousands of sounds, movements, and actions. While I type this, I hear the clicking sound of the keyboard. In the background, I hear my pool pump running, a siren on the highway, and my wife talking on the phone. I hear all of this simultaneously, and they all call for my attention. Upon hearing these sounds my RAS unconsciously recognizes these sounds as no threat, so I type on undisturbed.

If we had to consciously concentrate on every one of the thousands of sounds, movements or visual stimuli we receive daily, we would never get anything done, and we would go nuts trying to consciously make thousands of decisions daily. Fortunately, our RAS takes care of all of this for us by shutting out or filtering out noises, messages or images that are not immediately important at the moment.

Example of The RAS at work

A mother’s RAS will spring into action in the middle of the night when her newborn baby cries while her husband, who is in the bed beside her, never hears the baby’s cries. If the same mother is in a room full of crying babies, she is able to determine if HER baby is one of the ones crying.

All of a sudden things appear that you never noticed before (the pink Cadillac effect)

Perhaps you have had the experience of buying a new car and thinking that it was unique because you had not seen this model before. As you are making your purchase, you catch yourself thinking that this is way cool because you will stand out on the road. This adds to the excitement of the purchase, and you can’t wait to get on the road with your new and different ride.

You sign the papers and roar out of the dealership feeling superior to the other mundane drivers on the road. Then reality hits you square in the mouth. You have gone barely a mile before you notice another identical model as yours. Same model and same color. Soon after, you notice another and another and another. Where did these come from you mutter to yourself?

Truth is they were there all along, you just did not see them because they were not on your personal radar and therefore they did not register with you.

This is how the minds filtering system works. Only when things become important will our RAS allow them to enter into our conscious thought process.

The “Law of Attraction” employs the RAS as a method to bring into our lives that which we deem important and that which we dwell upon. Our thoughts literally manifest themselves in physical reality by bringing things into our lives that we think about. The RAS can bring BOTH positive or negative into our lives. It doesn’t know the difference between good or bad and only executes what thoughts we give it. So be careful what you think about because what you dwell upon will most certainly become your experience.

Add Content Block