As we bring into our conscious awareness that which we seek, we engage or own internal filter, known as the Reticular Activator System (RAS).
The term “Reticular Activator” comes from the name given to the part of the brain primarily responsible for arousal and motivation in animals (including humans). It’s called the “reticular formation” and it’s located at the core of the brain stem. (See figure 1).
Among its other functions the RAS is the part of the brain that stays on alert, processing all the data that surrounds us. One of its functions is to make you consciously notice some things and ignore other things so that your brain is not overwhelmed by the vast range of stimuli that comes from internal sources, such as heartbeat and respiration, as well as external sources that bombards all of your senses.
In doing so, it acts as a filter, to allow your brain to process just the right amount of information in order for you the able to function normally. In doing so it seeks information in order to provide answers to consciously posed questions.
In order to prevent the brain form sensory overload, all the information that passes through the RAS is sorted and filed according to what I have named the SEEN filters which decide whether the information will be sent to the conscious or subconscious.
So what does SEEN stand for:
1. Survival: This includes information about things, people or experiences that threaten own survival, personal values or self esteem.
For example if you are driving at high speeds or even just down suburbia, your brain is taking in a multiple of clues that safeguards your safe journey. You can quite accurately assess the speed and distance between yourself and other cars, motorcyclists or cyclists, whilst keeping an eye on any pedestrians in the vicinity, etc. Whilst all the while ensuring you have a smooth ride and that you and others come to no harm.
2. Elemental: Information that is integral to us that can be considered of personal relevance, based on our individual perception and value or meaning.
For example, when you buy a new item, be it a new pair of jeans or let’s say a new car, all of a sudden, as you go on about your daily life, you seem to notice similar items just like the one you bought “everywhere”. This is RAS in action
3. Enjoyable: This includes any experiences as perceived by our senses to be enjoyable.
Thus be it a gentle breeze you can feel on a summer’s night as you eat al fresco, or the sensation you get from stroking your pet whilst you watch TV, or the joy of watching a landscape on an afternoon walk, your brain is more likely to be consciously processing these stimuli if RAS deems the information to be pleasurable.
4. Noteworthy: Unique or uncommon, events, people, objects will be picked up and processed by the RAS as something interesting to be processed consciously.
So if in a group you tend to pick up, who the boisterous individual is or perhaps the shy and retiring type, quite quickly. Or perhaps you catch the unusual brooch or the dress sense of the extrovert. You get the picture.
The SEEN criterion is coloured by an individual’s perceptions, depending of his past experiences and values.
So as you crystalise your goals your RAS goes to work and acts as a radar. Hence, events, people, and all sort of information that would otherwise pass by unnoticed is brought to your attention as noteworthy, in order to assist you making your goal a reality.
So if, for example, you are struggling with getting traffic to your site, it might happen that next time you go through your inbox you will notice that a traffic course has just been launched and is now being offered at a discount.
When you are clear of your goals your RAS will look for supporting material that will add to your field of awareness. In turn you will be able to make conscious decisions on how best to act in order to bring forth your goals.
So if you are starting your journey or if would like to fine tune your plans, make sure that you are very clear of what your goals are and trust your subconscious to provide you with the signposts and material that you can act upon until your goals are reached.
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Wishing you great success