How to get what you want

Stop and think for a second about everything that is going on right here, right now, this very moment.  It’s a lot, in fact it’s billions of bits of information that are constantly shifting and more importantly constantly vying for our attention.

How we perceive information

We perceive information through our senses, sight, touch, smell, sound and taste.  Everything that we do, or experience will involve one or more of these senses. This information then is relayed across the nervous system to the brain for processing.  Each one of us has a unique perspective on reality which is shaped by our beliefs and our beliefs are shaped by how we sense the world.

A simple act of peeling an orange and eating it will activate all our senses. Whilst that is being processed life continues to happen around us, so that too needs to be processed at the same time.  How is it that this multitude of this information doesn’t overload our brain’s processing capacity? Well the answer is that it would overload our brain’s processing capacity except for a unique set of neurons in our nervous system which prevent that from happening by filtering information.

Avoiding overloading our brain

The human brain has a limitation on how much information can be processed at any one time. To avoid a meltdown our bodies have what is know as the Reticular Activating System (RAS).  At the base of the brain stem is a small collection of nerves about 2 inches in length and the diameter of a pencil.  All our senses are wired to this collection of neurons except for smell, which for some reason goes directly to the thalamus in the centre of our emotional brain.  Perhaps this is a throwback to our primitive days when the need to be alerted to dangerous smells (smoke for instance) required an immediate, instinctive response.

…each one of us has a unique perspective on reality, shaped by our beliefs…

The RAS acts as a filter and only let’s through information that your conscious mind needs to pay attention to, everything else is ignored.  We know this to be true when, for instance, reading a book and being so engrossed in the story line that you don’t notice anything else going on around you. Another example is when someone calls your name and your attention is immediately focused on that. Names are important to us and the RAS knows this and brings the sound of your name to your conscious mind whenever it is spoken.

Test your RAS now by consciously thinking of the colour blue and then taking a look around your environment.  Suddenly you can see blue everywhere!

Our thoughts become our reality

RAS works on a conscious and subconscious level. We can tell ourselves, “I think I need to buy a new watch” and then seemingly forget about it – except you don’t.  Your RAS has now accepted this and created a filter. It’s now on the lookout for watches and will remind you of this every time your senses detect a watch. Advertising companies are well acquainted in how the RAS works.

It’s important to know that the RAS cannot tell the difference between positive and negative.  If you constantly tell yourself, “I can’t do that”, “nothing good ever happens to me”, “I will always feel depressed”, then that will become a filter for the RAS and it will now bring this into your conscious mind when examples of this are found. This unfortunately creates a negative spiral, reinforcing the belief.

Getting what you want

The solution to getting what you want, is really determined by what we tell ourselves because in doing so we will create a belief that the RAS will then filter though all the information it receives to prove this. 

Using language that is framed positively, without vagueness, creates a filter for the RAS which will bring that positivity to you. 

Give it a try, change a negative belief into a positive one. Tell yourself that you now believe this to be true (and really mean it), then sit back and let the RAS do it’s work. You will be amazed at how you are now finding what you want coming true and all you had to do is think differently about things.

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