The Thursday Thesis - 9/03/2017
“Your Brain’s Secret Defence against Irrelevence”...
Last week I promised to tell you about a clever trick our brains do and how to harness it to our own advantage.
It’s your brain’s ability to reject the vast majority of what comes streaming into it and to capture and draw to your attention the tiny amount of what we think is important from everything that goes on all around us.
Think about it: think of all the sights, smells, sounds, tastes and feelings that are hitting our senses at any time.
Feel how your right heel presses lightly into the back of your shoe?
Smell the perfume of the washing powder you laundered your clothes in?
Can you hear the whisper of your computer’s cooling fan?
Until I suggested that you should notice them, the chances are that you didn’t even notice those sensations.
That’s because our brains have a powerful filter on incoming information, and it’s set to reject what isn’t important.
It’s called the Reticular Activating System – the RAS, for short - and it’s a lot like a nightclub bouncer who politely tells you that your name isn’t on the list, so you can’t get in.
A well known example of the RAS in action is when you decide that you’d like to buy a particular new car – then you start to see that kind of car everywhere.
Your own thinking of purchasing the car gave it particular significance, so the RAS began allow the sighting to pass through your filters.
The RAS does its best, but - unless we direct it – our poor old RAS has no clue what it should filter out and what it should allow to pass.
That’s down to us.
Do we decide what we allow into our minds, or allow the RAS to pick-up on? Advertising, media, the endless streams of Bad News broadcast by Bad News Stations?
I think not – so I take care to remind my RAS that it should look for beauty, smiles, love and reasons to be grateful for my life.
I write – each morning – a few lines of what I am grateful for, my son, health, work that I love, the chance to grow, today.
As I do this I am programming my RAS with what I want more of, and that’s what I get – more of the good stuff.
Just suppose I was foolish enough to not even ask for more good stuff – what might I get instead?
All you have to do is ask...
© Neil Cowmeadow 2017
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