I recently splashed out on a new computer. My old one was seven years old and really showing the strain and as this is an essential piece of business kit for me I dug deep and now a shiny new orange Mac sits on my desk.
The old one was near its memory capacity and kept crashing when I downloaded things.
Every time this happened, I started to think about how we are rather like computers as we can overload when we try to download too much at once.
Did you know that we can be bombarded by over 14,000,000 bits of information at any time?
To cope with this, we have a filter system called the reticular activating system (RAS) that is a collection of nerves in our brainstems.
It is the portal through which nearly all information enters the brain. It filters out unnecessary stuff so that what we need to focus on gets through.
Like all systems designed to help us, it can also have its drawbacks.
This is the reason why when you decide to be different and buy a yellow car and take it out on the road you see yellow cars everywhere.
It’s the reason that an exhausted mother will snap awake when her child starts to whimper, or why you are in a crowd but suddenly very aware that your name has been mentioned across the room.
At a basic level the RAS will respond to your name, anything that is a threat and information that is needed immediately.
However, from our primeval hard-wiring it also responds to novelty and looks for the new.
For example, you enter a room and spot something different or out of place.
Great when you had to notice what was different to survive but not so great when you are trying to relax at home and keep seeing things that need fixing.
My regular mantra to my partner is: ‘Look for what is right and not what is wrong’ as having seen active service he is primed to look out for what is amiss.
The RAS seeks data that validates your beliefs.
So, if you believe that all dogs are vicious you can walk down a road and not see the ten sweet dogs (that don’t correspond to your filter) but your RAS goes on red alert as you pass the one that’s growling. Thus, reinforcing your initial belief.
At its worst prejudice can develop.
People see what they believe and disregard the rest.
Even a heated debate on the radio or television will see people not change their views or let new information into their filter.
As with all things, understanding is power.
So, understand your RAS and reset it for better results.
This is called establishing your intent and it is rather like a goals or resolutions list.
By setting your intention for what you want to filter in, for example, beauty in nature or people doing kind things, your RAS will help you focus on such a way that you meet the people, find the information and become open to the opportunities you desire.
If you would like to find out more about this book a discovery call with me – https://rosalynpalmer.com/contact/