Reticular Activating System, or RAS in short, is by far the most important perceptual tool that I’ve learned about, ever.
The RAS is basically the eyes of your mind. It filters all that your eyes see, and focuses on the main things, like a pretty guy/girl, or a door, or a cab, or anything that is of a threat.
Look around your room and look for something that is red, because red has the value now. Now, close your eyes and try to recall something that’s green or grey or blue. Almost everyone will not notice anything that their minds deem unimportant.
So how is this knowledge useful or any use in my fields of interest?
As I’ve mentioned before, the RAS is the eye of the mind. It is the eye, literally, of your mind – your thoughts, your impulses, your reactions, and most importantly, your values and beliefs.
Your values. And your beliefs.
If you believe that the only way to success is working hard, you’re only going to be able to succeed by working hard, and even that is not certain.
If you believe vengeance is achieved only by inflicting pain to others, you will see no end to the measure of how much pain you’ll cause to others.
If you believe that people will only treat you nicely when you’re nice to them first, then you’re going to reject strangers who are nice to you even though you’ve never met them, thinking that they’re sneaky with a creepy little agenda.
If you believe you’re only good looking if you wear a specific shirt, and when a girl praises you when you’re in something else, you’ll think that she’s mocking you.
All in all, what you believe you’re entitled to is a much as you’ll ever get in your life.
The RAS is an unconscious mechanism that is heavily reliant on your internal belief structure. It is so heavily reliant that most people become insecure because what they want to be entitled to, or what they want to see (which is programming their RAS) cannot be supported by their internal system.
The other problem when dealing with the RAS is the personality of the person. Most of us think that our personality is our personality. That I’m born shy and it’s hard for me to talk to girls. That I am always nervous in front of girls. That I am not a funny guy or that I’m too geeky or nerdy.
That is bullshit.
The fact is that as we grow up, surrounded by social conditioning and groupthink, our personality just gets boxed in as well. We’re empty vessels taking everything in to make sense of the world, and when we’ve done that, we think the things we’ve taken in are parts of the real us. And then it becomes hard to replace it because we are all creatures of habits. And habits reinforces itself.
Thing is, there is no real us. So does that make us all empty puppets? No. This is where genes come in. But most of the time genetics gets confused with environment and personality. It is genetic that you’re highly intelligent, but it is not genetic that you’re socially awkward. It is genetic that you’re a good swimmer, but it is not genetic that you can’t learn to dance well.
Our talents, our geniuses – that is real.
But our personality is not. And eventually, as we grow up, we build on our belief system and structure, and that too becomes real.
Now then, back to RAS.
What you believe you’re entitled to is all that you will ever get.
The last problem involves our habits to be mentally lazy and afraid. As humans, we are mentally lazy. We are always looking to save time and energy. And we’re very afraid and shy of our environments. We would rather learn something that reinforces something we ALREADY know, rather than something that goes against our beliefs. It’s natural, of course. Because if we’re wrong about this, what else are we wrong about? Learning something that goes against something you’ve lived with all your life would simply break you and your core confidence. We humans are self-righteous and egoistical (to an extent because we need to rely on ourselves) people; we would never allow that.
It’s because of all these reasons, and the ignorance of the mechanisms that operate our minds that we find ourselves horribly limited. And the only way, really, is to go against it. To dumb down, and prove to our mind that it’s wrong – which leads me to my other principle: Proof, not promises. Our minds will promise us that we’ll be punished if we shout in public, and get shunned and be forever stupid if we fail to pass the test. These promises are necessary for survival, but no longer logical. The numbers don’t add up any longer. For this reason, and solely this reason only, that we need to dumb ourselves to restructure our minds.
Of course, no one ever does this.
We all know why.
To wrap this up, it is important that we believe we’re entitled to everything. To change our minds to believe in abundance (NOT EXTERNALLY) and not scarcity. This post was merely just to address the most important system for anyone who wishes to get to places. If I had to share all the possible ways of achieving this, then I’d have to write a book. It is hard to move into a mental state of abundance, and much harder to have that state react and changes your reality. But if you truly believe that you are entitled to everything, that you’re no different from that fat, sly boss of yours, or that arrogant president, you’ll start to see how the environment starts changing itself for you because your RAS begins to focus on everything you’ve never deemed important before. It’s not all in the mind, but it starts from the mind.
And from this point on, we create.
So ask yourself – what have you been missing out on?
**note** – I feel horrible writing like this, but as of now my desire to sleep and share this bit of information is far greater than my need to write eloquently.