Warning: I’m about to get REAL nerdy on you here but I promise it’s worth it. Let’s go!
Have you heard about your Reticular Activating System, or RAS? It’s a bunch of nerves that help our brain filter information so the most important stuff we want to know about gets through. I read Turia Pitt describe it as a “mini Google inside your head” which is kind of perfect!
For example; let’s say you’ve started pondering the idea of writing a book one day, and suddenly everywhere you look you’re seeing and hearing about people publishing! Or maybe there’s a particular colour you’ve recently fallen in love with and now you’re seeing it everywhere. It’s not that these occurrences are any more frequent then before you had these thoughts! It’s just your RAS at work.
Your RAS takes the content you’re interested in and creates a filter for it. With the filter in place it can then sort through all of the less relevant information your brain is exposed to and make sure it presents you with only the most helpful and important details.
And the best part? You don’t need to do anything to make this happen. Your personal “Google search” just works because you have a big, beautiful brain.
So how is this useful to me, Tahnée? I thought you’d never ask.
Try using your RAS like background research! Everytime you come up with a big idea, goal or a topic you want to explore further, add it to a list—even a note on your phone is great—and revisit this list often. I have MULTIPLE lists!
One of them is a running list of topics I want to write about. The RAS has been on that list for a while and not-so-ironically I stumbled across another article on it this morning.. And hence this post came to life.
By committing these ideas to “paper”, my RAS is constantly doing background research for me and helping me find opportunities to seize and act on.
So, how are you going to put your RAS to work?