“The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information so the important stuff gets through.” Taken from Tobias van Schneider‘s blog at Medium.com
So how can this bundle of nerves at our brainstem make the world a better place? A little information first. What is your Reticular Activating System? “Your RAS takes what you focus on and creates a filter for it. It then sifts through the data and presents only the pieces that are important to you. All of this happens without you noticing, of course.” (van Schneider)
I have a friend who thinks the world is out to get him. No matter what the circumstances, he can only see the negative. He rarely, if ever, acknowledges all the things that have worked out for him, all the people trying to help him, and the miracles that have presented themselves to him ever since I met him….and if/when he does, those moments are fleeting. I am the complete opposite. I see the rainbow in every cloud, I know there are solutions to every problem and I commit myself to finding them or being patient til they find me. I see opportunities everywhere, I believe the universe has my back… in essence, I am a very positive person. My friend and I drive each other crazy.
I think of my Reticular Activating System as a google search engine. I consider a question and I know it will keep searching for answers to it, whether I’m still thinking of the question or not. This idea has been explained by considering how many yellow umbrellas or red automobiles you’ve seen lately. As soon as you are asked, you are subsequently going to constantly be seeing yellow umbrellas and red automobiles everywhere you go. Have yellow umbrellas suddenly multiplied in your town? No, however now your brain is filtering out all the other umbrellas and zeroing in on the yellow ones so you start noticing them whenever and wherever they are within your vicinity. Consider how many things you take in every day. You can’t possibly notice everything in your surroundings. Thus, your daily experience is based on how you are wired from childhood and all the conscious rewiring you have done since then. You will notice that which you expect. So what if you expect good things?
Yesterday, my teacher Sonia Choquette suggested that we, her students, all voice out loud multiple things we are grateful for and not only things that have happened or are currently happening, but all the wonderful opportunities and experiences we are about to have. She then encouraged us to report back on social media all the wonderful opportunities and experiences that presented themselves the next day. She planted in our brains a prompt, in other words, for our RAS. And guess what happened? People who chose to participate noticed more of the wonderful opportunities and experiences that occurred than they might have otherwise had they not focused on their gratitude. It’s not that good things wouldn’t have happened, it’s that there was a match to what we were seeking and therefore much more apparent when they took place. We are more likely to acknowledge the results of our intent when we focus our attention in that way.
Is it that simple to find more happiness in our daily life? YES! Give it a try to see for yourself and then report back!
So how does all of this make the world a better place? Well, we’re just getting started. First of all, when we feel good we tend to make others around us feel good too. So starting off with gratitude is already making the world a better place. But what if we took it a step further. I am a person who is always seeking ways to make the world a better place. It’s in my nature and this quality naturally reinforces itself because it feels so good! I am a true believer that, if asked or given the opportunity, more people in the world than not want to do what they can to make the world a better place as often as possible. We just don’t always know how to or see opportunities to bless others. So what if we posed those questions to our RAS?
How can I make the world a better place today? What are ways I can uplift others today? Who can I bless today?
Pick one or make up your own and let me know how it goes.
I believe the more we can activate these questions, start making these the topic of conversation more often with friends or family, sharing our experiences whether on the giving or the receiving end or even as a bystander, the more opportunities we will be aware of where we can make a difference.
This is my goal with Spread Goodness® and the Spread Goodness® Challenge. I want this “what can we do to uplift others” prompt to be the topic at the dinner table, in schools, throughout our communities and around the world! Consider the impact if we were all making an effort to brighten someone else’s day!
What ideas do you have for Spreading Goodness? I would love to hear! Go to www.SpreadGoodness.Love and use code LOVE to share or simply comment below.
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