Goal Setting and Your Reticular Activating System

This topic of how the Reticular Activating System (your RAS) helps you to achieve goals came up because of an experience that my daughter had. Watch the video above for all of the details.

And understanding the power of goal setting and how it relates to the RAS in your brain could be the key to unlocking your potential and achieving success.

Goal setting is a powerful process that involves identifying specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives that you want to accomplish. It provides you with a roadmap to follow, a sense of direction, and a clear vision of what you want to achieve. However, setting goals is just the first step. Your brain plays a crucial role in determining whether you will achieve your goals or not, and that’s where the RAS comes into play.

The RAS is a part of your brain that acts as a filter, processing information from your senses and determining what gets your attention and what doesn’t. It acts as a gatekeeper, allowing only relevant information to pass through to your conscious mind, while filtering out the rest. In simple terms, the RAS helps you focus on what’s important to you and ignore the distractions.

One of the key functions of the RAS is to align your internal beliefs and expectations with your external reality. It seeks to confirm what you believe to be true, and it works tirelessly to match your reality with your expectations. When you set a goal, you create a new expectation for yourself, and your RAS goes to work to make that expectation a reality.

For example, let’s say you set a goal to start a successful business. Your RAS will start filtering information that is relevant to your business goal, such as business opportunities, networking events, and resources that can help you achieve your objective. It will also make you more aware of relevant information that you might have overlooked before, as it is now considered important to you. This heightened awareness and focus on your goal will drive you to take action and make progress towards achieving it.

As you will see in the video, this is what happened when my daughter set a goal of joining a university club and meeting new people.

On the other hand, if you don’t set clear goals, your RAS will still function, but it will lack a clear direction. It will simply respond to the stimuli in your environment without a specific filter, leading to a scattered and unfocused mindset. This can result in wasted time, missed opportunities, and a lack of progress towards your desired outcomes.

So, get specific, ideally visualise the achievement of your goal, and get your RAS working for you to help you to achieve more.

By Anil Puri

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