Programme your Mind for Success

Your brain is designed to help you achieve your goals in a way that is immensely powerful if harnessed properly.  Here’s how… starting with the scientific bit!

The “Reticular Activating System” or RAS is the name given to part of the brain (the Reticular Formation and its connections) believed to be the centre of arousal and motivation in animals (including humans).  It is situated at the core of the brain stem between the myelencephalon (medulla) and metencephalon (midbrain).

The RAS is that little bundle of cells you have in the back of your brain known as the “control centre”, it serves as the filter for what enters your conscious and unconscious mind.

According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience:   “We filter around 2 million bits of information per second down to 7 plus or minus 2 chunks of information.” In other words, the data available to your central nervous system goes through a process of deletion, distortion and generalisation in order for you to make sense of all the information.  The system in charge of sorting the information is called the RAS. The RAS is a self-filtering system that chooses what you accept and reject based upon your beliefs, values, experience and prejudices.

Focusing on two or three key areas of business or a singular goal does something special to your behaviour.  It triggers your RAS.  Your brain is assaulted by thousands of messages each second. Everything you see, hear, smell, feel and touch is a message entering your brain. The RAS filters through all these messages and decides which ones will get headline treatment – that is, arouse the brain and get your attention.

One of the things that have been learned from working with entrepreneurs is that you tend to pay attention to the things which are important to you at the time.  If your dominant thoughts are about creating a new business, you’ll start seeing other businesses and ideas. You’ll hear conversations about new business ventures. You’ll pick up ideas relating to new business ventures and even see things around you in a different way and relate it back to business.

In other words, the RAS will reject or ignore anything unrelated to your focus and highlight anything that is even remotely related to the important issue – the new business venture.

From a practical point of view, this means that, if you want to solve a problem or achieve a goal, keep it at the top of your mind.  Think about it, talk about it, write about it and imagine it completed.

This is one of the reasons why affirmations work so well and why it is important to review your goals frequently.

If you focus on improving a specific key indicator of your business success, your RAS will pass through sights, sounds, people and ideas even remotely related to that point of focus. In other words, if you measure it visibly, frequently and attentively, it will likely improve.

Here’s a suggestion: Identify the two to five key measurements and key indicators that are important and essential for your business. Set up an active system to measure and track these indicators. Talk to your employees about it at every opportunity. Put charts and graphs of these indicators on the wall of the lunch room. Make your interest in these metrics very active and visible.

The likelihood is that you’ll get what you’re looking for – improvements in these areas.

You can count on it!