Rewiring your brain for success doesn’t require a well-rehearsed pep talk. It’s not about pumping yourself up and saying things like, “I’m the best, I’m the best, I’m the best.”
Rather, it’s about training your brain to think in fundamentally different ways.
The brain’s ability to rewire itself is called “plasticity”, and it focuses explicitly on your brain’s Reticular Activating System (RAS).
Relatively speaking, the RAS is a small part of your brain. However, it is an extremely powerful set of nuclei that keeps you focused and on point.
Its function is to act as a filter, or gatekeeper for what finds its way into your conscious mind.
Think for a second about everything you see and hear and generally sense around you every day. With the exception of smell, which feeds the emotional portions of your brain, the RAS helps decide what’s important and what’s not so your mind doesn’t become overwhelmed.
Let’s use an example that plenty of people experience to highlight the RAS in action.
When couples start wanting children, their minds understandably begin to focus almost non-stop on everything they must do to plan for their child.
From crib to car seat to the doctor’s visits and everything else in between, the baby is on their mind 24/7. In fact, the mindset runs so deep, their focus on their future offspring manifests itself in incredible ways.
When they are out in public, children or women who are pregnant, appear to be everywhere.
When they are at home, every commercial on TV seems to feature parenthood prominently.
And it’s not just significant, life-altering events. Perhaps you’re itching to see the latest blockbuster movie.
When you’re out and about you spot numerous billboards advertising the movie that you didn’t notice before. Alternatively, you take greater notice of magazine articles or peoples discussions about the film.
Even when you’re surfing Netflix, your queue is full of movies that happen to feature the lead actor and actress from the current flick you want to see.
So what’s going on here?
Don’t worry. You’re not going crazy, and these occurrences are not magically springing to life.
You informed your RAS that these things are important to you, and your brain begins strongly focusing on them. It’s not that these elements were not present in the world before, you’re just more aware of their existence and are taking greater notice.
And the beauty of all this is that you can train your RAS to work for your success.