How many butterflies do you see around you?
Right now, in your home or office, probably none.
But you will probably notice a few later today – maybe in a magazine photo, or on television, or out in nature – at least until my question evaporates from your consciousness.
In researching goal setting for my upcoming talk for the Texas Association of Magicians (TAOM) convention in Austin, Texas on September 6, 2015, I was reminded of our RAS.
RAS means Reticular Activating System.
It’s at the base of your brain stem.
It’s job is to basically sort through the millions of data bits surrounding you in any one moment to deliver the seven bits that are relevant to you.
Numerous authors gave their own names to this natural tool of survival and selection.
In 1960, Maxwell Maltz wrote a breakthrough book called, Psycho-Cybernetics. In it he called the RAS your “servo-mechanism.”
Seems like an odd name to me, but it worked for Maltz and legions of his readers.
Either way, there is something in you that will help you attract your intentions if you activate it.
So let’s look a little closer…
How does your RAS select what’s relevant?
Basically in two ways:
1. Anything to help you survive.
2. Anything related to a goal.
Survival is the default setting.
Your brain is designed to help you stay safe and reproduce.
You don’t have to think about it. It’s hard wired into your brain.
Most of the work of your unconscious is around the idea of keeping you here and assuring some aspect of “you” remains after you’re gone.
But you can also program your mind for additional filters.
For example, whenever you set a goal or intention, you are programming your mind to help you attract and achieve it.
You are inserting a new command into your RAS.
It will then begin to filter those 10,000,000 bits of data in every moment to deliver what is relevant to your goal or intention.
But how do you program your RAS?
The best way to get a new command into your brain is with a goal or intention that fulfills these three qualities:
2. Vivid Imagery
In other words, a goal needs to be fueled with emotion (love, hate, or fear are the biggies), it needs to be vividly clear as an image (the mind responds to pictures), and it needs to be repeated (to get it installed in your mind).
When I asked you to look for butterflies, I was temporarily turning on your RAS to look for butterflies.
Without an emotional reason to see butterflies, or a clear picture of what butterfly you wanted to see, and without repetition, you will soon forget all about butterflies.
This is true for anything you want to attract or achieve.
Your mind is designed to help you achieve your goals, but you have to tell it what you want.
Why not do that right now?
1. Select a desire, goal or intention.
2. Find an emotional reason for wanting it.
3. Create or find a clear image of it.
4. Look at the image, and feel your desire for it, every day.
Of course, you still need to take action.
Wallace Wattles (of The Science of Getting Rich fame) said what you want will arrive through natural means.
Don’t expect a Hollywood movie style Harry Potter production of your goal, but do welcome it if it comes that way.
Expect Miracles – and do what you are inspired to do.
Meanwhile, enjoy the butterflies.
PS – I’m speaking at the TAOM convention because I am a lifetime member of the Society of American Magicians, the organization founded by Harry Houdini. But I’m far less interested in magic tricks as I am in real magic. If you want real magic, too, then please click right here.
I literally looked out my window after I finished reading your blog and saw a butterfly! For that moment I was experiencing real magic.
Zowie! Nice! 🙂
We all need to be reminded, because we all get very forgetful.
I’ve known about this for years, but I still needed the occasional kick in pants. In fact, I talk about it in my book “Unleash Your Dreams: Going Beyond Goal Setting”.
Without focus and intention, emotion and action, and of course visualisation. you’ll never achieve your goals.
Such great information, Joe! I love to know the “why” behind how all this works. It makes it understandable and removes the ideas that it’s too hard or random. I find it funny how your topic was butterflies because this summer I have been surrounded by them everytime I go outside. I always get buzzed by one when I mow the lawn. The more attention I have given them, the more they show up. Thank you for the insight!
You are great Joe! I love you so much, Rhonda and Bob and thank you for the love that you offer the world every day! I lost me from about 2 years since my beautiful Italy and with your valuable advice and secrets my life became pure magic! Unfortunately, I do not know the English language (now use a translator) and many videos and courses can not enjoy them. What can I do? I only regret this. A big bear hug!