I’m living in exciting times as we (my business partners and I) are in the throes of launching a new business concept ‘Pants On The Outside’ at the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition on October 2nd and 3rd and so we are busy pulling things together. The concept has been designed to help ‘unleash business Superheroes’ and we’ve been having great fun working on the concept.
An interesting development has been that I’ve now started to spot superheroes everywhere I look (and I’m sure that they weren’t there before!). For example, I was in Covent Garden last week and a shoe shop’s window was full of comic strip and superhero images. The same day I was shopping in one of my favourite stores and I was struck (metaphorically of course) by a huge book about Superheroes. That evening I was at the Paralympics cheering like crazy for the superhero superhumans on the track!
So…what’s happening? Has the world suddenly gone ‘Superhero’ crazy, or is something else at work?! Actually, I know that it’s the latter; my reticular activating system (RAS for short) has kicked in.
“What’s that then?” I hear you ask. In very simple terms the RAS is an automatic mechanism that connects the major nerves in the spinal column with the brain that filters all of the many million impulses that assault your brain every second and brings the relevant information to your attention.
I’ve heard it described like a door man who has a list of people who are invited to attend a club (if your name’s not down, you’re not coming in!) I’ve also seen it described as the ‘gatekeeper of consciousness’ or an ‘editor’ set up to sift useful information and feed it into the brain. Activating your RAs is easy as it responds to the things that are currently important to you (hence the proliferation of all things superhero in my consciousness).
I love the idea that your RAS is primed and alert to spot the things that are currently important to you, and once you are made aware of its presence you too will start to see it in action. Think back to the time when you’ve changed your car and suddenly they seem to be everywhere, that’s your RAS in action. Why it’s such an appealing thought is that your RAS can quickly become your very own ‘Superhero’. Tell it what you want to achieve and it will start highlighting all of the opportunities that are available to you. It will work tirelessly day and night to help bring things to your attention that you might other wise have missed; it’s just a case of letting it know what’s important!
If you happen to be reading this, I’d love to hear about how your Superhero RAS is helping you!