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RAS (Reticular Activating System)

Two for You — take two minutes to live and lead with intention

Episode 1.5

How can you use your subconscious mind to help you focus on the positive in your community? Learn how to ignite your RAS for good.



Note: Two for You written transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before referencing content in print.

[Denise] Hello and welcome to this episode of Two for You, where we're going to be talking about the Reticular Activating System, or the RAS, and how you can put it to work for you as leaders in your work, your community, or your personal life.

[Lori] So I love the RAS. The reticular activating system is - it starts above your spinal cord and it's about two inches long, it's about the width of a pencil, and it's where all your senses come in. Well, except for your smell, which goes into your emotional center of your brain, but the rest of them come in through the RAS and what the RAS does is really connect that subconscious part of our brain with the conscious part of our brain.

So, for example, how this works is, if you were to look around the room and look for the color blue. Do you have some examples? Like Denise's scarf, for example. But the use of scarf is always there, as well as the other blue things that you identified, but what the RAS does is then bring to light that we're looking for.

[Denise] Which is really a key component of getting to your goals. So as leaders, we can talk about the word "hope" for example. We "hope" this will get done. But when you use the word "hope" there's a lot of doubt floating around in there. You could change that to "want" - I "want" this to be done, I "want" to complete this, but again, the door is open for that doubt. You know, will you or will you not get there.

But when you use the term consciously - use the term "intend" - what it does is that it takes away the doubt and it kind of kicks that RAS into high gear. It helps you to start filtering out those pieces that can help you with that intention and so the conscious mind brings that into your subconscious mind and so you start to see and hear and understand the things that will help you get to what you're intending.

[Lori] I love that, so you know, be intentional about what you want identify and have that subconscious part of your brain work for you. So join us next time as we talk about how we can live and lead with intention. 

Authors: Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme, former Extension educators

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