Notice… what you notice!

Have you ever noticed that, for example, when you are thinking of buying a new car, say a little MX5, suddenly you start spotting them everywhere? The times I was particularly aware of this phenomenon was when my wife was expecting, suddenly the world was full of pregnant women, and then again when we were thinking of moving and suddenly estate agents boards littered every curb side.

There is a reason for this and links to the way our brain filters information (you might also be interested in referring to these blogs filtering and intuition.) Because the amount of information coming into our brain is literally overwhelming, we have to filter it to stay sane. One of the mechanisms we use is the bit that only presents that which is important to us; this is why a mother can always hear her baby cry even when others fail to. This mechanism goes by the catchy little name of the Reticular Activating System.

So we notice what is important to us, and the reverse is also true, if we don’t notice it, then it isn’t very important, so perhaps you should notice what you are noticing if you want to know what is truly important to you right now!

“Of what significance are the things you can forget.” Henry Thoreau

6 Responses to “Notice… what you notice!”

  1. SarahArrow says:

    I have always wondered what this was called!
    I had a friend that when she was trying to become pregnant, constantly moaned about buggies being everywhere, yet I never noticed them….I thought it was wannabee hormones.

  2. No it is wierd and very real phenomenum Sarah… what are you noticing?

  3. Brian Freeston says:

    The RAS is a great tool to serve your beliefs. Of course the media have cottoned onto that a while back – mostly using fear, firstly to draw attention and then to condition the RAS. But you can use this deliberately – selecting beliefs that serve you and experiencing the world through those new beliefs.

  4. Brian, thanks.
    I prefer to take a positive view of how we can use and understand this mechanism, and of course, train it!

  5. Brian Freeston says:

    So do I Richard, so do I! How I understand the training process is that first and foremost it is guided by feeling, not the intellect. The intellect is useful to make the decision in the first place, but in order to change a belief (and therefore your filter)you have to feel. In fact we are set up as creators of beliefs/identities to experience and an experience has a boundary. That boundary is only reached when that experience has been fully realised/felt. (Hence when we don’t like certain experiences, we resist feeling them but they keep repeating until they are fully felt). So the RAS is a feedback mechanism for the beliefs you have, that’s it’s unfailing importance. Being aware of that makes you more aware of your conditioning or ‘transparent’ beliefs you may have and that allows you to make adjustments and to start to deliberately create your beliefs.

  6. Great contribution Brian, thank you!

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