Our brains are very powerful. Probably more powerful than you even realize. That being said, our brains also have weak points. Your brain has been programmed to act a certain way, over the course of millions of years. Your brain still thinks it needs to keep you safe from being eaten by saber tooth tigers. Understanding your brain will help you to work with its strengths while minimizing its weaknesses. I wanted to show you 3 things, in particular, that will help you tap into your brain’s full capabilities.
#1. The Reticular Activating System
The reticular activating system (RAS) is like a filter for your brain. Your brain can’t process 100% of the things you see and hear, so your RAS decides what are the most important things for your brain to focus on. Back in the day, this was useful to humans because it helped keep us alive. For example, our brain would be very sensitive to hearing branches cracking under a predator’s feet. The reticular activating system can also focus on positive things, as long as they’re deemed to be important to you. A common example of the RAS in modern times is how often you will notice the same type of car that you drive or someone you know drives. Because you see and think of that car very often, your brain has decided that that car is important to you, so your RAS will always draw your conscious attention to that car.
The way to use the power of the reticular activating system to your benefit is to decide on something you want and then start telling yourself that it’s important and that you want it. You should make a vision board and look at it everyday. Put pictures on there that symbolize the things and experiences you want to have in your life. If you want to be a millionaire and you keep telling yourself that, your RAS will start to look out for opportunities in which you can make more money and increase your wealth.
Another way to use the reticular activating system is to train your brain to be more positive. If you maintain a consistent practice of gratitude journaling, where you write down things that you are grateful for, you will teach your RAS to start looking for more things that you are grateful for. Your RAS will know that it’s important to notice things to be grateful about, which will have a positive impact on your mood and mental state.
#2. The Prefrontal Cortex
The prefrontal cortex is prime real estate in the brain. Your prefrontal cortex is where new actions begin. If you keep doing a specific activity or ritual with your prefrontal cortex, eventually that ritual will transfer over to your basal ganglia and become an ingrained habit, which will then free up your prefrontal cortex to focus on new actions again. The prefrontal cortex is the part of your brain that is in charge of your conscious thoughts and actions. If you notice that you’re daydreaming or overthinking about something negative, you’ll want to bring yourself back into the moment. An easy way to activate your prefrontal cortex is to use Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule. Any time you want to start doing something, whether it’s a workout, a project for work or even just getting out of bed in the morning, all you have to do is count down backwards from 5 to 1. Once you get to 1, explode into the action you wanted to take. The countdown will make your mind fully focus on taking that action, leaving your doubts and insecurities aside. You will be operating through your prefrontal cortex, fully immersed in the task at hand.
#3. The Difference Between The Conscious And Subconscious Mind
Your conscious mind is the part of your brain that is working whenever you are living fully in that moment. If you are actively focused on doing or saying something, you are utilizing your conscious mind. Everything else is done through your subconscious mind. The conscious mind only makes up 5-10% of your brain, while the subconscious mind makes up for the remaining 90-95%.
Your subconscious mind is in control of many of your thoughts, feelings and actions but your conscious mind actually has the capability of influencing your subconscious mind to operate in harmony with the conscious mind’s desires. Think of your subconscious mind as farmland and your conscious mind as the farmer. The seeds that you consciously plant into your subconscious mind will eventually blossom into either flowers or weeds. The subconscious mind will grow whatever seeds you put in it, so you need to be deliberate about what you plant in it. The type of content that you feed your mind will have a direct effect on what your subconscious mind produces. The same goes for the things you say and think about yourself. If you write positive affirmations in a journal, smile at yourself in the mirror and consume positive content, your subconscious mind will be filled with positivity. On the other hand, if you constantly wallow in your own misery and you consume negative content, your subconscious mind will be filled with negativity. Be intentional with what you feed your subconscious mind and it will reward you with self love, self belief and positivity.
If you understand these 3 things about your brain and you tap into them in the ways I’ve highlighted in this blog post, I am very confident that you will become much happier, much more focused and much more successful in your career and life. It’s time to tap into the power of your brain so you can reach your full potential.
I hope that you’ve found value in this blog post! Feel free to share it with anyone that you think will benefit from it as well.
If you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on this subject, you can check out my video here:
If you’d like to be even more effective as an entrepreneur, check out my blog post on How To Be More Creative.