There has been one piece of advice, that when I heard it, connected with me. I have since applied it to my life and have created things that I never thought possible. It is the Power of Yes.
The idea is this, if there is something that you would love in your life, you have to tell yourself “yes” EVEN if you don’t believe that it is possible.
You see, most people in life are telling themselves “no” for the things that they want in their lives.
I can’t have that because ….
I can’t be that because ….
Now is not the right time ….
I’m not good enough to do that because ….
What happens when you say “no” is that you cut off any opportunity to have what you want on a subconscious level and the opportunity for it to transpire in your life is stopped dead in its tracks.
Let me explain.
The Power of Yes
Every moment we are being bombarded with information. In fact, in any given moment, we are being presented with 400 billion bits of information. Yet, somehow, the brain will select only 2,000 bits of that information to process. Yes, you read that correctly. Just 2000 of 400 billion bits of information is filtered by our minds to be processed.
It would be highly inefficient for our minds to process all 400 billion bits of information and in fact, it would short circuit our brains. Instead, the Reticular Activating System (shortened as RAS), a set of nuclei situated in the brainstem, selects only information that it thinks is important from that 400 billion and it returns that.
Have you ever bought a car and when you decided on a model, you suddenly see that car everywhere on the road?
How about you are at a party and there is a lot of indistinct chatter going on all around you, but you can hear someone as soon as they say your name amongst all of the chatter from across the room?
How is it that mothers can be sound asleep but will wake up with the slightest sound from their baby within moments?
That’s the RAS in action.
It picks up on what it deems important to return to you. Meanwhile, 399,999,998,000 bits of information do not get through to us on a conscious level at all. It’s programmed to pick up what’s important to you amongst all of that data.
Pretty incredible, hey? It’s like the security guard at a VIP Only nightclub who only allows the best and most useful guests enter.
How to use RAS to your advantage
If there is something that you want in your life, let’s say you want to start a business. Without even knowing how you are going to do it, you should first just say yes to it.
You tell yourself, “yes, I’m going to do that” and you just let idea sit with you.
You might not know how it will happen. You won’t know if you have it in you. You don’t know how it can become a reality.
What happens though is that when you tell yourself yes, your RAS will believe that is what is important and start looking for opportunities and look out for anything that is related for you to start that business.
You might meet someone who is looking for a business partner. You hear about an opportunity to network with others in the same field. The idea you’ve been looking for suddenly appears.
Your RAS has stepped into action and filters information about starting a business back to you.
You see, in the past, the same opportunity may have already been presenting itself all around you, but since you had told yourself no, your RAS doesn’t pick up on it and pass it to you.
It’s why they say, “when the student is ready, the master shall appear”. The information is always available, you just need to be ready to receive it.
That’s the magic of saying “yes” to things even when you don’t know how it will come to be.
The idea though is to stay focused on the outcome you desire often enough so that your RAS learns that it is important information and starts to look out for the information related to it. You can then take up the opportunities or get the information you need to pursue it.
Saying yes to things that I didn’t think was possible I’ve been able to:
-Take extended leave from work and still be able to come back to my job
-Pay for courses worth tens of thousands of dollars that I didn’t think I could afford
-Start a business doing what I love
-Found a love for writing that I didn’t even know that I had
I didn’t know how any of these things could have happened and in the past I would have just shrugged my shoulders and said “maybe this is not for me”. After learning this trick of the mind though, I’ve said “yes” to these things and suddenly became open to seeing how they might have become a reality.
I also became aware of how much I had said “no” to dreams and opportunities in the past because I gave in to my excuses. I simply extinguished the flicker of flame before it ever had a chance to catch alight.
I now say “yes” to my life ambitions and keep it in my focus with a daily practice. I visualise a few of the things that I would love to create in my life each morning. A lot of them seem unreachable and scary, but I do it anyway, knowing that my subconscious and RAS will get to work on it.
I’ve said “yes” to the possibility of a life that I would love and now am waiting to see in which ways my dreams can become a reality, with the help of the RAS! It’s already worked wonders in so many areas of my life.
Who knows what latent potential you can unlock from inside you, if only you’d say yes to it.
To read more of Katherine‘s insights click here, and to visit her website visit here.
Thank you for that! Happy Thanksgiving. Yes!
Love, love, love! I used to preach this to my fellow NYC friends back in the day when I still pursued some of my dreams (sounds so depressing when I say it like that!).
Never say, “if I…” Only say, “When I…”
Years later, when I was lacking the confidence to ask out my future wife, I purchased a book called Creative Visualization, by Shakti Gawain. Check it out. It’s funny, but if it weren’t for that book I probably wouldn’t have had the nerve to talk to her after first meeting her in the little book store she was managing.
I love the perspective you’re coming from with RAS. I totally believe in it and am happy to learn there’s actually a term for it, thanks!