The main function of the Reticular Activating System comes through its ability to regulate the shift between sleep and wakefulness. It is also considered to be the main center for motivation within the brain.
In some ways the reticular activating system is a place where your thoughts, internal feelings and outside influences converge. To better understand this process, it’s helpful to take a look at the Reticular ACTIVATION System.
The Reticular Activation System (RAS) was first introduced by Anthony Robbins in his bestselling book Awaken the Giant Within. It shouldn’t be confused with the part of the brain known as the reticular activating system, however they are related.
The RAS is a filter that is applied to the staggering amount of data that gets picked up by the five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. This filter works 24/7, and it’s the only thing that’s keeping us from being overwhelmed by the massive amount of stimuli passing through our sensory organs.
The RAS determines what we consciously decide to give our attention to at any moment in time—while the remainder of the data gets filtered out and transferred to the unconscious parts of the brain.
When we set concrete goals we indicate to our RAS that anything associated with these goals is important to us. As a result our RAS goes to work bringing to our attention data and opportunities to help us achieve our goals.
Here is a fantastic video that helps explain how the RAS collects references (proof and evidence) and shapes your beliefs.