Ever thought about buying a certain type of new car and then all of a sudden you see it everywhere? Reticular activation. Ever been trying to figure out a problem and then all of a sudden you wake up in the middle of the night with the answer? Reticular activation.

I’ll Say It Again: Reticular Activation

I want to start off by thanking Derek Weber for a Whiteboard Wisdom talk that introduced me to Reticular Activation, the function of our brain that’s responsible for controlling our subconscious’ focus by sensing the things around us and sorting them out.

Many people go through life thinking that life happens to them, and that life is a series of unconnected happenstances. The fact is, the keys to happiness and success are all around us; we have to train our brains to actively (as opposed to accidentally) focus on the solutions instead of focusing on the problems.


the average person sees as many as 5,000 marketing messages a day, but how many actually stand out? The ones that stand out are the ones that trigger our reticular activation because they contain something we might be interested in someday buying/learning more about.

Our subconscious mind lurks in the background, sensing that we might someday want that thing. It programs itself to look for certain signs, and when those signs present themselves, our subconscious mind shoots an instant message to our conscious mind.

This is the Power of Reticular Activation

Harnessing the power gives us the ability to train our subconscious mind to sort through infinite daily stimuli, filter the opportunities, answers, and solutions, and then to send that message to our conscious mind so that we can achieve.

Conversely, by training our subconscious to think about a problem (and how horrible it seems), the reticular activation machine looks for things that make that problem seem larger and worse.

The reticular activation system doesn’t know what to focus on, it just tries to give our brain more of what it wants. If our brain wants to see more pain, problems, and suffering, that’s what we get. If our brain wants solutions, answers, and opportunities, the system looks for those.

So what do you want?

People always say they want answers, solutions, and success, but they aren’t training their brains to give them the right answer.

We train our brains by choosing what to focus our conscious mind on. Focusing, for instance, on possible different solutions to a problem (instead of the problem itself) yields answers that we previously had not considered.

In order for the reticular activation system to give us more of what we want we have to WANT the right things.

Reticular Activation Win: Boom, Hosted.

A couple years ago, I was looking for ways to further monetize the in-house hosting environment at goBRANDgo! After years of dealing with about a dozen hosting providers to host our clients’ WordPress sites, we finally bit the bullet and just built our own custom solution at a data center here in St. Louis.

This finally allowed us the control and uptime quality we needed and our customers expected, but it cost us a ton of money. We increased hosting prices, but still were pretty much breaking even each month.

We kept wondering what else we could do with this investment, and then it hit us: offer it to other web developers (what some would consider competitors).

I am proud to say that we now host several websites for other web development firms, and are even getting hired for our hosting expertise by Fortune 100 companies and companies far outside St. Louis.

By first focusing more on the solution of how to better host websites and then on how to better monetize that solution, we increased our abilities and profit margin.

We found more success.


Think about the areas in your life that you want to be more successful: relationships, career, family, etc. Are you focusing more on solutions or problems? Your brain is wired to give you more of what you want.

Focus on finding solutions and answers, and your brain will give you more of what you search for. Your subconscious will see opportunities and solutions and move them to your conscious mind when it sees them.

Find more success.