The Video Recorder In Your Head



1.                  Participants will learn to recognize the value of positive mental input and its effect on future goals.

2.                  Participants will learn to identify negative mental input and its effect on future goals.

3.                  Participants will learn to develop strategies to reinforce positive mental input and minimize the damage from previous negative mental input.



1.                  Classroom with adequate chairs and tables or desks.

2.                  Pencils and paper for each participant.

3.                  Overhead projector

4.                  R.A.S. transparency

5.                  Marker board and markers

6.                  Clean trash can

7.                  Fire extinguisher

8.                  Cigarette lighter



            1,         Greet the class, establish order, take roll (if needed)


2.                  Explain that we are going to discuss the reticular activating system (show transparency). This is the video recorder in your brain which stores past memories, input and experiences. It is located at the back of the brain at the base of the skull. There are three things we need to remember about the reticular activating system:

A.                 It never forgets. Everything you have ever seen, heard or experienced is stored there. Many people may have seen a hypnotist put somebody under hypnosis and take them back to their fifth birthday. They can still

remember the songs that were sung and how the cake tasted.


B.                 It has no sense of humor. If you tell yourself jokingly, "Boy, I'm a klutz", the brain records it as a statement of fact.


C.         The next time you try to accomplish something, the conscious mind will check with the RAS. If it hears "I'm a klutz", you will become discouraged and your chaces of success will be greatly diminished,


3.         Explain that we are going to learn clean out all the old garbage that the RAS has been accumulating in the mind and which has hampered the efforts of the participants.




4.         Begin by asking the class to give examples of negative things they have said or heard others say or that people have said to them. Write these on the board.


5.         Ask the class how it made them feel when these things were said. Get individual responses. Write them on the board.


6.         Explain that negative comments are intended to draw negative responses. The goal of negative comments is to provoke a negative response. But when you respond negatively, you allow the other person to take control of your thoughts and actions. We do not want other people taking control of us.


9.                  Explain that the object of the exercise is to clean out all of the garbage that has been accumulating in the RAS from previous negative experiences. Tell the class you want each of them to think back to somebody who has caused them to feel angry or feel bad about themselves.


10.              Have them write a letter to the person who abused them. The first part of the letter should state what the person did and how it made the participant feel. In the second part of the letter, participants should forgive the person who abused them. Have them explain to the abuser why they realize the abuse was due to a deficiency of the abuser, not the deficiency of the participant. Allow time for everybody to finish their letter.


9.         Have the participants fold their letters and bring them to the facilitator one at a time. As they bring their letters up, the facilitator will take a cigarette lighter and set each letter on fire, dropping it into the clean trash can. Be careful not to drop too many letters into the trash can at one time. You don't want to bum down the building.




1.      You have now brought your garbage out of hiding. It may have been sitting there in your mind for years, smoldering and festering and smelling up your mind and preventing you from achieving your goals.


2.      Now that we have removed it, it can not hurt you any more. You now have room in your mental attic for the good things you are going to accomplish. And since you no longer feel bad about yourself, you do not have to use negative tactics to make others feel bad about themselves.


3.   Thank the class, gather materials and dismiss.