In his book "A Whole New Mind", Daniel Pink brilliantly describes the transition we are facing today: from information age to conceptual age. Information is available to everyone on the globe with a mouse click. Consequently, what matters most in the years to come are what Pink calls six senses, from the realms of high touch and high care: right brain abilities. How we tell stories, make meaning, and create contexts; how we connect to and care for others; and how we play. He gives beautiful ways to exercise the right brain - a part of ourselves that is or at least was often fairly asleep, yours truly included. Medical school and being a research physician did not really encourage me to engage the creative, symphonic side of myself. We need both hemispheres equally, not just one.
However: what’s missing from this book, and from much related that we see come across our desks at Tignum, is how do we actually engage the right hemisphere? How do we switch to that mode? That’s what play - improvisation, playing sports or Tai Chi - and recovery are tremendous at.
Sitting all day in our left hemispheres, festooned in logical, analytical thinking, we forget how easy and important it is to switch over to the right, and engage both parts of ourselves. Jill Bolte Taylor, an eminent neuro-scientist who suffered a very severe stroke to her left hemisphere several years ago, puts it beautifully in this quote, from an article she wrote two years after her stroke:
"I have shifted away from being a super analytical, confident risk taker who relied on the analytical skills housed in my brain’s left hemisphere. Instead I experienced a fascinating and pleasurable shift in my perspective. When my left hemisphere shut down, my right hemisphere became dominant. Now, after many months of healing, I am much more mellow and secure in my understanding of who I am and what I want to accomplish with the finite time I have."
Watch her presentation at TED: (http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/229) Seei.ng her speak is a profoundly moving experience. The talk lasts 18 minutes; they are well worth your time and will no doubt help inspire your on your journey to becoming a Sustainable High Performer.
By Alex Putz