Our human brain is ingenious. We have unlimited capacities in coming up with new ideas and creative strategies. To get the best results, you need to flip between the two sides of your brain. Because both have very distinct functionalities, which are needed to generate the best solution. Except not at the same time in the creative process.
The Logical Left Side
The left hemisphere of your brain controls your rational thinking. It helps to determine the logic way to address a problem. It helps you evaluate the facts and rationally pick the best or at least the most optimal solution. Helping to determine all the pro’s and con’s of each idea. On the left side of your brains, you mainly think in words. Left brain thinking involves maths and language. All very nifty.
The Creative Right Side
Your imagination is situated in the right part of your brains. In this hemisphere creativity resides. This is the place where new ideas are formed. New connections are made. This is where beautiful music and images are created. This is the emotional side of your brain. The non-verbal part, where intuition and feelings arise. It involves holistic thinking – the so called helicopter view – and daydreaming.
Use Both Sides For More Balance
In the creative process, you need both sides of your brain. Although not necessarily at the same time. When for example running a creative workshop, first explore as many new options as you can. By focussing on right brain thinking. Allowing thoughts and ideas to wonder. By deliberately postponing judgement, you temporarily shut down your logical left brain thinking.
If you want to become more balanced in your approach to life-by becoming more creative/expressive/musical or becoming more analytical/disciplined/ numerical, here are some tips to build muscle on the other side of your brain.
Creatives, To Develop Your Left-Brian
🌱 Get Up Earlier: Left brainers are notoriously early risers and right brainers stay up late working or waiting for their creative juices to wind down. Get up at 6am. Drink a coffee/tea, go do yoga/ workout, and get things done. Go to bed by 10pm. Then do it again, for a week. Then build that into your routine once a month.
🌱 Learn Excel / Take A Quick Books Class: Nothing will get you more comfortable with numbers than getting over your fear of mathematical software. Be patient with learning it, but tackle it. It will give you a major boost in left-brained confidence!
🌱 Work With Lawyers: Having to read, comprehend and discuss 24 page legal documents will switch you over to the left-brain really quickly. A lot of artists get cheated out of money because they don’t fully comprehend or even read the contracts they sign. Flex your left brain!
🌱 Create A Daily To-Do List And Get Everything On It Done: My to-do list is massive but keeps me completely sane. Create one for the day and week, prioritize what is most important to execute first, and commit to getting it all done. And while you’re at it, create alarms in your phone to remind you to pay your bills ahead of time. Or put all your bills on auto-pay. Pay more than the minimum payment.
Analyzers, To Develop Your Right Brian
🌱 Take A Creative Class: Learning creativity (writing, cooking, painting, drawing) will help open up the colorful pathways in your brain. You can also do this by coloring/ painting/ cooking with your kids.
🌱 Put On Really Bad Top 40’s Pop Music: And sing really loud to it. Because I know you know the words. Stop acting like you don’t! Break out of conformity and rigidity and get comfortable belting out music… off key. Let yourself go. And here’s the hard part… let your neighbors/ family hear you. I feel that few things switch me over to my right brain like fun music.
🌱 Sleep In- No better yet- stay in bed all day: Get your Netflix password ready, grab take out menus of your favorite delivery spots, put on your favorite pajamas and grab your pillows and comforters. Then do nothing but sleep, eat, and watch your smart TV all day. Take it on as an assignment if that makes you feel better about doing nothing.
🌱 Forget Your To Do List: Wake up one weekend with zero plans. Go wherever the wind takes you. If there is a neighborhood in your city you have always wanted to explore go there. Eat alone at a restaurant you have always wanted to go to. Visit the botanical garden, take a nap in the park. Flex your right brain muscle and go wherever it takes you.
🌱 Buy A Really Colorful Outfit, Shirt Or Tie: Then wear it to work. Smile when everyone does a double take.
A Final Thought
If you really want to have a freedom lifestyle, first create as many options and ideas as you can – in which every solution is possible, no matter how crazy they might seem. After having developed a list of ideas, you can let your left hemisphere help you decide on the best solution. Providing criteria like feasibility and timing constraints.
If you want to read more about mindset and how the brain works, I would recommend these two books.
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