I finished reading a book called A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink, and I recommend it to anyone who wants a quick read that might challenge the way you think about the future of work. Throughout the book, he also gives fun heady exercises that you can do as well.
His main thesis is as follows: The societal structures that uphold the left-brain way of thinking will soon be overturned by the right-brain counterpart.
For some background:
The left brain can be characterized by logic, understanding facts, and being able to score well on those dreaded standardized tests.
The left hemisphere is particularly good at recognizing serial events — events whose elements occur one after the other. The serial functions performed by the left hemisphere include verbal activities, reading, and computation.
The right brain, by contrast, is known as the one that can recognize larger patterns, is empathetic, and is the touchy-feely part of ourselves.
By contrast, the right hemisphere doesn’t march in a single-file formation. this side of our brain is specialized in seeing many things at once: in seeing all parts of the geometric shape and grasping its form, or in seeing all elements of a situation and understanding what they mean.
Series vs. parallel.
In the weeds vs. big picture.
We all have both parts within us, and they both have the ability to create change in the world. But the powers that be have emphasized the left as the only one that is important. The author, and I am convinced, believes that this will change in the coming decades.
For many years, the left-brain mentality has ruled the world, and they still do with the likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc. Everyone’s mom generally wanted their child to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer. Don’t get me wrong — these are extremely important jobs, and I, myself, have a background in engineering.
But — there is a reason why you are here on Medium — there is a reason why you watch videos on YouTube. There is so much content, and we are consuming it at alarming rates.
Whether you understand it or not, you are actively participating in entertainment which was created by talented people who use their right side of their brain. And they are taking time out of your day — think about that.
The author posits that there is a sea-change that is occurring among the likes of Ford, GE, and other large businesses that have made their name in the era of working hard and producing products for mass-production. This sea change is happening because of automation, Asia, and abundance. These corporations are looking to engage their employees and customers through a more right-brained approach.
I won’t get into those reasons, maybe for a follow up article, but what I did want to leave you with are some pieces of advice or food for thought he has for those who want to prepare as the next generation of thinkers and innovators.
- Play, or having fun, will be to the 21st century what work was to the last 300 years of industrial society — our dominant way of knowing, doing and creating value. — Pat Kane
- The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy. — Meryl Streep
- The guy who invented the wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was a genius — Sid Caesar
- Stories — that’s how people make sense of what’s happening to them when they get sick. They tell stories about themselves. Out ability as doctors to treat and heal is bound up in our ability to accurately perceive a patient’s story. If you can’t do that, you’re working with one hand tied behind your back. — Dr. Howard Brody
- It is not true that what is useful is beautiful. It is what is beautiful that is useful. Beauty can improve people’s way of life and thinking. — Anna Castelli Ferrieri
- You’re not going to find the meaning of life hidden under a rock written by someone else. You’ll only have it by giving meaning to life from inside yourself. — Dr. Robert Firestone
- The greatest rewards will go to those who move fast. The first group of people who develop a whole new mind, who master the ability to see all the moving parts in relation to the whole, will do extremely well.
Let’s be apart of this right-brain revolution.
Thanks for reading.