A Whole New Mind

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I never thought of my brain as two working parts (L-directed and R-directed). I always assumed that both sides worked equally together. When I listened to Pink’s interview on the “Soul Series” with Oprah Winfrey it was then that I realized how misinformed I was about how the brain works. As I watched the rest of the interview, a whole new light was shed on a subject that I never thought about. New ideas were presented in a new thinking way and I began to see into the ideas behind Pinks, “A Whole New Mind”. The idea of working together to be efficient involves the right brains logical linear abilities which Pink states, “are the best business strategy. ” The phrase that got my attention the most was Pink’s idea that the right brain thinkers have the ability to give people something they didn’t know they were missing! I was hooked because I am a right brain person. Another point I found particularly interesting in Dan Pink’s interview with Oprah were the six senses of right brain age (conceptual age) which Pink states, “ Are necessary for successful professionals to have in the more interdependent world we live in, a world of increased automation and out-sourcing. ” The six abilities that are discussed throughout the interview are outlined below. When asked which right brain ability we all should develop, Pink responded with design. He goes on to describe why he thinks we should all develop this ability. Design is the ability to create something that has significance as well as usefulness. He says, “in order to create more design into our lives is to become aware of what design is. ” I think design is something you spread on the surface; it’s like icing on a cake and everything has a design decision. Pink states that, “Design is utility enhanced by significance. ” The second ability is story. Story is how we see the world. An ability to use real stories in sales and conversations. In my opinion, the most interesting teachers don’t just go through the class material in a book, but put their own personality, character, and experience into the material in the form of a story which is informative, appealing, and impressive. Story can be used for teaching and sharing. The third ability is symphony. Symphony is seeing the big picture, our being able to put things together that no one else would think of. Taking a closer look and seeing things we didn’t see before. Symphony is about utilizing our whole mind (logic, analysis, synthesis, and intuition) to make sense of the world, finding the big picture and determining what is important and what is not. It’s also about deciding what matters and letting go of the rest. Play is Pink’s fourth ability. Play is design, cognitive skills, fun, and laughter. In the conceptual age, says Pink, “Work is not just about seriousness, but about play as well. ” To play is to act out and be determined, happy, and loyal as if one is assured of one’s prospects. Many people think that serious people are the best suited for business, that serious people are more responsible. But laughing people are more creative people. They are more productive people. Somewhere along the line we were sold the idea that a real business job must be dull, devoid of humor and something to be endured but not enjoyed. The fifth ability according to pink is empathy. Empathy is to walk in someone else’s shoes. Empathy is emotional; it’s about putting yourself in the position of others. It involves an understanding of the importance of the nonverbal cues of others and being aware of good designers, for example, to have the ability to put themselves in the position of the users, the customer, or the audience member. This is a talent, I believe, more than a skill that can be taught. Everyone has the opportunity to get better at empathy on their own. The last ability is meaning. Meaning is an opportunity to make a small difference in the world. What am I leaving behind? What is my contribution? What is my legacy? Pink believes that to be successful in the 21st century, we will need to use both our left directed reasoning along with our right directed aptitudes like those mentioned above. I agree with his belief that logic and analysis along with right brain reasoning will prepare us for the new “conceptual age”. Also in the interview, Pink talks about the three A’s of the conceptual age: Abundance, automation, and Asia. According to Pink, abundance is the least recognized. I have experienced abundance first hand and can relate to the message Pink is stating. Being a military wife for twenty years, I had the opportunity of a lifetime. An all expense paid trip to Okinawa, Japan. The only catch was I had to live there for three years. The first time I realized that in the “states”, there were lots of choices in everything was when I visited the PX (department store on post) in search of mascara. First I couldn’t believe there were only two choices! Maybelline and Revlon, and to my horror, only two colors! black and brown black. I wanted Lancome’ in brown. My skin tone is to light for the dark colors but I didn’t have the abundance of choices that I was so ccustomed to back in the United States. From that sobering moment on I realized that as Americans, we are truly blessed with abundance in almost everything we come in contact with and did I miss my choices. I started noticing more and more restrictions on what I had to choose from (due to limited shipping overseas) and I did not like it, not one little bit. In the “States” I had grown so accustomed to abundance that I didn’t stop to think about it. Living abroad impacted the way I saw things in view of abundance. Automation is the second of the three. Automation is a left brain routine type of work (following a set of rules) and according to Pink is fading from our society. Being a right brain person, I struggle in math. All through school I have had difficulty in Algebraic equations. After viewing Pink’s interview, I now know that I need to strengthen my left brain directed abilities and coupled with my right brain directed abilities both will compliment each other to create the “conceptual age”. The last of the three “A’s” is Asia. In the past, jobs that once only left brain people were good at are now being done overseas by computers and by foreigners for less money. In the new conceptual age, (a new way of thinking) we will create new and unexpected items that can not be duplicated by machines or other people because they will be originals that can’t be replaced. The right brain thinks design and the left brain creates the inner workings that when combined will create, “A Whole New Mind”. My questions are: Are we ready as a society to move into the new age? Will the older generation be as prepared to move into the new age as will be the younger generation? Any ideas on what comes next?

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A Whole New Mind. (2017, Sep 23). Retrieved January 27, 2023 , from

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