Left Versus Right
Have you ever heard of the right side versus left side of the brain theory? To sum it up, the left side of the brain is the analytical side. It’s the side we usually operate in, when we make decisions we analyze and we’re objective.
If I do X, the possible outcomes are A,B,C,D, however if I choose Y the outcomes will be E,F,G. We do it all the time. Even the most trivial decisions often come from this type of thought processing.
Should I attend my friends birthday party?
Yes, because if I don’t she’ll be really mad at me. But I’m not really in the mood to spend the evening in a loud bar. I can’t really afford it either. But she came to celebrate my birthday even though she was sick. It wouldn’t be very fair of me to not attend.
Even, simpler decisions go through this process. What you eat for breakfast is often weighed and calculated.
Right Side of the Brain
The right side of the brain is where our creativity lives. When we tap into the right side of the brain we can often have realizations and ideas that otherwise wouldn’t have come to us. Elizibeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love did a wonderful Ted Talk about creativity and our muses or genius. If you haven’t watched it you should. Seriously it’s really good. She discussed a famous author who would be out in the field working and she could literally feel an idea coming to her. She described it as though the entire ground would shake, and she had to get a pen before it passed her. If the idea swept through the area before she could grab her pen, that was it, she’d lose it.
Where Ideas Come From
Have you ever noticed that ideas come at the strangest times. It’s as if they were ushered from some higher plane to you by some divine entity. There is no logical thought process, it just appears. That is the right side of your brain working. And it’s been argued that the only time, the right side of the brain is allowed to work is when the left side is quieted. This could be during yoga, or meditation. Perhaps, while you’re walking, clearing your mind. A lot of my best ideas occur while I’m relaxing. I lie on a foam roller and gently massage my muscles. It’s essentially a form of meditation for me, I quiet the left side of my brain and allow the right side to drift into thought.
We all have access to creativity, and for some it comes easier than others. But, the critical take away is find an activity to turn off the left part of your brain. Allow logic and reasoning to drift away. Find an activity that allows you to do this. For some it’s doodling, for others meditation or yoga. Allow yourself the time to not think, and you’ll find this is where some of your greatest ideas come from.