Right brain says: “Slow down, champ!”

By Matt Perryman

Did you know that your brain is split in half, right down the middle?

That’s one of those odd facts that can help you win at trivia night.

Nobody seems to know why our brains are built like that. Even weirder, the two sides act like entirely different people.

There are patients who have done surgery to split the cable connecting the two halves. You can talk to the right side without the left knowing, and vice versa. It’s like each half has its own consciousness.

You may have heard that old saw about “left brained” people being analytical, and “right brained” people being more artistic and air-headed.

The polymath author Ian McGilchrist believes there’s a lot of truth in that.

The left brain moves fast, takes things apart, and zooms in to the fine details.

The right side is more sloth-like, stepping back, putting pieces together, and taking in the big picture at a leisurely pace.

It’s the difference between a microscope and a telescope.

This is why you can spend all day frustrated thinking about a problem, and then the answer hits you 20 minutes later in the shower. The right brain needs quiet and space to do its thinking.

Quiet and space are valuable commodities today when everything is urgent. Now, now, now. Every waking moment filled with the To Do List.

We’ve gotten things all out of balance. Your own brain doesn’t work best under those conditions.

Some things are important even if they aren’t urgent or immediately useful.

Confusing busyness with activity may be the gravest sin of our age.

Consider this:

Most of your thoughts and feelings work through the unconscious effects of images, symbols, and words. Living in your left brain separates you from your right half, which handles images and symbols.

Busyness leads to automatic, unthinking behaviors. You don’t have the time to listen to your right brain — and even if you hear it, you ignore it. Gotta keep moving!

You need your right brain’s powers of intuition and imagination in order to think clearly and accurately.

You ever see those people that tell you how independent and authentic they are, yet you find them living in a group that all looks, acts, dresses, and thinks the same way?

They leap out of one marketing campaign and land right in another.

That’s what happens when you don’t slow down and listen.

Matt Perryman

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