Mind Your Creativity
We are by nature creative beings. Creativity is innate to who we are, it is a fundamental part of our nature and important to our individual and community well-being.
Left Brain – Right Brain
Our brains are made up of two different sides, two hemispheres, with each hemisphere in control of different ways of thinking. The right side of our brain is responsible for creativity, while the left side is responsible for more logical and fact-based thought.
Individuals may be more inclined to be more “left brained” or “right brained”, but we are all born with the ability to tap into each side and use our whole brain. You can try this short quiz to see which may be your dominant hemisphere (I’m about evenly split between my right-brain and left-brain).
Our culture plays a large part in how we develop our brains. Our education system and workforce help shape and establish how we think. In a society that values left brain thinking, logic, analysis and accuracy over aesthetics, feeling, and creativity, we end up developing the left side of our brain while our more creative side is underdeveloped.
In recent year there has been a lot written on the importance of creativity – researchers are trying to measure it, city leaders tout their creative communities and some state that creative capital is needed for global change. We are beginning to recognize the value of creativity.
Creativity isn’t just about art, it is about original ideas and different perspectives. Creative thinking stimulates curiosity and can generate new ideas, and as individuals and communities it is in our interest to be creative in terms of how we approach problems and develop solutions.
If you are interested in learning more about creativity and our brain here are a few suggestions:
- I highly recommend watching Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor speak at T.E.D. about her experience having a stroke, she offers amazing insight on how the different sides of our brain work.
- Daniel Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind addresses the importance of right brain skills in the professional sectors, and it is a fairly easy read.
- I also like The Cultural Creatives by Ray and Anderson, a Sociologist and Psychologist who conducted years of research and write on a growing shift in American culture.