Don’t Let the Left Brain Subdue the Right Brain


Right vs. Left Brain_CL

I have anxiety.

I still get antsy.  I still get nervous.  My mind still races.

Too many things to do.

The other night I woke up at 4:30AM worrying that my groups of travelers wouldn’t make it to see Machu Picchu because of something I screwed up.

The computations in my mind started running… 100% Money Back Guarantee… 16 travelers x 3 trips x $1395 early signup price… that’s a $66,960 mistake.

I better wake up and start double checking shit…

… and worst of all, lately I’ve been stuck.  I can’t write.  I don’t write.  I’m not creative.

All I can think about is logistics.

And then it hit me… I have a discrepancy between my left brain and my right brain.

Since Christmas Day I’ve been hustling.  Courtney and I have worked our asses off bringing back to back to back to back to Costa Rica and Belize on once in a lifetime, action-packed adventures. Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredible fun, but it’s also mentally and physically taxing.

While my work might be different from yours, we all still have to deal with stress.

But Matt, I thought you said you banished stress from your life and made it your bitch?

Yes.  I’ve written a lot about it.  Three and a half years of yoga.  A year of meditating every single solitary day without missing even once.  Years of studying diet and exercise, taking a deep look at my subconscious, sleep, my work habits, the people who I surround myself with, and paying extreme attention to what thoughts and emotions enter my head and how to deal with them.

But just like you, practice doesn’t always make perfect.

Here’s the breakthrough.

Our lives are big sets of complicated patterns. The further you dive into examining these patterns, the higher your quality of life.

Everything you do, say, or even think gets ingrained into your subconscious.  But the good news is you can change how your brain works… It’s called neuroplasticity.  You can listen to this keynote by a neuropsychologist working to reprogram the brain.

Basically, our brains have a negativity bias, so if we keep saying negative stuff, that negativity gets burned into our brains.  It’s Henry Ford’s old adage, “Whether you think you can or can’t –you’re right.”

Well here’s the good news about that expression.  When you do all the positive things like I mentioned above, your brain actually re-wires itself to see the positive side of everything.

So here’s what happened to me…

Over the course of a few months, all I did was work out my left brain.  Logistics. Budgets.  Computations.  Work.  

Fuck.  Now I’m in a creative rut.  I didn’t work out my right brain as hard as I should have this winter.  Here I am calling myself out, because even though I claim to write every single day life got in the way and I let that good habit die. Just like trying to get back to the gym, my right brain is struggling to put words on this paper.

The Discrepancy Between Your Left and Right Brain

Yup, in today’s day in age, with all this get to work on time, answer emails, drive in between the lines, file our expense reports, blah blah blah, our left brains are taking over.

What I’m trying to say is that as a society, we need to loosen up and use our right brains!

Why do you think computer nerds are such terrible dancers?  Why do you think bodybuilders at the gym can’t actually do anything functional with their bodies?

Why do you think women, who are wired to act out of intuition, emotion, and love pretty flowers are so out of touch with their femininity these days?

Too much left brain!!

Our changing gender roles are making the entire world left brained and more masculine. In other words, our yin and yang are totally out of balance.

And then what happens? We continue to take over the planet. Fight wars. Destroy nature. Commercialize everything. And conquer anything in our path.

We can’t see the bigger picture. And hey, guess where the big picture, creative stuff is? Yup, you guessed it, the right brain.

Who Is Going to Change The World?

Not your pencil pushing, back office number crunchers of the world… My guess is it will be more LSD dropping innovative geniuses like Steve Jobs.

Here is how to get in touch with your right brain, see the bigger picture, change the world, expand your mind, and generally stop being boring:

Visualization.  Now the left-brained-caveman in me says I should think of my future exactly how I want it to play out and go over it time and time again.  This is what Tiger Woods might do before a match, where he can see himself hit every shot perfectly…

But guess what?  I get bored of that. And besides, Tiger knows he always gets himself into trouble.  The real geniuses here are the ones who know how to be creative and get themselves out of every single possible scenario behind every tree or every bunker.

Instead of visualization, let’s just call it imagination.   

Write. Yup, you’ll need your right brain to make you put your pen to paper everyday and form that habit, but goddamnit just start.  So you’re not a writer?  Call it journaling. Doodling.  Draw dicks in a notebook like the scene from Superbad. I don’t care. Anything.

Did it hurt? Good. Do it again.

Get lost.  Have a friend with a helicopter drop you in the middle of the jungle with no food and water and use your creativity to get yourself home without dying.  Okay, okay, something more realistic… how about stop driving with your navigation system?  Free-ball it! Go find a more creative way home. Take a walk in the woods. Visit Mother Nature.  Remember: she comes from the right-brained creative side too.  No human can ever build something more beautiful than nature.

Start programming your dreams.  Excellent, more cutting edge weird shit by Matt. Before you go to bed do a little re-cap of your day in your journal.  Put closure to the day. Imprison the thoughts from your mind on paper.  It will help you rest better.

Then, all you Type-A personalities are going to love this… don’t work on problems only 2/3 of the day. Use those 8 hours of sleep to solve problems and be creative.  

Go to sleep with intention: “Tonight I’m going to sleep all through the night, get tremendous quality, refreshing sleep, and remember where I put my car keys.” And then go to work.

Holy shit, that sounded like praying, didn’t it? …  Hm, maybe you want to think about it as simply setting yourself up for success for the night.

How about this one: “Tonight I’m going to let go of the day, get 8 hours of deep healing sleep, wake up at exactly 7:50AM and come up with new methods of alternative energy for my community.”  

This is how geniuses operate.  I don’t think I’m smart enough to solve that problem with my conscious mind with just the 16 hours I’m awake everyday… I think I need to use my whole mind, including my subconscious, 24 hours everyday.

Look, I’m not going to spell it out for you anymore than I already have.  If you are looking for someone to give you all the answers, you are doing it wrong already. Remember: it’s time for YOU to start using your right brain to come up with creative, innovative solutions.

How are you going to start using your brain right brain today?? Leave a comment below.


Reprinted by permission.

Image Credit: CC by opensource.com

About the author: Under30CEO

Under30CEO is the leading media property for entrepreneurs, inspiring the world’s next generation of business leaders. Under30CEO features direct interviews with the most successful young people on the planet, profiles twenty-something startups, provides advice from those who have done it before, and publishes cutting edge news for the young entrepreneur.

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