Mind Mapping and Whole-Brain Thinking

Are you familiar with the term ‘ambidexterity’? This term is used to describe the ability to use both hands. Famous people, including Albert Einstein, Harry Truman, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo, were said to be ambidextrous. As many of us know from first-hand experience, it is quite difficult to use both hands with any degree of dexterity. If you are right-handed, you find it hard to use you left hand with the same skill, and vice versa. This is because one of the brain's hemispheres is dominant in most people. This dominance is what causes "handedness". Given this fact, do you think achieving whole-brain thinking is possible? It’s not impossible to achieve whole-brain thinking if you know mind mapping.

If you’re able to do multiple tasks at the same time, you're showing the latent capabilities for whole-brain thinking. For example, you’re able to answer the telephone while watching TV. Another example might be you taking notes while talking over the phone. If you can do these sorts of things, then it can be said that both hemispheres of your brain are functioning. Without realizing it, most individuals are utilizing both hemispheres of their brain everyday in accomplishing their tasks.

The two hemispheres show different characteristics. The right hemisphere of your brain is responsible for such qualities as having artistic abilities, being a risk taker, imaginative, creative, highly philosophical, etc. In contrast, the left hemisphere of your brain is responsible for such qualities as being a conformist, being practical, effective comprehension, etc. If you’re a person who relies on strong intuition and acts subjectively and holistically, you’re a right-brain individual while the left-brain individuals tend to be analytical, logical, and rational.

A person's mental skills depend on how they use their brain. When you observe children, you will normally determine that the children are using their right brain hemisphere since they usually act with spontaneity, imagination, enthusiasm, and open mindedness. It is sad, as an individual grows older, that such natural traits tend to diminish.

If you want to achieve a higher level of awareness, you need to learn to be ambidextrous -- that is, you need to use both hemispheres of your brain. A first step is to work on the learning activities that focus in the right brain hemisphere like analogies, metaphor, patterning, visuals, calculation, and role playing. Developing an ambidextrous mind can sometimes involve meditation and reflective thinking.

Mind mapping is another way to develop an ambidextrous mind. Through mind mapping, you can diffuse your thoughts, thereby streaming thought lines and associations. You can associate effectively if you can find the links to ideas and logic. If you try to explore the ideas and logic, it will eventually lead to creativity, insight, and imagination.

Strengthen your perception, clarity, dissemination, and vividness by making use of colors, symbols, and pictures in your mind maps. This forces both hemispheres to work on the same problem, which is the essence of having an ambidextrous mind.

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