By Anil Bhatnagar July 1997 Are we using both sides of our brain?? No? Then here is how we can accomplish it to function more effectively, realize our hidden potentials and become balanced and complete personalities What Brain Type are you? If you are more left, you…• Analyze everything and love the structure of research and need supporting evidence before accepting new ideas. Like stability and order. Are willing to adhere to rules and adapt to structures. Don’t feel easy with spontaneous decisions. Would like to plan your time. Dislike taking risks. If you do, you try to analyze the situation so much that it no longer necessitates a decision. Focus on words and not on the tone, or on gestures while receiving a verbal message. Keep your left thumb up while clasping your hands. You prefer algebra to geometry, are more likely to play with a sense of competition. Have definite goals to achieve. If you are more right, you…. Are imaginative. Go by hunches and gut feelings. May not need empirical evidence in order to accept new ideas. Love change and like anything that is unusual. Don’t like to plan and are impulsive. Often take decisions without thinking much, simply because you `feel like’ doing that. You enjoy taking risks. Focus on body language, emotional tone and other subtleties. Concentrate on the overall message. Keep your right thumb up while clasping your hands. Are left-eyed. Prefer geometry to algebra. Dread competition. Thrive on freedom. Play games just for the sake of recreation, without any objectives. (This is common to both brain types). Keep your finger a foot away from your eyes and align it with a distant vertical edge of a door, window or almirah. Now close your left eye. Does the finger seem to move away form the edge? Try with the other eye. The eye that is predominant will make a difference when closed and make the finger appear to move away from the vertical edge—right one in the case of left-brained people, and vice-versa. Every human being has two personalities. That this statement seems to have been designed to shock doesn’t deter from its truth. It’s a sort of benign schizophrenia that keeps us balance gingerly on the tightrope between what society labels as sane and what it ridicules as mental malfunction. Lasting happiness is a state of mutual peace and balance among our physical, mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects. This is because in order to strike this balance we need to identify our real and ultimate goals correctly (which should not appear to be misplaced later on) and then adopting the correct and balanced routes to attain these goals. Underneath the buzz of day-to-day hustle and bustle that gives us no time to pause and reflect upon our actions and our lives, an uneasy realization of some kind of an imbalance lurks very near to our skin but still continues to elude all our endeavors to identify the same. The imbalance indeed lurks very close to our skin—only a few millimeters beneath our scalp. TWO BRAINS, ONE BODY The last time anyone talked about two brains in one body was regarding those behemoths that dominated the earth 65 million years ago: dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus Rex, the cost dedicated carnivore of all time, weighted between four and six tonnes—too much bulk for one pea-sized brain: so, in a fit of anger Mother Nature gave it two pea-sized brains, one in the head to handle senses like vision, hearing and the procreative instinct, the other near the tail to deal with locomotion and control of the extremities. Nature was subtler with human beings: she gave them one brain and bisected it into halves that not only look different but have exclusive functions as well: the grayish left half is logical, analytical, verbal, lineal and sequential; the right white half is emotional, spatial, visual and holistic. The right hemisphere is white because the nerve cells there are protected by a white insulation called myelination, covering the nerve cells, which are too involved in processing an unending marchpast of visual, emotional and sensory message to keep a lookout for their enemies. It is here that fuzzy logic creates lifesaving abstractions like hunches and gut feelings. The left brain doesn’t need much myelination because its function, unlike the right brain, does not need to process a wide variety of messages to provide a complete and overall picture of the situation. It processes the messages only to provide special and analytical results. The hemispherical preference of our personalities—left or right-dominant—depends on our genes and psychological conditioning. This preference has a direct bearing on our style of thinking, which in turn influences our skills, our inclinations and ability to gather particular kinds of knowledge, our attitude towards life, the quality of our performance and our relationships with people, work, money, material possessions, Nature, and all that we are surrounded by and interact with. One hemisphere grows in skill only at the cost of other. The consequences are unnerving: impoverishment of the right brain could lead to our denial of our intuitive faculty. Also, the historical cost of this hemispherical sequestration is mindboggling: the Industrial Revolution blindly favored the left brain and accelerated the pace of scientific and technological progress—but it retarded the progress in research in the right brain, the paranormal, ESP and other hidden powers of man. Besides left or right-dominant people, there are mixed dominants: they can use both the sides with almost equal command. Mixed dominants, however, may vary in lateralization. Highly lateralized individuals (more males than females) move more completely to the task—appropriate hemisphere than their less lateralized counterparts, who may end up performing a task in both the sides. Mixed dominants lacking this ability of lateralization may experience in inner competitive tension between the two sides, which may manifest itself in indecisiveness or stammering or both. THE BRAIN BRIDGE Strangely enough, it is this dichotomy that shapes our personality. The story of these cranial twins began in the 1960s following the world’s first ‘commisurrotomy’, an operation that demolished the bridge of nerve fiber, the Corpus callosum. A breakthrough surgery was performed on a World War II veteran whose brain injury had been causing him agonizing seizures. The operation blocked the seizures originating in one side from crossing over to the other. Scientists then found that, normally, both halves worked together, helped by the Corpus callosum. The most well-recognized brain surgery—lobotomy, given notoriety by the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—came into being this century, but its true nature was revealed only with ‘hemispheric to my’, the entire excision of a diseased or damaged half. Left to themselves, the two halves are civilized neighbors, constantly gossiping across the fence. A poet, who is supposed to be highly lateralized, first gets a bolt of inspiration from his right brain. Second, he organizes these thoughts and puts them down on paper or hard disk by scooting to the left half. Third, to add finesse to the final product, back to the right half. Fourth, for badgering publishers, back to the left half. Fifth, to weep copiously at the unkindness of critics, back tot he right half. Sixth, to plan and exact vengeance—the left half. And so on. DEVELOPING YOUR LEFT BRAIN: PRESENT YOURSELF LIKE A LEFT PERSON Pay attention to the way you dress. Make yourself more formal. Note whether your posture reflects confidence. Show that you are alert, confident. Decide to be what you know you are not. The response from people will fill your subconscious with positive messages regarding your being a left person. In essence, fake it till you make it. Fill in the details It is natural for right-dominant to start with as global view with glaring holes in it. Fill details into the picture, but methodically. Notice the details of the details. Jot down the whole rigmarole. Measure the treasure Keep records of everything—your belongings, car mileage, investments. Plan your day like clockwork. Develop awareness of time, space (in terms of height, area, volume), weight, money. Work out at the mental gym Try to go deeper into all that interests you. Draw up an impressive family tree. Gather more knowledge. Become systematic, scientific and organized. Try to learn something new every day. Don’t let things be taken for granted. Don’t let others and your habits think and decide for you. Make notes of all that you read and index it properly for future reference. Revel in the intricacy of the Times crossword… Give yourself puzzles and koans to solve. Think of your brain as a gymnasium, and your mind as its developer, powerful and indefatigable. Remember that like any other faculties, mental ones, too, tone up gradually. So, don’t be discourage by initial results. Work like clockwork Periodically dump, sell or donate all the junk you don’t use. put every activity that you do on trial. Evaluate. Eliminate, Replace. Set goals—yearly, monthly, weekly, and start your day with a ‘to do’ list. Remember that a second gone is gone forever. Monitor your progress, regularly review your actions. Make temptation slog for you Keep your nervous right brain in abeyance when you face a bank of humorless people. Recognize and welcome temptation. Not al greed is bad. Risk is good. Beat stage fright by going on-stage. Plan your speech meticulously, even your ad libbing. Making points elaborately upon each of them, forming effective sentence and summarizing will exercise your left brain effectively. Melt the ice with internal and p
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