Keys to A Whole New Mind – Daniel Pink (video)
By: Dave Asprey
If you haven’t read A Whole New Mind: Why Right-brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink, you should. Either that, or you can watch the video embedded above and get the general idea. Aside from being a best-selling book that’s been translated into 20 languages, A Whole New Mind presents a pretty compelling case for upgrading your brain using some of the techniques you’ll find here.
The idea is that the future of global business belongs to right-brainers because we’re finishing the Information Age, where knowledge workers rule, and moving into the Conceptual Age, where the winners are creators and empathizers. Since you’re reading this blog, you’re probably interested in being a winner…and thus you need to learn some new cognitive – and creative – skills.
In Pink’s Conceptual Age, where automation and cheap labor are abundant, creativity becomes the competitive difference that can differentiate commodities. Pink outlines six essential senses for success with creativity.:
Design – Moving beyond function to engage the sense.
Story – Narrative added to products and services – not just argument. Best of the six senses.
Symphony – Adding invention and big picture thinking (not just detail focus).
Empathy – Going beyond logic and engaging emotion and intuition.
Play – Bringing humor and light-heartedness to business and products.
Meaning – the purpose is the journey, give meaning to life from inside yourself.
That’s a pretty impressive list for someone who wants to make creativity a core skill. Here’s the Bulletproof Executive take on the list, and how to upgrade each one.
Design, as Pink writes, is about engaging the senses. The number one way to engage your senses is to meditate, perform breathing exercises, or do Heart Math Emwave2 exercises.
Story is about adding a narrative. Check out my posts on public speaking and how to control your stress in order to deliver a more powerful story. As a professional spokesperson, this is a skill I’ve honed for years. You can too.
Symphony as Pink calls it, is about moving beyond details. Here on the blog, when I write about biohacking, I usually mention systems thinking, which is the key to solving complex problems in complex environments. You know, like your body. Or the economy. Learning systems thinking isn’t that difficult but changing your perception of a problem is usually harder. For that, you’ll need to get outside your comfort zone.
Empathy is another bulletproof skill. It is more than difficult to bring emotion and intuition to play in a mind that you have been taught is rational. The most effective practice I have found for growing empathy and simultaneously accessing intuition is alpha brainwave focused neurofeedback, or barring that, heart-centric meditation practice.
For many adults, play may be the hardest of Pink’s skills to bring into reality. We’ve been taught that marketing and business is professional and dry. Social media is changing that, but outside entertainment and media industries, play is largely absent from companies. To be honest, I struggle with this. The things that I consider to be play – like Urban Escape and Evasion – are not that easy to come by.
Meaning is something that many of the people I coach or mentor are seeking. There is no magic bullet for this. When you see it, you’ll know it. Having the guts to actually seek it out despite your day-to-day responsibilities requires the ability to use the rest of Pink’s list of skills.
So read Pink’s book and use it as inspiration to keep evolving. I did!
This is an awesome list of abilities.