According to Pink and the Puppets…..

My son disappeared again.

It’s not really a big deal. After all, he is a fully grown adult and has every right to turn off his phone and ignore texts and emails if he so chooses. But, when he did it again between Christmas and New Year’s, both his grandmother and I grew somewhat concerned. That is until we both remembered that when he has time off from his job he often gets totally focused and immersed in a new creative project.

His last project involved him going off the grid to write, direct, build sets, design lighting, and act out all the parts in a production entitled the The Puppet Chronicles.

That was when it became totally and abundantly clear that my son is a right-brained artist in every sense of the word. I understood unequivocally that he was never going to be a practical, left-brained analytic who enjoyed enjoy logic, order, facts, and details. Instead he was a holistic, right-brained processor who was much more developed in terms of his ability to be an artistic, creative, big picture thinker, and, to be better than anyone I know at living in the moment.

While many might find this to be a tad worrisome, I’m no longer one of them. For that I have to thank Daniel H. Pink and his book entitled, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.

According to Pink, the future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, and storytellers. While that’s not to say left brain thinking won’t be important, it will be the creative and holistic right-brain thinkers who will have the strongest abilities to get ahead in the world.

As Pink puts it, abundance has made left-directed thinking less significant. Today, prosperity has resulted in less need for rational, logical and functional thinking, and much more need for beauty, spirituality, and emotion. High-concept and high-touch abilities such as imagination, joyfulness, and social dexterity are going to be much more important for both professional and personal success and fulfillment.

Pink who is somewhat ironically a left-brain thinker, utilized extensive research to summarize six specific high-concept and high-touch aptitudes that have become essential in this new era. They include:

1. Design: the ability to create something the world didn’t know it was missing that is also beautiful or emotionally engaging.

2. Story: Data isn’t enough. The essence of persuasion, communication, and self-understanding has become about being able to fashion a compelling narrative. As Pink points out, most of our experience, knowledge, and thinking are organized as stories.

3. Symphony: Symphony is the ability to connect the dots and put together the pieces. It is the capacity to synthesize and curate; to see relationships between seemingly unrelated information; and to detect broad patterns rather than to deliver specific answers. In many ways it is about inventing something new by combining elements in a new way. It is about seeing the big picture, integration, and innovatively combining elements.

4. Empathy: Empathy is the ability to imagine yourself in someone else´s position and understand what that person is seeing and feeling.

5. Play: Joyfulness makes us more productive and fulfilled and can strengthen our work ethic. It may be that play will be as important in the future as work was to the industrial era as a way of knowing and creating value. Those who are right-brained will typically have an advantage when it comes to being able to convey the benefits of benefits of laughter, games, humour, and joie de vivre.

6. Meaning:  Abundance has freed many from day to day struggles and allowed them to re-evaluate their priorities and to pursue more significant desires such as a search for meaning and spiritual fulfillment. This search for life’s purpose is also grounded within our right brain thinking.

Pink’s six aptitudes clearly align with my those of my son. He is a playful and creative designer, artist, musician, and story-teller who lives each moment to its fullest. Along the way he shares his unique take on the world, understanding of what is really important in life, lack of materialism, and his ability to always always make us laugh.

So yes, while there may be a few cynics among us who may not embrace my son’s priorities and way of thinking, according to Pink and the puppets, my kid is alright. 

Posted on 01-03-15

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