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A Whole New Mind Summary – February 2022

Author: Daniel H. Pink

Short Summary
A Whole New Mind (2005) inspires the readers to use the right-sided brain more often. The book has emphasized to use of the right-sided brain as the era of left-brain dominance is coming to an end with the ascent of the conceptual era.
a whole new mind
Source: amazon.com

Detail Summary

In the book A Whole New Mind, the author Daniel H. Pink motivates the readers to use the right side of the brain more in order to be successful in life. Although the author has accepted that both sides of the brain have different skills. But at the same time, he has disagreed with the statement that says we should use the analytical part of the brain I.e. left side more due to the recent advances in technology.

According to him, left-brain dominance is coming to an end with the ascent of the conceptual era. And as we are moving to the conceptual era, six high concept and high touch attitudes I.e right brain directed are required.

A Whole New Mind Key Points

Era of Left-brain dominance is coming to an end

According to the author, we are moving to the conceptual age from the information age and it requires right-brain thinking. This enables us to form strong bonds with others. If we are to excel as we transition from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age, we must master these skills.

In the new Conceptual Era, six high-concept and high-touch attitudes, i.e. Right-Brain directed, are required. The rest of A Whole New Mind revolves around a discussion of these six senses and suggested exercises and activities we can do to spur on and stimulate them.

The first sense is Design which Pink defines as “utility enhanced by significance.” The author gives an example of a toaster that is used at most 15 minutes a day and sits there the rest of the time. That adds up to one percent of a toaster’s time to utility and ninety-nine percent to significance. Why not make the toaster as elegant and beautiful to the senses as possible? This applies not only to home appliances but to offices, buildings, and city streets. To bone up on design the author suggests reading design magazines (a list is provided) or visiting a design museum.

The next sense is Story which Pink defines as “context enriched by emotion.” The importance of stories has long been accentuated in the entertainment industry but now it has become important in all types of organizations. Pink suggests reading short stories or visiting a storytelling festival for more practice in this sense.

Symphony is the ability to see relationships between seemingly unrelated things. It is a force field that will appeal to boundary crossers, inventors, and metaphor makers. Best of all, it signifies the importance of seeing the big picture (systems thinking, gestalt thinking, holistic thinking).

The last three senses really hit home to us because they are included in our Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy: Empathy (Compassion), Play, and Meaning. Pink calls Empathy “a stunning act of imaginative derring-do, the ultimate virtual reality — climbing into another’s mind to experience the world from that person’s perspective.

Practice emotional skills

As we’re even starting to observe how empathy plays a role in the healing process. People skills are required in almost every profession. Take a cue from some of the world’s most well-known programs and learn to empathize with others. Moreover, we are all concerned about this happening in this day and age, and with good reason. But there is promise in the one thing that separates us from computers: feeling. This crucial feature of people, which is a component of our right hemisphere, cannot be replicated by computers.

Take, for example, lawyers. Legal research could be done by an intelligent algorithm. However, the most important aspect of a lawyer’s job is to understand and empathize with their clients. And that is something that only a single person is capable of.

Importance of storytelling

The author says that nowadays, just spitting facts is not enough to prove your point or to convince people. We need to tell stories in order to prove our point and also our lives gain a feeling of purpose as a result of stories. It’s been easy to stand out for a few years now simply learning intriguing facts. However, as we go into the Conceptual Age, anyone may easily find these on the Internet.

To persuade others to listen to you, you’ll need to use storytelling, which is a right-brain skill. There are already a number of fields where this is critical to success.

Just as in business advertising and consultancy, for example, are more about persuading people to believe in a cause than they are about selling a thing. Medical colleges are increasingly offering humanities classes to assist doctors to empathise with their patients’ tales. I’ve heard that some hospitals in the area dislike nurses from a particular school.

Who would I recommend A Whole New Mind book to?

The book A Whole New Mind is recommended to business students to understand that right-brained abilities are now becoming more valuable in business and in order to be successful.

Link: https://amzn.to/3Oyks7j