My Brain as an Innovator

Posted by on June 22, 2009

Why do I like my brain? Well I have spent the last 68 years getting my brain to this state. That means all my life I’ve been putting things in my brain. My problem is how to get it out. I’m not saying that all things are good or I know where they are, but I see the need now to uses all this information before it all disappears.

Well for a first step it might be useful to know what’s there. That’s the problem. I don’t know what is there. I don’t want to bore you with a long list of what I know and what I don’t know. My goal here is to explore how to put all this brain of mine to some useful thing. How do I get it out if I don’t even know what’s in there?

To help in this task I have divided my space into a hierarchy beginning with left brain – right brain. My right brain is my interest in art, music,talking and innovation. My left brain is composed of engineering, management, planning, thinking and writing. Yes I know that writing should be a right brain thing but I find I struggle so much to get the words on the paper, It’s a very logical task for me.

My question now is how do I make the top step and separate left brain for right brain? We have made other blogs that helps answer this question. We know that if we use our logical left side we shut down our right side. So logical left brain is the default mode. How do we tell that thinking brain of ours to shut up and put the right brain on stage?

To start, we see that thinking is a left brain activity and talking is a right brain activity. Let me explain this a little bit further. Talking to a friend you use both left and right brain. You are listening and thinking what to say next. Here I  want to use the word talking to mean talking to yourself and not listening to yourself. How do we do this? We mumble out loud so our brain does not know what we said. It’s just noise. I have experienced this a lot because I have live in Philippines for 15 years and I never learned the local language.

I like to tell this story: I go for coffee every morning at the local bakeshop. The coffee is cheap and the cookies are good. Well the real reason I go to a bakeshop instead of a coffee shop is because the girls are at the bakeshop and the men go to the coffee shop.   Anyway this one time a bunch of girls are sitting at a table next to me. I’m reading a book and one of them ask in English: Are we disturbing you? I answered no because the chatter was in a language I did not understand. It was just noise and it went in one ear and out the other. Yea! I know, this story belongs in the catagory: “How Stupid can I Be”.

Mumbling and background noise is a form of meditation. It takes you out of this world and into an empty space with a blank mind. I have used this method to turn my brain off from a busy day and fall asleep. Just mumble so you hear yourself (your words make no sense) and drift off to dream land.

We now come to the main theme of this blog. How do I do something useful with the database of knowledge I have? In this blog I want to explore the right brain function called innovation. I want to create the eureka moment. “Wow! it just popped into my head.” I experience this when I forget a word and I can’t think of it. My mind goes blank. As I get older this is happening more and more. This is what I do. I think in my mind the alphabet. I say ‘A’ silence, ‘B’ silence, ‘C’ silence … A large part of the time the word pops into my conscious mind. There is a connection between the spelling of the word and the verbal sound.

I try to use this technique a lot to connect my left brain to my right brain. I have a web application called Idea Generator at tetracebu.com that combines left brain words with right brain words. The connection process is the motivation I want to use to see the eureka moment. The basic theory is to turn some part of the brain off and let the rest of the brain connect in different ways. It gives you a different picture of reality. Another method to get the eureka moment is to brain storm with a group of people. The idea that two heads are better than one.

Science is just starting to look at the brain off methods. These can occur when the brian is injured or can be simulated with a helmet and magnets. I’m trying to do this brain off thing in a more natural way. You can web search on the key words “autistic savant” to learn more.

NOTES:

  1. Try the Idea Generatorat tetracebu.com
  2. “Think better: Tips from a Savant” Scientific American Mind Volume 20 No. 2 May 2009 An Interview with Daniel Tammet – page 61
  3. “Luck favors the prepared mind.”
    Credit for that sentiment goes to a legendary inventor — Louis Pasteur — and it accurately defines the reality of innovation.
  4. “The more you learn, the more you are able to see. When you see a different pattern of doing something, it’s that ‘Eureka!’ moment.”
    Art Fry – Inventor of Post-It notes.
  5. The Internet is a place you go when you want to turn your brain on, and television is a place you go when you want to turn your brain off.
    Apple interim CEO Steve Jobs, Business Week 25 May 98
  6. “All that I have to say has already crossed your mind.”  Mac Beach
  7. There is no absolute truth in the world and that is absolutely true.
    Gary Forbes CAST (Cebu Animators Society for Talent)

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