“The right-brain is the root of emotions, intuition and visualization.”
“The left hemisphere of the brain is the logical, sequential side”
My first year at university, I placed miserably on the entry math examinations. I’d managed to graduate high school with so thin a foundation in math that I got relegated to another semester of tedious, high school level algebra. While I started reading at the high school level in the 3rd grade (a stat I had, at times, been obnoxiously proud of), I’d simultaneously struggled to achieve a C average in most math classes I’ve ever taken.
The teachings and eventual scoldings of my teachers, parents, and even classmates were ineffective 93.2% of the time in increasing my capacity for translating arithmetic and algebraic principles into anything comprehensible. As a result, I would always struggle to understand the confusing problems featured on all of those god damn worksheets that never taught me anything.
No matter what I tried in class, it felt as though I was simply not designed to show my work, check my answers, and keep my eyes on my own worksheet.
Maybe this was because the logically thinking left hemisphere of my brain wasn’t as dominant as that of my more successful classmates. Could I have been destined to fail from birth because my creative right-brain overpowered the left?
Right-Brain vs Left-Brain
The answer is yes. Right and left-brained individuals should only be allowed to participate in activities that align with their respective affinity. If you were born to be inept in a certain area of life, you shouldn’t even try —
Well, that is what I would say if I didn’t do my research.
If you clicked this link hoping that I would have discovered some super secret to being a better human that involved powering up a certain hemisphere of your brain, sorry if I’ve mislead you.
The reality is that the right-brain vs left-brain theory is a complete hoax. The concept has officially been debunked.
Becoming Whole Brained
Online personality tests, articles, and faux “scientific” clickbait ass videos still continually convey the self-serving idea of right-brain vs left-brain as a concept based on facts. I am in agreement with Neil Degrasse Tyson on this topic. The highly informed astrophysicist hit the nail right on the head in relation to my own opinion on categorizing oneself.
The above story may have fully convinced some of you that I am simply right-brained and learning math was just an impossible uphill battle. While my mental toolset may not favor mathematics, what I didn’t share was the whole truth of why I never achieved success in any of my math classes.
While my parents would tell me I could be good at anything, I’d quickly resigned to simply being “bad at math” at an early age. Rather than going home to study math and practice the concepts on my own, I put most of my effort toward the activities I felt suited me better.
I’d already recognized that I had to be smart. It was undeniable that I was, considering my excellent competence with language and grammar comprehension. By categorizing myself as bad at math (right-brained), I was willfully handicapping myself and minimizing the problem. I continued making excuses, kept slacking on my at-home studies, and eventually checked out of giving a damn about learning math overall.
The result was placing into 9th-grade algebra as an incoming university student.
Here is my take on how you can get the best of both worlds by engaging your whole-brain:
- Focus on who you are as a whole-brained individual.
- Don’t think, “I can’t do x because I’ve never been able to.”
- Instead ask yourself, “How can I make this work, even though I haven’t been able to in the past?”
Simply replacing this line of thinking can promote the most spectacular surges of creativity that may lead you to the exact answer you need to make progress. Making this change has allowed me to properly realign my thoughts when working with foreign circumstances and helped me to creatively solve some of my most aggravating problems.
Are you willing to stop handicapping yourself?
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Categories: How-to Reinvent Yourself