The term ‘ambidexterity’ means being adept in using both right and left hand. It is a rare inborn trait but it can be learned. The versatility displayed in the use of each hand determines a person’s ambidexterity. Michelangelo, Leonardo Vinci, Einstein, Fleming, Harry Truman, etc. , were all ambidextrous. In modern times, you will find many, who were originally left-handed but in the course of their childhood, acquired right-handed habits (at school or home) and thus became ambidextrous.
Along the same lines, we could say we are being ambidextrous when we are multi-tasking – talking over the phone and taking notes or riding a bike, etc. The difference being that instead of our hands, we are using both our right and left hemispheres to successfully juggle our tasks. We have all heard about some people being ‘right-brained’ or ‘left-brained’. In essence it means that the person displays more ‘right-brain’ or ‘left-brain’ oriented skills, although we are all the time integrating both hemispheres in our daily activities.
‘Right’ brain qualities involve imagination, risk taking, artistic abilities, highly philosophical, creative, etc. ‘Left’ brain qualities, on the other hand, are practical, conformist, seek order, have good comprehension skills, etc. Thus ‘right-brain’ people are said to think subjectively, holistically and have strong intuition, while ‘left-brain’ people tend to be more logical, analytical and highly rational. It is found that more often, left-brain thinkers are engineers and scientists, while right-brain thinkers end up being artists and poets.
How and why is it that some people are more adept at certain kind of thought patterns than others? The fact is that while we may inherit certain mental traits and capacities, how we use our mind is what determines our mental prowess. As children we are innately right-brained, displaying great creativity, imagination, spontaneity, open-mindedness and enthusiasm but ironically, as we grow, social, cultural and racial influences constrain these natural traits.
The most comforting thought however is that we can greatly improve our mental abilities by choosing to change our thoughts and applying our mind in a particular direction. Thus if a person is a known conformist, who always walks down the beaten path, he could deliberately try new things, learn to take risks and think imaginatively.
When we combine the power of the two hemispheres, we will be working at our full potential. Ambidextrous mind or whole brain thinking - as it is also known - enhances our brain functions and injects a heightened level of awareness. To foster an ambidextrous mindset, we can work on right-brain learning activities by including patterning, metaphors, analogies, role-playing, visuals, and movement into reading, calculation, and analytical activities. Conscious effort to incorporate left and right brain activities, human consciousness studies, reflective thinking and meditation are excellent means to achieve an ambidextrous mind.
One easy technique that helps in such whole-brain thinking process is Mind Mapping. It aligns the mind to the diffusion of thought and paves way for streaming thoughts and linking new associations. Association essentially is finding the links in logic and ideas, and when these are explored in full, it leads to insight, imagination and creativity.
If we look at great discoveries, we will find the application or association of principle (s) to another. Pertinently, colors, pictures, symbols, etc. , highly enhance our learning process as they invoke vividness, clarity of perception and easy dissemination. Mind Mapping technique employs all these aspects and therein lies its power and dynamism. When learning and understanding is done using the Mind Map technique, it naturally becomes a highly effective and powerful way of gaining knowledge. It sure is an ideal way for fostering an ambidextrous or whole brain thinking culture.
Dr. Vj Mariaraj is a Mind Map enthusiast and has been using Mind Maps for the past twelve years. He has created over 5650 Mind Maps. To learn more about mind mapping and to download a free Mind map of a Business Book, send an email to email@example.com or visit http://BusinessBookMindMap.com/mind-map.php?ea