Are we discounting creative thinking when we should be embracing it?
Have you ever heard the phrase - left brain thinker or right Brain thinker?
We think of left brain thinking as being logical sequential, and right brain as being non sequential and imaginative. Despite it being scientifically proven that the left and right hemisphere of the brain is NOT where those types of personality traits or thinking styles live, we do all agree that we have both of those styles of thinking to varying degrees.
The issue that I have , is that as a society we tend to lean very heavily on the left brain; maths, science, logic, measurements and correct answers. We often discount the creative subjects of art, drama and dance in particular. It is as if we relegate creative pursuits to hobbies, while logical learning is key. I have been in the creative arts for 30 years. In this time I have seen a drastic decline in creative thinking and a massive incline in anxiety and fear in our youth.
I used to have a saying, " If there is nowhere to put it on the page or the stage, then kids will put it in their life". By that I mean DRAMA. Anxiety is often suffered by very creative people, who have no place to SAFELY put their creativity. They look for things to be scared of. They make up and imagine things to be afraid of.
At the Australian Acting Academy, we have had incredible success with seeing high anxiety sufferers not only overcome fears around performing or public speaking, but reduce anxiety in their lives in general.
The left brain stands guard over our right brain, as it wants to control its environment, and the right brain is unpredictable. Yet if we exercise our right brain thinking in a playful way, the left brain lets go of control and the anxiety it uses as a weapon, soon dissipates.
We as a society have become creatively flabby. We just don't exercise our creativity as much as we used to. The scary part in this is that we will stop questioning what we have been shown, stop being inquisitive, stop being curious. This is a dangerous place for society. It makes us susceptible to believe anything.
We live in a time when we need creative, out of the box thinking to find solutions to things. To innovate, to invent. If we don't start by encouraging creativity in our own lives, and the lives of our kids, we will be at risk of becoming a society that is easily manipulated, and lacking any sense of individuality.
The solution? Let's ramp up play. I don't mean online games , which I think are more left brained, activities set on a rules based world, where you follow the rules to win. I am talking about imaginative play, book reading, dancing, singing, PLAY! It will be the creative thinkers who lead the world in. the right direction.