We have all heard of Archimedes, Newton and other great scientists who have made great discoveries / inventions. Have we noticed at what state of mind they were when they discovered them? Archimedes was relaxing in his bathtub; Newton was relaxing under an apple tree. Have you observed this: you struggled to solve some difficult problem for several days with no success; then suddenly you get a great breakthrough idea while taking bath or just after getting up from sleep? There seems to be some great intelligence within us, but we only accidentally stumble upon it. We can do better – there is a way to tap into these deeper intelligences intentionally.
Unfortunately, in the modern education we are taught on solving problems only by thinking, analyzing, collecting information … – using the Intellectual Intelligence. Whereas, tapping into our other deeper intelligences is a reverse process – by quietening the mind. Of course, we need thoughts & ideas for solving problems or to act. An analogy might help here: When the lake is perturbed, we get distorted images on the surface and nothing is visible below the surface; when the lake is calm, we can see the pearls at the bottom of the lake. In a similar way, quietening the mind removes the clutter/noise of too many thoughts, like the perturbance on the lake, so that we get deeper valuable thoughts, like the pearls at the bottom of the lake.
Through modern neuroscience research and management / leadership studies, there is an awareness emerging about multiple Intelligences beyond just the Intellectual Intelligence. Till the early 1990s people thought that people with high IQ (Intelligent Quotient – Intellectual Intelligence) become successful in life. Then Daniel Goleman showed through his research that people with high EQ (Emotional Quotient – Emotional Intelligence) become more successful in life. Now, going further, people are realizing the power of Intuitive Intelligence. Some of the reference books to explore on this dimension: ‘Conscious Business’ by Fred Kofman, ‘Theory U’ by Otto Schamer and ‘Multiple Intelligences’ by Howard Gardner.
We might have heard about great leaders making decisions/choices with head, heart and gut – using intellectual intelligence, emotional intelligence and intuitive intelligence – which lead to creative solutions/ideas.
Modern neuroscience shows how different parts of the brain are responsible for different intelligences. Left brain is predominantly IQ and Right brain is predominantly EQ and Basal Ganglia is responsible for Intuitive Intelligence.
Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
As we can notice, Left Brain is all about Logic, Analysis, Computation, Language, Facts etc. – Thinking mind. Right Brain is about Creativity, Imagination, Visualization and so on, which can be accessed by calm mind.
Here is an amazing TED talk by neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor sharing her experience of observing her left & right brain functioning as she was going through a stroke.
Because of over emphasis on Intellectual Intelligence in the modern age, we have been suppressing the other intelligences. If we practice quietening the mind through Mindfulness practices, these Creative Intelligences spring up – literally doing more with less (thinking).
Here is an invitation for you to explore, experiment and experience Creative You through some of the Mindfulness practices.
Stay tuned for more in Mindful Leadership series.
You can download a free eBook on Mindfulness@Work here.
You can practice audio/video guided Mindfulness techniques here.
You can get more info on Mindful Leadership here.
If you are curious & adventurous and want to explore & experiment deeper, watch the following videos in that order: