Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when individuals realize that they can choose how to think. In order to gain this understanding, one must understand that labels can limit the way one thinks.
As part of a personal effort to improve my own study skills, I am reading a book titled The World Book of Study Power, volume 1, and attempting to share a little of what I learn with my readers. Teaching others what I have learned helps to solidify the information in my own brain and is, therefore, a valuable learning tool. Most of the information that follows, including quotes and ideas, come from this book.
Most people know that we use the right side of our brains to think globally while we use the left side to think analytic. The thinking abilities of some people are generally split down the middle, but many, maybe even most, people are more left-brained or more right-brained. This does not mean that one can think in only one way. We should never place a label on our thinking abilities.
Labels are too rigid to define anything as complicated as a human being. What you are is not determined by how others see you. You are always changing and always able to change. No one is locked into one way of thinking or learning. You use your whole brain all the time. You can think analytically or globally, even if you happen to prefer one way.
Think for a moment about how that frees you. Maybe you thought you could never learn to draw or understand math. But that simply isn’t true. Anyone can learn how to do anything at all. You just need to change your way of approaching art or math. Once you open yourself up to the possibilities, they become realities. (51)
The book gives several examples of how we use all of all brains. An untrained musician may be drawn to music simply because they enjoy it. This would be thinking globally. They begin to think analytically when they learn to read and play music. A program computer thinks analytically, but a person using the computer to write a letter is thinking globally. “A painter paints globally, but mixes colors analytically.” (51-52)
We can choose the way that we learn, and we can choose to learn in different ways. Knowing that we can choose is an important step in changing the way that we think.
Just because you prefer, or tend, to learn one way doesn’t mean you can’t learn in a different way sometimes. Having a choice is important because there are many ways to do something. Choosing strategies will help you enjoy learning more because you won’t find it as frustrating… (52-53)
Parents can help their children to understand the various ways of thinking simply by being aware that there are different ways of learning and then sharing what they know. Learning to think in different ways can strengthen the individual as well as the family, community, and nation.