Most of us start off a new year with plenty of new ambitions however more often than not each year tends to look a lot like the previous ones, leaving us rather unfulfilled. In other words, your coming year could be defined as predictable. Some will argue they’re content with their life so why change anything? What they are really saying is they are too afraid to grow and evolve.
Why do people fall into this predictable trap? Without consideration for the many fears that govern our thinking and behaviors, a common cause for predictability is what’s known as ‘linear thinking’. This form of thinking is not inherently bad. It allows our brains to process information very efficiently and apply logic. Our experiences in life and the lessons passed on from society equip us with a set of rules that we continually apply to each new situation. The downside to this is that the spectrum of possible outcomes for each situation are equally as confined as the narrow set of rules we apply to them, thus creating rather predictable outcomes.
The brain has a powerful ability to create illusions. Because linear thinking provides a partial picture the brain is left to fill in the gaps in accordance to what you think should be there. This is similar to how the brain fills in the blind spots in our peripheral vision allowing for what appears to be an uninterrupted picture of the world in front of us. In the case of our vision this brain trait is inherently a good thing. When applied to our thought process it reinforces the limitations of linear thinking.
Three dimensional or multidimensional thinking on the other hand is far less efficient, but offers some distinct advantages. As the name suggests three dimensional thinking processes information using multiple perspectives. Linear thinking is primarily a left-brained approach whereas three dimensional thinking is the convergence of the right-brain and left-brain, or more simply the intersect of creativity and logic. While this form of thinking struggles to be efficient it produces outcomes that were otherwise not possible. For this reason some of history’s greatest inventors and problem solvers were highly creative individuals – Leonardo DaVinci, Michaelangelo, and Albert Einstein. They all viewed the world from multiple dimensions and processed information through left and right brained thinking.
Society in general influences both left and right brained individuals towards linear left brained thinking. Therefore the task for most people is to engage the right brain, opening ourselves up to think in multiple dimensions and a world of greater possibilities. The easiest way to achieve this is by brining more creativity into your life. Although some people claim to not have a creative bone in their body the fact is we are all creative to varying degrees, yet creativity needs regular stimulation and practice. This could involve illustrating, painting, photography, music, dance, poetry just to name a few of the options. Spending more time in nature also tends to create harmonization between the left and right brain. Whatever you chose as your creative endeavor it’s also important to have fun with it. I’ll also point out that stress is the enemy of possibility so this year try to increase activities that help you stay relaxed such as exercise, meditation, or healthy social interaction. The important last step towards multi dimensional thinking is to simply acknowledge the world as full of possibility knowing that you just have to open your mind to see it.