04 August 2008

A Whole New Mind

I recently finished reading Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. His premise is that, because of the influence of Abundance, Automation, and Asia, jobs that were traditionally mastered by left-brain people are becoming obsolete in our culture and right-brain skills are coming into demand. His opening paragraph reads:

The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind – computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.

These people, these right-brainers, sure look a lot like what gets called ADD. Which feeds into my ongoing thesis that ADD is a difference, not a disorder, and that it is an evolutionary shift toward wholeness. (For more on this thesis, see my other posts labeled ADD.) Not only is there an increase in people who are labeled ADD, but Pink shows that these people will actually be the ones most likely to prosper as our economy shifts. (He’s quick to point out, though, that romanticizing right-brain qualities as better than left brain is bogus, that what we need is an androgynous brain.)

To determine whether your career choice is a good fit for our current culture, Pink proposes three questions to ask yourself:
1. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
2. Can a computer do it faster?
3. Is what I’m offering in demand in an age of abundance?

(Whoo-hoo! My work as a professional organizer meets the criteria!)

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