Since I was a child, I’ve always been intrigued with the idea that you could have a great day just by getting up on the right side of the bed.Later in life, during my years as a largely unsuccessful songwriter, one of the few successes I had was with a country rock song that I co-wrote with Fred Knipe and Duncan Stitt. It was called “The Right Side of theWrong Bed.”
Today my fascination is not so much with the right side of the bed as it is with the right side of the head—or to be more precise, the right side of the brain.In the 1930s, brain surgeons discovered the different functions of the two halves of the brain while working with epileptics. In 1950, Roger W. Sperry of the University of Chicago(and later of Cal Tech) made the greatest breakthroughs in discovering that dreams, energy, and creative insight come from the right side of the brain, while linear, logical, short-term, and shortsighted thinking come from the left.
The best explanation of how “whole-brain” thinking surpasses left-brain thinking or right-brain thinking is in a book written by British philosopher Colin Wilson called Frankenstein’s Castle. Wilson reveals that we have more control over drawing vital energy and creative ideas from the “right brain” than we ever realized. And what stimulates the right brain the most is a high sense of purpose.
If you had to carry a heavy sack of sand across town, your left brain might get upset and tell you that you were doing something boring and tedious. However, if your child were injured badly and she weighed the same as the huge bag of sand, you’d carry her the same distance to the hospital with a surprising surge of vital energy (sent from the right brain). That’s what purpose does to the brain. Self-motivation gets more and more exciting as the left brain gets better and better at telling the right brain what to do.