Coping: Implementing Balanced-Brain Theory

My first encounter with balanced-brain theory was in the 1990’s when I was head of admissions for a vocational college.  Anything that would help understand whether a particular course, leading to a career, would benefit the student’s long-term interests was important.

Enter the Gregorc Style Delimiter which you can still buy a packet of 25 self-assessments for $75 plus a $15 small order charge.  Although it seemed expensive at the time, I talked many people including children, friends, and even my then-future wife, into taking the “self-assessment.”  It was incredibly useful.

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Gregorc is a simple tool.  You fill in the answers to a couple of pages of questions.  Then an answer key is applied and four aspects of your thinking-style are scored.

The four styles?  It’s actually two pairs of thinking modes.  Random/Sequential (a familiar concept in programming) helps to understand how a person accesses information.

Some people – faced with a “look-up” problem among 100 choices, will start at the very beginning and will then increment (one lookup at a time) toward 100.  This is the sequential style.

The random style would essentially start by throwing a mental dart.  “Oh, darn, it wasn’t choice #37.  Let’s try #61, next…”

Balanced people will use different strategies – evolved strategies.  For example, in programming, sorts are faster if you narrow the search.  Take that 100-item list of choices.  Is the answer in the first 50?  Or, second 50?  You can see how with one try you eliminated half the choices?

Say the answer is somewhere in the second 50.  So, again we cut the group in half.  “Is the answer is #50-74?”  Or, “is in #75, or later.

So much for random/sequential, except to note that in a balanced brain, both options are equally available and that makes for smart, flexible thinkers.  And better job candidates upon graduation.  Random people tend to be “easily distracted” while “sequential” may be almost plodding – they’re so slow!

The other pairing is abstract/concrete.

Concrete people like to follow diagrams and schematics, work-flows and so on.  Abstract people will “make it up on the fly” more.  Concrete people measure while abstract people estimate.

The balanced brain will do a little of this (like diagram) but toss in some art (with cable routing and dressing, for example).  Again, the balanced brain is a marvelous thing.  Especially when two people have nearly identical overlapping profiles.

We’ll be celebrating 18-years, this month, by the way.  I credit with Gregorc for some of that.

Amazingly, many people don’t bother applying great metrics (like Gregorc) to their personal self-development.  Most people are, because of media, a declining education system failing to teach critical thinking well, and excessive chemical and drugs in our lives, tend to get “unbalanced.”

Social media, for example, hoodwinks a great many people into being followers rather than leaders.  Leaders, of course, will be too busy making progress in real life (IRL) to piss-away time writing free content for social media tycoons.

Leaning Styles Matter

In the vocational word, I was very focused on three types of learning styles:  Tactile (touch, learn-by-doing) was the most important.  So were visual and aural.

Professional educators list two other styles:  verbal and logical.

In puzzling out how to remain “in the Zone” for myself, what emerged was a coherent world-view that was in total harmony with learning styles.

Take phones, for example.

The reason a phone is so popular is that it offers the three major learning channels.  The tactile is from finger-sweeping the face of the unit.  The visual from whatever the useless game is, and the aural is the assortment of catchy sounds game designers are fond of.

But there’s more:  FB and twits manage to work in the verbal/language skills while some game apps also work on your logical learning.

This may not help you ditch the (likely cancer-causing) phone, but there ARE other ways to achieve brain-balance…

A “Brain Vitamin” Daily List

I decided to jot down a short list of activities that could be done in a half-hour to 45-minutes each day to ensure you were “firing on all neurons.”  Here’s what I go through:

  • Music (2-3 songs)
  • Art or Focused viewing  or Pulsed Light
  • A tactile activity (high touch)
  • A Puzzle
  • Some reading

Some comments are in order on each:

Music can be taken in two ways:  sequential or random.  One of the reasons I like Jazz so much is that in a single piece, a great composer like Chico O’Farrill could put together music that was both regular but had places where it “got out there” and then bring it all back together again.

An example is Cuban Blues, which “goes out” at 1:24 into this cut and “comes back” about 2:14.

Art, Focused Viewing, Pulsed Light

I like good art.  But, sitting on a hillside overlooking the Painted Desert at the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona works.  So does playing back in absolute silence some of the amazing “pictures” I’ve taken with the “mental camera” we each have inside out heads.

Lately, I have been using the Light Crown which is now pulsed at 40 HZ based on Li-Huei Tsai’s work at MIT:

“After an hour of stimulation at 40 hertz, the researchers found a 40 to 50 percent reduction in the levels of beta amyloid proteins in the hippocampus. Stimulation at other frequencies, ranging from 20 to 80 hertz, did not produce this decline.”

Which is, to my way of thinking,  light is a very worthwhile “brain vitamin.”  I have experienced a huge increase in personal energy since adding “light” to my brain vit’s.

Tactile activities are definitely back on the rise in my regimen. Sunday was spend putting in 240-volt outside power for the welder and the plasma cutter.

When (rabidly) day-trading, it’s refreshing to step out of the office into the shop and play with power tools on whatever the day’s project is.  Blood pressure drops of 15 points have been noted.

Puzzles come up all the time in my daily activities, so I don’t even have to program them in as an “activity,” per se.

Whenever I do almost anything these days, I start with a list of “puzzle questions.”

  • What is the outcome of this activity I’m after?
  • What is the fastest/least expensive way to get there?
    • Can I delegate?
    • Can I hire it out?
    • Can I use a better.faster tool?
    • Is my design “concrete or abstract?”

When you turn every situation into a puzzle to be solved, you skip having to buy puzzle books.

This “need to puzzle” may be a predominantly male tendency.  In the past almost 70-years (and as recently as last week) women I know have asked me “Why do you have to SOLVE everything?  I’m just venting!

Sorry, ladies…solving is what I do.  Except I haven’t “solved” women, yet.  Viva la difference!

(Except it’s no longer PC to think this way since “la difference” is being “modified and monetized” by the latter-day Mengele-types. So best drop that line of discussion…)

Verbal inputs and outputs matter, too.  As much as I write (5,000 words per day on average) I figure I need to read at least that many in order to keep throwing fuel into those reaches of “brain muscle.”

To sum up: self-medication of your brain with controlled inputs may be a very useful thing to do.

Keep a log, go with caution, be wary of music with words/lyrics, but if you’re not tapping into “unlimited energy” that flows around, some effort on daily brain-balancing may help.

Oh, yeah – this is not medical advice.  “Doc, may I listen to Led Zeppelin real loud PRN?

Write when you get rich (and balanced),

author avatar
George Ure
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16 thoughts on “Coping: Implementing Balanced-Brain Theory”

    • Good comment Andy. I think this may be the style I fit in. My problem is, when my intuition is right, I Don’t always follow it
      & most of the time it is correct. This problem of not following your intuition may be a common problem for many. President Trump seems to be a man who follows his intuition & turned it into billions. Most of my successes in life has been being in the right place at the right time. I discovered that in life if you keep plodding forward, good things will happen no matter how stupid you are.

      • “Good things will happen no matter how stupid you are.”
        ROTFLMFAO! BEST QUOTE, I have read in a while. I needed to hear that today. Thank you!

      • Reminds me of the emerald tablet of thoth for some reason.

        “First Divine the material from the immaterial. Everything that has form is changing into other form. And you, yourself are not the exception.”

        And this quote,

        “Faith is the only known agency which will give your thoughts a spiritual nature”

        Napolean Hill “think and grow rich .

      • That’s a misquote. It actually says “everything that has form is becoming other form’. Been a while since I read that

        • Must b e a bitch to jam gears on an 18-wheeler with a library of Thoth aboard..

      • Ha! George. The library is in my brain. I just remembered the exact quote after my comment.

  1. I remember commenting on a post discussing a woman’s plight being homeless and unemployed in Santa Barbara, CA. I suggested she move nearer her family in a cheaper state. I found out quickly that nobody wanted a practical solution, it was a pity party, no resolution required.

    • I hate racism.. no matter who it is. I think it is taught and nourished by parents and society. Luckily I was raised by parents that were race neutral. We were taught that there are azzholes in every size shape and race or religion.. now this morning I was taking someone someplace and this huge discussion about how evil certain races are and how the wife lives in this big city of Houston etc. etc. and it was the race that was the cause. I asked why doesn’t she leave, move to an area that doesn’t have the high cost of living and racial discontent..
      I got the exact same response you did.that wasn’t a solution they were looking for. Instead the feel sorry for me. Just look at these nasty hateful people it’s their race.. nope you can put children of multiple races in a room to play. If you’ve gotten them before they’ve been taught to hate. They will all play as normal children without any regard to what color their skin is.

      • “Racism” is a hardwired, paleolithic brain response to “that which is different.”

        The single biggest issue with “racism” is people not-recognizing this, and fighting the hard-wire, instead of simply not connecting it in the first place.

        One can’t successfully fight racism within 20 year olds because the circuits are set. They can, however, not just fight it, but TOTALLY ELIMINATE IT with 2yos or 5yos, because their circuits are NOT yet set. Small children are not “racist.” They take their ethnically different peers at face value, until and unless such time it is shown or demonstrated that they should not do so. The most one can get through the hard head of a 20yo (or a 30 or 60 or 90yo) is “tolerance.” I assume this is why “racial leaders” preach “tolerance” because the only other reason to merely teach “tolerance” is they have no desire to actually fix the problem… EBM

  2. “evolved strategies. For example, in programming, sorts are faster if you narrow the search. Take that 100-item list of choices. Is the answer in the first 50? Or, second 50? You can see how with one try you eliminated half the choices?”

    Hmm.. I am not sure which style I use. I know I drive everyone nuts when I read.
    I’ll read a page or chapter then research what I have read to see what aspects and opinions are. For the morning news I scan the front pages.

    Then see what the stories all agree on.

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