New York Times Best Seller
Discover your hidden brainpower with this newly expanded guide to the simple but powerful technique that unlocks potential in all areas of your life.
Former banker and CEO Bill Donius drove his bank’s eightfold growth over twelve years. And the surprising secret to his success is something we all have access to, right in our own two hands. The methodology described in Thought Revolution is simple and revolutionary—so simple, it begins by moving your pen from one hand to the other. Whether you’re right-handed or left-handed, a whole world of change is possible. Writing with your non-dominant hand opens you up to creative solutions, giving you the ability to see new ways through problems in your business, career, relationships, health, and spiritual life.
In Thought Revolution, Donius explains the science behind non-dominant handwriting and teaches you how to incorporate the technique into your business and your life. New stories from Donius’s extensive seminars illuminate how employees and managers can unite in a new vision for their company’s growth and culture, increase employee and customer satisfaction, and improve profits. Thought-provoking, easy-to-do exercises and prompts show how to connect more fully with your subconscious right brain to help you reduce stress, discover your hidden talents, heal from trauma, and come to a deeper spiritual awareness.
Thought Revolution shows how your non-dominant hand serves as a direct pipeline to the right brain’s wisdom. Incorporate this simple practice into your career and your life, and you’ll find insights that lead to lasting change.
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You’ve Got a Problem
You’ve got this BIG, THORNY problem. It’s ok. You can admit it. All big businesses have them. You feel like your team has struggled with it forever and tried to solve it with countless brainstorming sessions and “thinking outside the box” workshops. It feels hopeless. EVERYONE inside your organization has finally accepted it as “just how it is”.
The Current “Fix”
It’s these monster problems that trigger the hiring of an incredibly expensive outside consulting firm to come in and fix them. Of course these relationships are never really what you hope for, are they? I mean, sure, a lot of these consultants are great at what they do. And most of them can get some decent results for you (even if they aren’t always particularly innovative). But by the time you do see any results, six months have passed (or more), and you just watched several LARGE checks change hands to get this to happen. This is the way it’s done now. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m not even saying that it isn’t ever worth the money (sometimes I’m sure it is).
Here is what I am saying: THERE IS A BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER WAY.
What are the biggest issues with these consulting relationships? They take a long time. They are really expensive. When they are done, they’re gone (or they will gladly keep taking the checks with all those zeros on them). They have very little long-term, vested interest in your company.
So how do we fix all of these issues?
Solve your biggest problems with your own team.
I know, I know. They’ve all already given up! You’ve already tried over and over again! It’s hopeless!
But think about it for a second. Who knows everything about the problem? Who knows everything else about your business and your products or services and your customers? Who are you already paying to solve these problems? And who has a long-term, vested interest in solving these problems and creating success for your company?
“Outside the Box” Thinking From Inside Your Organization
The answer to all of these questions is obvious, right? Your team is already in place to solve these big problems. They just need one little missing piece: the key to unlock innovative thinking on-demand.
THAT is exactly what right-brain thinking provides. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us are left-brain thinkers. And most of the time this serves us well. But when it comes to these big, thorny problems in our businesses and in our lives, our left brains simply don’t have the ability to work around all the logistics and roadblocks to allow ourselves to see innovative solutions to problems.
It is this process of triggering your right brain that inspired me to write Thought Revolution. And it is this process that has allowed me to help some really big companies (Disney, Kawasaki & Nestlé to name a few) around the world solve their own problems. And the best part? The exponential power of this innovative thinking technique allows these teams to solve these big, seemingly impossible problems in a matter of HOURS. That’s right! They don’t have to spend weeks and months getting to know the company inside and out. They don’t have to study the problem extensively. They are living it!
So there you go! “Outside the box” thinking from INSIDE your organization…on-demand. It isn’t hard to imagine how powerful that can be.
But in case your imagination is lacking, feel free to download a case-study of what this method has done for one of my clients, Crown Vision. They are just one of many stories of success.
William A. Donius
Author of Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius, updated book released on August, 2014 by Simon & Schuster.
P.S. Most people that hear about what I do are really skeptical. I understand that. I really do. It’s why I LOVE to talk to people and show them how it works! I know I mentioned that I have worked with some big businesses in the past. I’ve had an absolute blast doing it and am looking for more of the right types of businesses to help. If you are interested in learning more and you are the right type of business…and are still skeptical…I want to offer you a free 30 minute phone call where I will be happy to help you solve one of your biggest problems using my method. I only have time to do a couple of these calls every week, so if you are interested, the earlier you apply the better. You can apply for the free call here.
Brainstorming…the darling strategic planning management tool that dates back to the late 1930’s, oftentimes in today’s world comes up short of producing new, exciting and workable ideas. The “tried and true” gold standard since its inception, brainstorming has been discovered to have developed a number of problems that have evolved over the past decades.
Research indicates that big groups actually experience worse results than smaller groups. Participants tend to forget their ideas when others have the floor. “Quiet” people (see Susan Cain’s TED Talk) among us are also less likely to speak up and make their ideas heard. Others are reluctant to reveal a politically incorrect idea. Many find themselves unable to contradict the authority of more senior, tenured employees. Net result? Brainstorming sessions end without solving problems.
What’s the solution? It’s time for a fresh approach known as Ideation.
A Reinvention of Traditional Brainstorming
Ideation is a technique that involves both the left and right sides of the brain to allow breakthroughs from entrenched habits of thought and persistent difficult problems. It also helps participants avoid the circular thinking of channeling ideas along a constrained path that often occurs when individuals brainstorm together. The process of Ideation begins with individual ideas, more accountability, consensus building and ultimate involvement with participants “voting with their feet.”
The solution, then, begins with the individual, or phrased differently, the “I” in Ideation. If each individual participant takes more responsibility by being a better participant in a problem solving-process, the results are likely to be better. The next logical question, then, is “What can I do to be a better participant?” A simple question but one that is actually tougher than it seems. To be successful, participants need to be able to burst out of their comfort zones of complacent, conventional thinking to get to a place where big, bold, breakthrough ideas are possible. Everyone loves their comfort zones, however, and tend to become completely entrenched within these zones.
That’s why in meetings people are constantly admonished to “think outside the box.” One problem: they are generally not told how to do this.
An answer to finding a path out of individuals’ comfort zones into what may be called their “Inner Genius,” subconscious, higher conscious, inner Yoda, or even their inner five-year-old. This is the place where those creative, intuitive, innovate ideas dwell. A problem is that typically most people don’t have a direct path to accessing that place. It’s difficult to unlock those big ideas on demand.
This is Why the Right Hemisphere of the Brain is So Important
The right hemisphere of the brain is the most reliable place to go hunting for these ideas. Scientists have discovered that the right hemisphere of the brain is independent from the left and is believed to be responsible for artistry, music, emotions, intuition and creative problem solving, while the left hemisphere performs the more traditional linear, logical, mathematical and analytical functions. Over the past 18 years I’ve learned to trust the right brain as the reliable “go to” place when I need to think differently, search for a big idea or solve a problem.
When individuals need solutions to tough problems, they can truly use both sides of their brains in an Ideation Session. By activating the right side of the brain, they are able to pull in those insights that are typically missed.
How can this happen?
I recommend three resources: “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” by Dr. Betty Edwards, particularly effective for artists; “Recovery of Your Inner Child” by Dr. Lucia Capacchione, effective for struggling with psychological issues; and “Thought Revolution”, my book written to help those interested in solving mainstream problems in their personal and business lives.
Combining right brain insights with conventional, logical ideas can produce new, fresh, and potentially “doable” ideas. Individuals who use this process become better participants in Ideation sessions if they arrive at the session by thinking about the topic or issue before the session, posing the question to themselves and then unleashing both sides of their brains.
Facilitators of Ideation Sessions must consider allowing participants some quiet time to capture their best thinking before beginning the distracting and potentially diluting influence of everyone voicing their ideas. Then, consider building momentum for the ideas by dividing the participants into smaller groups of 4-8 people. Ask small group participants to vote on the ideas that will “make the cut” and are deserving of consideration by the bigger group. Then facilitators may consider democratizing the strategic thinking or problem session by allowing participants to “vote with their feet” (like the Iowa caucuses), voting on the ideas they like the most. This process can immediately demonstrate where there is consensus and a more likely chance for internal acceptance and backing. Sound interesting? Taking the above steps will boost the effectiveness of thinking sessions.
Over the past 30 years as a participant, leader and facilitator of strategic planning processes, I have come to believe too much time is spent on planning and not enough on thinking.
In a fast-changing, globally competitive world, if individuals, businesses and corporations are not thinking about better solutions, someone else is guaranteed to be doing just that.
William A. Donius
Author of Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius, updated book released on August, 2014 by Simon & Schuster.
P.S. I know you are tired of hearing about the lackluster ideas that are coming out of brainstorming sessions in your organization. As a former bank CEO, I lived that unhappy reality for far too long. But that was when I came upon this amazing methodology that I crafted and moulded to fit what I needed make my organization thrive! And I’ve been able to share this methodology in Ideation Sessions with some amazing companies (like Disney, Kawasaki & Nestlé to name a few). If you are interested in learning more about these ideation sessions and how they can help your organization, CLICK HERE AND REQUEST MORE DETAILS.
When Laura learned that I was writing this book, she volunteered to be a test subject. In her mid-fifties and divorced, Laura hadn’t dated for several years and indicated that she wasn’t terribly happy with her life at the time.
For our first exercise, I suggested Laura use her nondominant hand to draw a picture of her life. After about five minutes, she showed me her drawing. To my eye, it depicted a childlike image of a house with many windows and the stick figure of a person standing to the right of the house. Next I asked her to write with her nondominant hand the question “What does the drawing mean?” Then I had her switch hands again and answer the question.
Laura explained her drawing with these words: “My house is filled with all this stuff that I’ve bought as a substitute for having a relationship with a real person. No one can come inside my house because it’s too full.” As Laura wrote these words, she started to cry. I told her to just sit quietly for a few minutes.
After more writing and thinking about what she’d drawn and written over the period of about an hour, Laura confessed that she held on to all these possessions because she imagined they could protect her. She had become a hoarder, and the addiction had taken over her life. What I had mistaken for windowpanes were actually piles of boxes inside her house. Although this dramatic revelation occurred during one of my first interviews, almost every subsequent interview I conducted doing the research for this book produced some deep insight that helped the participant get a fresh perspective on their life. I realize it’s difficult to imagine interview subjects would be would be willing to be so vulnerable by sharing their drawings and deep insights about their lives. I’ve noticed when people get in the zone activated by the right brain, they are more able to stay focused in resolving the issue they are writing about. “By nature,” Laura said, “I used to be quite gregarious. I liked to throw parties and share my good fortune with friends. But sadly, no one except me has been inside my house for almost ten years.”
A decade earlier, when her fiancé called off the wedding, Laura retreated from the world. I had her ask herself, “How did this happen?” She replied with her nondominant hand, “You gave up on people. You put all your time and effort into beautiful things instead.”
Rather than concentrate on the central issue in her life, Laura spent more time with her hobby of collecting and reselling antiques. She became so obsessed, in fact, that she couldn’t sell things as fast as she bought them. They piled up inside her house until they closed out the possibility of a primary love relationship and ties with friends and acquaintances.
Laura had fallen into a self-destructive pattern. Though she basically knew she didn’t feel happy, she hadn’t given it much thought. She persisted with binge-like purchases to make her feel a little better. She ignored the boxes in her house because she told herself she could sell the things, if necessary. In effect, she had convinced herself that everything would work out eventually. But that wasn’t the truth.
Seldom does divine intervention, or magic, play a role in uncovering the truth. Yet we often act as though the truth is more easily denied than dealt with. Laura must have figured that, in time, she would find her way out of the hoarding problem and begin again to entertain and to date. Yet instead of confronting head-on either the lie or the truth, she told herself she had better things to do.
Why did this smart, usually sensible woman put so much effort into piling up a wealth of beautiful things just so she could ignore the poverty of her relationships? Did some part of her imagine that her addictive behavior was her best—or only—choice? Was she waiting for something to happen that would break her out of her funk? Is that why she quickly volunteered to try the intuitive writing exercise? Until Laura took that step, she hadn’t given much thought to her own best interests. Or maybe it took those ten years and the piles of antiques to force her to face the truth.
What goes on in the mind when we think about our difficulties? Often, the nurturing mind puts a little salve on the wound and we get on with our business. The rational side of the mind hopes to avoid conflict, pain, or any disruption of the status quo. It simply embraces the notion that there’s no need to enter into the battle of figuring out our truths today. Laura’s rational thinking mind convinced the intuitive and emotive mind to stand down because it argued, “The truth will eventually surface.” Her intuitive side didn’t feel completely closed off from the “decision,” since there was a prospect for the truth to surface in time. Laura, like many of us, trusted her rational mind: since she didn’t have a specific process for tapping into her intuition, she had not developed it or learned to trust it.
Laura believed that the truth behind her behaviors—both her hoarding and her avoiding love—would surface on its own. Rather than put any effort into action that might resolve these problems, Laura spent the best part of ten years “copping out” because she didn’t think she had any responsibility to seek the truth. It would find her when it was ready. And in one way, she was right. The truth eventually revealed itself, but with wasted years of isolation and pain. When she finally learned how to listen to the needs of her unconscious right brain, Laura learned how to get out of delay mode and focus on what she needed to confront.
TRUTH SERUM , DOSE 1 :
“Can the truth set me free?”
The extent to which we tackle our issues, limitations, and problems directly relates to the progress we make in our lives. If you fail to find your uniqueness, or if you’re not true to yourself, such self-betrayal can become a tragic flaw.
On the subject of truth, we have two adages: “Truth hurts” and “The truth can set you free.” Whether or not it hurts to learn the truth, denying the truth certainly can inflict huge tolls on you . . . and on those around you. It did exactly that for Laura. Perhaps, then, the freedom that comes from knowing the truth is little more than freedom from the emotional strain of trying to deny it.
As we’ve seen, the hurtfulness of this lie compounds when the liar abdicates personal responsibility. Laura told herself that she didn’t have to focus on the issue immediately because she believed that “the truth will eventually surface.” Such thinking let Laura off the hook because, through it, she avoided looking more deeply at herself. But what happened when she started to look below the surface after more than ten years? Once Laura recognized and admitted the damaging influence of her hoarding, she continued exploring the possibilities this admission afforded her. I suggested she write down the answer to this question with her nondominant hand
Since I feel so miserable now, should I make some changes in my life?
What happened next amazed us both. Her composure restored, Laura calmly used her nondominant hand to put on paper a nine-point plan that could help her progress beyond the pain and obstructions she’d instilled in her life.
It was almost as if her creative mind had simply waited for this opportunity to present the solutions. Laura stared at her words in disbelief. Half grudgingly, she asked me, “Why couldn’t I have figured this out ten years ago? It makes so much sense, and there’s really nothing stopping me from doing it!”
Over the next seven months, Laura dutifully followed her plan for freedom. At the end of that time she invited a relative to visit and hosted a small party at her house to celebrate the occasion. I watched in amazement as a gregarious, warm, and sociable person came back to life. With nothing more than an hour of using her nondominant hand and some determination, Laura resolved the problem she had wrestled with for ten years.
My appreciation for the complexity and directness of the human mind grew from witnessing Laura’s progress. The bad habitthat had trapped her for ten years practically went up in smoke when I gave her the opportunity to tap into her creative mind. She not only gained the insight that she needed to change but realized exactly how she could go about it.
If Laura’s friends or family members had made the same suggestions she discovered through intuitive writing, I believe that she wouldn’t have followed their solutions. Instead, Laura may have felt judged and become defensive and, thus, more resistant to making the changes she needed. It was because Laura identified the issues on her own terms and experienced her own “aha!” moment that she could proceed confidently to a resolution.
If you believe you’re telling yourself the lie “Everything will work out eventually,” inject some of the same truth serum Laura used by asking
What am I not honest with myself about?
Write this question in your Thought Revolution Journal. Then switch to your nondominant hand to answer the question. If you draw a blank, try asking
Is there something or someone in my life I avoid?
You can follow these questions with
Why can’t I be honest about X? Or why can’t I face X?
Switch hands to let your dominant hand write the questions and your nondominant answer. Your objective is to become a detective and discover whether you are in denial of an essential truth about yourself and the manner in which you keep it hidden.
Ultimately, tapping into your whole mind has the great value of helping you discover what you already know but don’t perceive as the “rational” answer. The easier course of resisting change and avoiding pain usually doesn’t yield positive results, but still we cling to it as Laura did because we know we don’t like pain. By allowing the creative right mind’s resources to slip past the guardhouse of our logical left mind, we can explore the labyrinth of options our whole mind presents.
Can’t believe ten years has flown by since I began what’s been the most interesting journey of my life. I’m not referring to the many cool places I’ve been blessed to go to around the globe. None of those spots have been as transformational as the path of self-discovery, or the journey within.
I realize this kind of talk doesn’t happen often in our harried, social media crazed, busy work a day world, but it’s important nonetheless. Earlier in my life I was chasing business success and many other things too. Somewhere along the way I realized I was “Stuck” in an key part of my personal life. The process of getting, “Unstuck” also led me to discover what I now deem to be my superpower–an ability to to think differently, disruptively as well as better when it comes to problem solving in both my personal life as well as in business.
Over the past ten years, I’m honored to share this process with an All Star cast of companies (Disney, Nestle and Kawasaki to name three) as well as in the start up and non profit spaces.
The Ideation process has helped all of these teams unlock solutions to their most important challenges and problems. It’s been gratifying to assist these great brands. However, the most rewarding part is teaching the unique methodology described in my book, Thought Revolution, to the individuals I’ve met along the way, within these companies as a tool to help break through their areas where they’re currently stuck, either at work or in their personal lives.
That’s why I’m particularly excited about the opportunity to lead a workshop at the Esalen Institute in beautiful Big Sur, California in late October of this year. I wish I would have been armed with this knowledge earlier in life as I would have been a more intentional, authentic and creative person earlier in life. So, if any of this strikes a chord, it may be your time. Here’s your chance to take action and do something for yourself. Your older, wiser self will be grateful you did.
MEET YOUR BETTER HALF: UNLOCK YOUR RIGHT BRAIN
WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 26-28, 2018
Learn to activate the right side of your brain to unlock the insights necessary to break through self-limiting patterns. Based on a Nobel prize-winning discovery in neuroscience, this methodology helps you think outside the box and live a more creative, productive, and happier life. William Donius, author of the New York Times bestseller Thought Revolution, spent a decade researching and developing this brain-enhancing methodology. He has taught these skills to a wide range of people, from students and corporate executives to scientists and artists. This innovative approach inspires more creative solutions than conventional thinking or brainstorming sessions. Through easy-to-learn exercises, you can discover ways to harness your intuition and uncover profound insights about yourself that make change possible. By the end of the weekend, you’ll have practical tools you can apply each time you face an important decision or obstacle in life. You can go home with new ways to unlock your own inner genius and create the life you long for. Please bring a notebook or journal and a pen.
Recommended reading: Donius, Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius.
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