A Whole New Mind Book Summary - A Whole New Mind Book explained in key points
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A Whole New Mind summary

Daniel H. Pink

Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

4.4 (176 ratings)
19 mins

Brief summary

A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink is a thought-provoking book that argues artistic and creative skills are becoming essential in the 21st century. It offers actionable steps to develop these skills while adapting to the changing world of work.

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    A Whole New Mind
    Summary of 9 key ideas

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    Our brain has two parts: the left hemisphere for details and the right hemisphere for more holistic, big-picture thinking.

    Since ancient times, people have assumed a division of the brain into a left and a right hemisphere, a neurological divide that has been supported by modern science.

    While today we know that every activity we engage in requires cooperation between both the right and left hemisphere, we are also aware that each hemisphere takes the dominant role in certain activities. Generally, we can say that the left hemisphere focuses on breaking things into details, while the right hemisphere is in charge of providing the broader picture.

    These differing roles can be seen, for instance, in the context of language use. Much of our language originates in the left hemisphere, where we process symbols in sequence (for example, when reading). However, the right hemisphere also plays an important role by allowing us to take a step back from the language itself and interpret the context of the message. Without our right cerebral hemisphere, we would not be able to understand irony or metaphors.

    Reasoning is another area where the hemispheres have different, complementary roles:

    Responses that originate from the left are derived from what we have learned in the past. If someone points a gun at you, it’s the left hemisphere that tells you to be alarmed because you have learned that guns are dangerous.

    The right hemisphere, on the other hand, doesn’t recognize the gun, but it can draw on more intuitive knowledge and recognize other signs of danger, like an angry facial expression. The fact that all cultures tend to interpret facial expressions similarly illustrates how natural and intuitive these functions of the right hemisphere are.

    We have always sought to understand which part of our brain is responsible for different activities. Today we know that although the two halves are constantly cooperating, they specialize in different ways of thinking.

    Our brain has two parts: the left hemisphere for details and the right hemisphere for more holistic, big-picture thinking.

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    What is A Whole New Mind about?

    In an age where computers and well-trained workers from low-paid countries are taking over even white-collar jobs, what can you do to stand out? As we move out of the Information Age and into a new Conceptual Age, the answer is to start embracing the aptitudes associated with the right side of your brain, which were previously thought of as less valuable than analytical left-brain skills.

    A Whole New Mind Review

    A Whole New Mind (2005) explores the shift from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age and why it is crucial to develop right-brain thinking skills. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides fascinating insights on how the roles of creativity, empathy, and imagination are becoming increasingly important in the future job market.
    • Through compelling examples and case studies, it convincingly argues that developing right-brain thinking is essential for personal and professional success in the 21st century.
    • The book's engaging exploration of the six senses—design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning—makes it a captivating read that challenges traditional notions of intelligence.

    Who should read A Whole New Mind?

    • Anyone who wants to discover the difference between 20th-century work and 21st-century work
    • Anyone interested in the concept of “right-brain” thinking
    • Anyone who wants to develop the right skills to succeed at work in the modern age

    About the Author

    Daniel H. Pink is an American author of bestselling books on business, management and work. A Whole New Mind (2005) was a long-running New York Times and BusinessWeek bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages.

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    A Whole New Mind FAQs 

    What is the main message of A Whole New Mind?

    The main message of A Whole New Mind is that the future belongs to creators, empathizers, and big-picture thinkers.

    How long does it take to read A Whole New Mind?

    The reading time for A Whole New Mind varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is A Whole New Mind a good book? Is it worth reading?

    A Whole New Mind is worth reading as it explores the importance of right-brain thinking in a changing world.

    Who is the author of A Whole New Mind?

    Daniel H. Pink is the author of A Whole New Mind.

    What to read after A Whole New Mind?

    If you're wondering what to read next after A Whole New Mind, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
    • Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong Couples Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch
    • Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace
    • The Extended Mind by Annie Murphy Paul
    • When by Daniel H. Pink
    • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    • The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking by Michael D. Watkins