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Designing the Superior Man: 15 Powerful Qualities (Part 2)

Designing the Superior Man: 15 Powerful Qualities (Part 2)

This is Part Two (of Three) describing 15 qualities of superior men. Each part will discuss 5 key qualities to embrace in order to design the superior man.

Read Part One here (Part 1).

To become an elite and powerful man, you must disregard trying to be in the top 1%. Instead, strive to join the 0.000001%.

We have been taught that it is a sin to achieve wealth. When we think about a man with a large amount of money, we think he must surely be evil. We have been brainwashed to believe that the highest virtue is to live for other people and to give, to relieve other people’s suffering. It is noble to assist others; however, we must be able to have something to give.

“Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created.” – Ayn Rand.

The best way to give and help others is to teach them to use their own mind. The superior man knows that he cannot think for another and that man must learn to think for himself. This is the only way to give and assist others in relieving suffering. What are we teaching another person by doing their work for them? What lessons can be taught by providing handouts without effort to earn or produce something?

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Continuing from Part One, we will use more examples from The Fountainhead and similar books with the goal of identifying key traits of superior men. Here is Part Two of the qualities of the ideal man.

1. Activate Your Mind

“To know and not to do, is not yet to know.” – Roger Hamilton

Superior men choose to activate their mind. Ayn Rand provides us a brilliant example of a simple choice we all have in life – “To think or not.” What a simple choice, yet it seems that everyone makes it so difficult. The ideal man chooses to activate his mind; he chooses to choose. The alternative is to wish for something. These men do not activate their mind, but only wish something to happen without taking the steps to achieve it.

Men who use and activate their mind move the world forward. In The Fountainhead, Howard Roark explains the following, “Man cannot survive except through his mind. His brain is his only weapon. Through the process of thought, from the simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man – the function of his reasoning mind.”

2. Ask Better Questions

“Minds are of three kinds: one is capable of thinking for itself; another is able to understand the thinking of others; and a third can neither think for itself nor understand the thinking of others. The first is of the highest excellence, the second is excellent, and the third is worthless.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

High performing men have found a secret in life. They found clarity in visioning a life where they are producing and living on a higher level (more on this in Part Three). In Roger Hamilton’s inspirational book Wink and Grow Rich, we are provided with phenomenal, yet simple advice. The main character is a little boy by the name of Richard. He receives the following wisdom, “Choose the level you want to play at. What you see is always what you get. Learn to see better and you will get better.” In order to see better, Richard must learn to live at a different level of clarity. In order to live on this new level, he needs to ask better questions.

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Superior men have figured this one out. If we are able to ask better questions, we can literally get anything we want. The key to asking a better question is to listen to people with full attention. By doing this, you will discover who the person is and what they are looking for. You can discover an unlimited amount of information about a person just by simply paying full attention. Another trick is to use the “5 Why” technique. Use this technique to get to the root cause of any issue. Simply keep asking “why” and ask it a minimum of 5 times. Such a simple technique, yet, for some reason we stop using it when we turn ten years of age.

Try this the next time you are in a job interview or seeking a promotion, where you are asked this type of typical, yet pointless question, “Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work and how you dealt with it.” Respond with, “You don’t want to ask me that question. The question you want to ask me is – How will you make this company more money? That is the real question you want to ask, and here is how I will make you more money…” – Dr. Jamie Schwandt

3. Money is Not Evil

“If you’re born poor, it’s not your mistake. But if you die poor, it’s your mistake.” – Bill Gates

I grew up extremely poor. I was always told that money is evil and people with money are evil. Guess who told me this – poor people! Money is not evil, evil people with money are evil. The key here is the use of the word “evil” because evil people are also poor.

My childhood was spent bouncing around between my biological parents, grandparents, and foster parents. I grew up in a world of drugs, alcohol, suicide, depression, and handouts. My father committed suicide when I was eighteen years old. He attempted suicide before I was born and his mother committed suicide. His first suicide attempt was during his time in the U.S. Navy. Afterwards, he was placed on full disability and received welfare checks for the remainder of his life. My mother, who attempted suicide on multiple occasions, also received handouts, and I am sure she still does.

My younger brother now lives in a world of handouts. His only interaction with me is when he is in need of money. However, I will never provide him money, only advice. He will never learn to think for himself by way of handouts. Additionally, he is addicted to drugs, so if he asks for $20… where do you think my money will go?

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Superior men achieve wealth because they do not care to ask someone’s permission for it. They do not care what you think of their integrity or moral compass. They understand that time is limited, once wasted, it is gone forever. We have a limited amount of time on this planet and we all need resources to succeed. Remember this – money is infinite, time is finite.

“There is no shortage of money, only a shortage of people thinking big enough.” – Grant Cardone

4. Obsessed

“Be the type of person that when your feet touch the floor in the morning, the devil says, Aww Sh*t… they’re up.” – Dwayne Johnson

Superior men are crazy, different, and 100% completely obsessed with success. These men understand that what they obsess about will get better. If you obsess about creating wealth, you will create wealth. If you obsess about writing a book, you will write a book. However, if you obsess about pleasing everyone, you will make yourself go crazy trying to create a better life for other people while your life is falling apart.

Superior men are obsessed with success. They do not mull over ideas for hours without action. They do not just think, they do. If they think about writing a book, they write the book. If they think about starting a business, they start the business. They just do it.

“Commit first, figure the rest out later.” – Grant Cardone

5. Be a Creator

“When Paris Hilton can top the bestsellers’ list, we are one more Connect Four move closer to Armageddon.” – Corey Taylor

Listen, if Paris Hilton can create her own success, then you can too. We are all capable of creating a life of success. The key is to be crazy and different. Do you know what a genius is called before they are called a genius? Crazy!

The world of quantum physics is crazy and mind-bending. Quantum physics has demonstrated that we have little understanding of the world we live in. However, it has also provided us a playground for our mind. The Double Slit Experiment (I encourage you to look it up) demonstrates that electrons exist in a state of pure potential when they are not being observed. The act of simply observing is the act of creating.

We can create our own world, our own reality through our thoughts and actions. Superior men have figured this out… so has Paris Hilton! Remember this quote:

“Your theory is crazy, but it’s not crazy enough to be true.” – Niels Bohr.

Featured photo credit: elonmusk.com via cnbc.com

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Dr. Jamie Schwandt

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

You may have heard someone say they are “totally right brained” or that they’re “a left brained person.”

There is a pervasive myth that’s been making its rounds for over a century: people have two hemispheres of their brains, and if they have a dominant left brain, they’re more analytical; and if they have a dominant right brain, they are more creative.

Before we go debunking this theory and then giving some tips for how people can access their creative brain centers, let’s first take a look at where the left brain/right brain lateralization theory comes from.

The Left Brain/Right Brain Lateralization Theory

In the 1800s, scientists discovered that when patients injured one side of their brains, certain skills were lost.[1] Scientists linked those different skills to one side of the brain or the other. Thus began the left brain/right brain myth that continues to this day.

Then, in the 1960s and 70s, Roger W. Sperry led 16 operations that cut the corpus callosum (the largest region that connects both brain hemispheres together) in order to try to treat patients’ epilepsy. Sperry wrote about the differences in the two hemispheres as a result of those surgeries.[2]

Sperry’s work was popularized in 1973 with a New York Times article about his lateralization theory—that people were either right brained (read: logical) or left brained (read: creative). From here, Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his work and numerous other publications spread the right brain/left brain myth.

Debunking the Right Brain/Left Brain Myth

If anything, the lateralization theory of the brain is a gross exaggeration. It is true that people have two hemispheres of their brains. It is also true that there are differences in the composition of those two hemispheres.

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However, the hemispheres are actually much more interconnected than Sperry’s work initially made it seem.

In a 2013 study,[3] scientists scanned over 1000 people’s brains, checking for lateralization. They confirmed that certain brain functions occur predominately in one hemisphere or the other but that, in reality, the brain is actually much more interconnected and complex than the right brain/left brain lateralization theory makes it seem.[4][5]

A New Metaphor for Right Brain/Left Brain

How do we get past this right brain/left brain myth?

First, let’s look at what contemporary cognitive science says about brain regions, and creative and logical modes of thinking.

My background is as an improviser and improv researcher. I wrote Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition and think looking at improvisation and the brain can shed light on a new model for talking about unlocking the brain’s creative potential.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans have shown that while trained improvisers improvise (musically on a keyboard, rapping, and comedic improvisation) an interesting shift happens in their brain activity. [6]

A region called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex decreases in activity and creative language centers such as the medial prefrontal cortex increase in activity. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is linked with conscious thoughts—that inner voice that tells you not to say something or criticizes you when you do.

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The medial prefrontal cortex is among the brain regions linked with creativity. So, instead of thinking about right brain and left brain, perhaps it’s more current and correct to think about more specific brain regions instead of hemispheres. Perhaps, it’s more useful to think about which activities and strategies will allow us to inhibit our dorsolateral prefrontal cortexes and allow our medial prefrontal cortexes to flourish.

How to Enhance Your “Right Brain” — Creativity

Whether we’re talking about right brain versus left brain, creative versus logical, or medial prefrontal cortex versus dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, we still know enough to talk about strategies to tap into your creative brain’s full potential.

So, now that we’ve dispelled the right brain/left brain myth and looked at a more contemporary, cognitive neuroscience theory of brain regions and creativity centers, let’s look at how to tap into the potential of your creative brain.

1. Performing Arts

One way to tap into your creative brain centers is to participate in the performing arts. Whether you improvise, act, or dance, the performing arts allow you an embodied experience that will help you snap out of your habitual, logical thoughts.

Another benefit of the performing arts is that it changes your attention. Attention and creativity are inextricably linked. When we improvise, act, or dance, we have to focus intently on our fellow performers. This means we are forced to focus less on our conscious, logical thoughts. This frees us up for more creative thinking and expression.[7]

One of the conclusions of my research on improvisation is that focusing intensely on fellow improvisers and the task at hand makes it more likely that we experience a flow state. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi,[8] a Professor of Psychology and Management defines flow as an optimal psychological state when our skills match the difficulty of the task at hand. Our perception of time is altered as we get into the zone and become more present and in the moment during our chosen activity.[9]

A flow state is a creative state. It’s the opposite of crunching numbers and forcing ourselves to work out a problem with the conscious regions of our brain. So, get up, improvise, act, or dance to access your creativity.

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2. Visual Art

Art teacher Betty Edwards[10] wrote a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Here again, we see that a shift in our attention can lead us to an increase in our creative thinking.

Edwards’ book gives art students tricks to shift the way they see the world. For example, one exercise encourages students to literally flip whatever it is they’re drawing upside down before they draw it. This forces budding artists to literally see the object in a new way. This shift allows them to focus more on the individual components and patterns of the object, which allows them to draw it better.

Shifting how we see things is another way we can access our creative brain centers. Take an art class to shut off your conscious, critical thoughts and start seeing things from a new, more creative perspective.

3. Zone Out

If there’s one thing creativity doesn’t like, it’s being coerced.

I think we’ve all felt that awful feeling of trying to force ourselves to be creative. When we force it, we’re really trying to force our logical brain regions to be creative. It’s like asking your gardener to perform your appendix surgery. It’s just not what she does.

Instead, stop forcing it. Take a break. Take a long walk or a relaxing bath or shower. Let your mind wander.

Whatever you do, stop forcing it. This break lets your creative centers rise to the surface of your attention and get heard.

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4. Practice Mindfulness

The final trick to start accessing your so-called right brain is to practice mindfulness.

Now, there’s a lot of different ways to go about mindfulness. You can take a more physical approach with a yoga class. Or you can try meditating to become more aware and in tune with your thoughts and feelings: Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

You could also try to incorporate fun mindfulness exercises[11] into your everyday routine like forcing yourself to go on detours or pretending you’re a detective who needs to examine people and places closely.

Any way you do it, mindfulness exercises and training can help you become better versed in how your brain works and what your normal thought process is like on a day-to-day basis. If we’re ever going to reach our optimal creativity, we have to become an expert in how our individual brain functions. Mindfulness is one way to become your very own brain expert.

Mindfulness also has added benefits like calming us, slowing our breathing, and helping us become more observant, which are also great ways to start tapping into our creative potential.

Final Thoughts

So, it may not be correct to say that our right brain is our creative brain, but it is still a valid pursuit to try to optimize our creative brain centers.

The key to do so is to relax, become observant, shift your perspective, move your body, try something new, and, whatever you do, don’t force it.

Creativity can feel slippery. It can abandon us when we need it most, but by slowing down and looking at things from a new perspective, we can give ourselves a better chance of tapping into our ultimate creativity, even if that doesn’t exactly mean our “right brain.”

More Tips on Boosting Creativity

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

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