Q. Tell me more about the relative expenditures of brain energy.

A. Nothing in life is free. You always give something up to get something. And the bottom line, the basic medium of exchange, is energy. You pay—not with money, or talent, or high-tech commodities. You pay with energy. PET Scans have shown that the brain expends differing amounts of energy depending on the type of activity it is engaged in, and whether or not the activity matches its own biochemical advantage. People tend to use less energy second for second when engaged in activities that match their brain’s biochemical advantage. Using money as a metaphor, the differences in energy expenditure may be as significant as pennies on the dollar! The question becomes, therefore: are you expending your energy in energy-intensive or energy-efficient ways?

Most people are capable of developing skills throughout the brain, and this is desirable. In order to make energy-efficient use of your brain’s biochemical preference, however, the goal is to match a majority of your life’s activities to what your brain does energy efficiently. It truly is different strokes for different folks! One activity may be an energy drain for one person but require so little energy expenditure for another that it’s like falling off the proverbial log. The less energy your brain uses to accomplish a specific activity, the more likely it is that the activity matches your brain’s innate giftedness.
Following are examples of the types of activities that your brain might find energy-efficient based on which one of the four divisions matches your own brain’s advantage.

xLeft Frontal Lobe

  • Making difficult decisions that involve resource allocation, money, and structure when priorities need to be understood and identified.
  • Setting goals and discovering ways to achieve them.
  • Delegating operational implementation, routine maintenance or follow-up, and the tracking of details to others.

xRight Frontal Lobe

  • Something is beginning, getting started for the first time, or when it’s being turned around or reinvented.
  • Anticipating and making changes
  • Brainstorming and innovating

Note: Once a project is working as envisioned, it needs to be passed to others to maintain. Otherwise, they can be tempted to tinker with the project and, in a push to improve, reinvent, or change it, may actually cause ruin.

xLeft Basal (Posterior) Lobes

  • Something concrete needs to be dependably sustained, whether the something involves service or production.
  • Following routines/maintaining projects (as long as their importance is understood).

xRight Basal (Posterior) Lobes

  • Building connections, harmony, good will, and peaceful foundations in a wide variety of settings.
  • Encouraging, helping to build consensus, and complying (if the “reason for” is understood).

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