As mentioned in the last post, I am in the process of reading several chapters in David Rock’s easy-to-read Your Brain at Work.  This book on neurobiology and brain function is SO related to the ways of being, thinking and taking action that are the focus of the fable in The Power of TED*.

The primary way of making “shift happen” between the Victim Orientation to a Creator Orientation in TED* is to shift your focus.   In the Victim Orientation the focus is on what you don’t want or don’t like (i.e. problems).  As we adopt a Creator Orientation our focus is on what we want to bring into being or move toward – in other words, on our envisioned outcomes.

Rock reinforces the importance of this in his chapter entitled “When Other People Lose the Plot:”

“The decision to focus on an outcome instead of a problem impacts brain functioning in several ways.  First, when you focus on an outcome, you prime the brain to perceive information relevant to that outcome, rather than to notice information about the problem. You can’t be looking for solutions and problems at the same time….” (Emphasis added.)

“When you look for solutions, you scan the environment widely for cues, which activates more of the right hemisphere of the brain… Activating the right hemisphere is helpful for having insights… When you focus on problems you are more likely to activate the emotions connected with those problems, which will create more noise in the brain.  This inhibits insight.  Whereas focusing on solutions generates a toward state, because you desire something.  You are seeking, not avoiding.  This increases dopamine levels, which is useful for insight.”

Creating outcomes certainly involves solving problems at times.  However, neurobiology supports the reality that putting your focus on what you want is more resourceful in the long – and more fun!