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Dr. Ginny Whitelaw, a senior manager at NASA, has published a book Moving to Greatness that codifies ways of moving to balance learning and interacting styles. For several years now, we have been using programs to enable our children to connect the hemispheres of their brains. The left hemisphere, where the primary language ability and analytical thinking predominate, has a growth spurt around the age of 2. The right brain (for visual configurations) grows rapidly beginning around 4. Around 5, the corpus callosum (nerve fibers that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain) really expands. When this area is well developed, children have increased ability to process information from several areas on both sides of the brain at once, connecting and modulating sensory input, emotional thoughts, and controlled reactions. When integration is more fully developed, we don’t experience the negative aspects created by lack of balance in our essential energies. Dr. Whitelaw’s “energies” are driver, organizer, collaborator, and visionary. You can imagine characteristics of each of these from their descriptive titles. Dr. Whitelaw describes people who have a lack of the various energies:

• Not enough driver – These people fail to set clear priorities, maintain focus or a sense of urgency, hit goals, get to the point, or tell it like it is; they’re often perceived as lacking clear direction, ambition, or edge.

• Not enough organizer – These unorganized people have trouble simply getting stuff done. They’re unable to break large jobs into executable tasks, deliver on time, do things right, or do the right things; they’re often perceived as sloppy and undependable. Many times they can’t even keep up with their keys.

• Not enough collaborator – These people show an inability to engage with people, to see others' points of view, or to care about and influence colleagues. They have trouble seeing both sides of an issue, lightening up, or making work fun; they’re often perceived as rigid, insular, and poor team players.

• Not enough visionary – These people are often criticized for lacking imagination, failing to see the big picture, or not being strategic. They have trouble thinking outside the box, leaping to novel insights, scanning the horizon for what to pay attention to, or simply letting go and sensing the flow.

When we know and use Dr. Whitelaw’s patterns, we don’t have to be saddled with any of these limitations. Integrating our whole self, we are able to live our lives at a whole new level. Ask your teacher if you’re interested in knowing more about this.