I used to think I wasn’t very smart because I don’t understand math, and I used to think that people who do get math were smarter and better than me.

It dawned on me the other day, however, how wrong I was in thinking that all these years. I really think now that both types of brains – mathematical and philosophical- have incredible potential for intelligence; they are simply focused a different way.

Let me explain…. Mathematicians love math because it is always the same. Is it based on a collection of standard formulas that always mean and say the same thing. There is no gray area; it is either the right answer or it is the wrong answer. Scientists love science because a theory can be proven with a degree of certainty.

However, to understand and discover how to connect the dots in very advanced mathematics, or to be able to decipher the answer to a very difficult scientific question, a person has to be able to think in abstracts. And you see, philosophical brains are (generally) able to grasp abstract thoughts much easier than processing confining mathematical formulas. Things like psychology – why do people act this way??, economics – what are the true underlying causes for the shifts in lifestyle?, philosophy in general – why are we here and how do we make this place better??- don’t have hard and fast rules, or formulas. There is no straight line to follow for an answer. You have to think of a million possibilities, follow various thought patterns, ask lots of questions to come up with solutions, not necessarily answers.

Personally, I’ve come to accept my mathematical shortcomings, and I’ve finally stopped beating myself up for it. In fact, I celebrate my alternative brain. Just ’cause I can’t add or subtract without using my fingers doesn’t mean that I can’t figure out how to be successful. It’s that simple.

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