Brain Games

Brain Games: It's My Brain's Fault!

When explaining the Compass Playbook framework to newbies, we spend a lot of time going over the brain's role in our default thinking and perception. With more and more data coming to light regarding neuroscience, neuroplasticity (the process of forming new neural connections in the brain) and neuroeconomics (how the brain makes decisions), the general public is becoming more aware of how the brain works and that they have a say in the results they achieve in their life experience.

This leading-edge research can get sticky and hard to understand, and is often easily dismissed because people typically do not want to take responsibility for their thinking, assuming that they are victims of circumstance and their environment. A generalization, yes, but fairly common thinking driven by our physiology and life experience.

In this video, the ad agency for Prudential makes the case for brain function and perception while subtly selling their retirement planning services. Even though the narrator claims they are doing something "new" and "different," this spot is actually a fair representation of a live Compass Write Shop experience. It just goes to show that thinking deliberately and being imaginative and creative can have profound results.

Although they use a hypnotherapist to help the subjects open their mindset to a creative exercise (Compass doesn't use hypnosis), the subjects are really being eased into a relaxed state so they can perform the visualization and, subsequently, the creative exercise.

The hypnotherapist's objective is to help the subjects put aside any preconceived notions or blocks regarding imagination, visualization and creativity so they can experience the power of deliberate thinking. They are actually defining a future state of themselves, but doing it in their mind using their imagination. They do a creative exercise afterward which makes it real and something that builds new neural pathways in their brains. The most incredible aspect of this simple act is that the brain doesn't know the difference between the imagined reality they created and the actual reality they experience.

Props, Prudential. Thanks for making the case for Compass and creativity!


Terry Pappy is CEO of Better3, creator of Compass Playbook and author of award-winning books on creativity. What she says about Compass: "It's a fun resource that helps people achieve their dreams using creativity—simply by telling a new story." Terry uses humor and straight-talk to inspire breakthroughs in creativity for audiences around the globe.