Written by psychologist, author and researcher; Howard Gardner, this week’s reading posits the ‘five minds’ that one should begin to develop in preparation for the future. He argues that for us to succeed as a species and more personally as individuals, we must be ‘equipped to deal with what is expected’ and more importantly ‘what is not’.
The first mind Gardner discusses in the introduction of his book, is the ‘disciplined mind‘. This being a ‘cognitive ability’ that demands focus, through the ‘cultivation of a specific discipline, craft or profession’. Thus allowing an individual to hone their own skill set and perfect their craft. In doing this, Gardner states that one can avoid a destiny restricted by the control of others. Allowing one to have more opportunities to work independently, and to avoid a career that is orchestrated by someone else’s ideas.
The second mind he describes, is that of the ‘synthesizing mind‘. A ‘mind’ that he defines by ones ability to collate disparate and diverse pieces of information and evaluate them both objectively and with a level of clarity. Bringing them together to create a unique personal meaning.
‘Breaking new ground’, Gardner outlines his third mind as that of the ‘creating mind’. He labels this ability as one ‘destined to break new ground and forge new ideas’. With its ability to cultivate the formation of contemporary concepts, to solve problems and to create new solutions.
The ‘respectful mind’, unlike its predecessors, is one that looks outwardly on the world. This ‘fourth mind’, contemplates how ones actions can directly effect the world outside of their own body. Describing the importance of difference and individuality in a world where intolerance and disrespect are ‘no longer viable’.
Finally, Gardner defines the more abstract; ‘ethical mind’. Much like the ‘respectful mind’, the ‘ethical mind’ contemplates the external happenings of the world. Requesting one to observe the world outside of mere self-interest and ego.