When I think about my own writing, instructional designs and presentations, the idea of making them more useful gives me writer's block. Why is that?
The left brain takes an idea like "providing useful information" and idealizes it into an unattainable goal. It dichotomizes the possibility into opposite extremes: useful / useless or good for something / good for nothing. The left brain also converts the complex issue into categorical labels and compartmentalized issues so that it has nothing to do with related ideas. It becomes a positional stance under siege and exposed to critics that puts the mind on full alert to defend against potential embarrassments. It's no wonder your mind shuts down any move in that direction.
Mention of "making my output more useful" feels like I'm getting a hot button pushed, a sore point raised or painful memory stirred up. How can that be?
Usefulness is an unresolved issue for lots of people. It haunts them from their unconscious and sabotages their good intentions. They've stored the questions about their value in the form of toxic shame. They taken messages very personally like: "you're useless", "you can't do anything worthwhile" or "you're no good". Messages like these are overwhelming and unthinkable. They get put into the unconscious for later resolution. Meanwhile those who have been shamed dread the topic, avoid giving it consideration and quickly change the subject to something less upsetting.
How does avoidance of the issue play out in someone's conduct and effects on others?
It gives them an unconscious urge to provide useless information and consume it too. They act out the unresolved issue unintentionally until it is restored to consciousness and rethinking. They appear to be trapped inside a nightmare where they cannot stop getting tormented by uselessness. They pretend what they are doing is useful while the reality of uselessness is kept below their conscious awareness. Their limbic system cannot access positive feelings about the issue and the thinking left brain maintains the logic that defeats its realization.
How does the right brain handle the possibility of "providing useful information" differently?
The right brain approaches it more inclusively, complexly and paradoxically. It takes the provider of information and it's receiver together to achieve the effect. Usefulness comes about through a process that undermines thinking it's an ideal thing or exclusive right answer. It takes the idea of usefulness with a grain of salt because useless things are useful too. The right brain rejects the experience of usefulness as a threat, danger or cause to be terrified. Instead it enjoys playing around with the possibilities that arise when reflecting on "providing useful information.