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Why are so many famous people left handed?

There are a string of famous and successful lefties that colour the news every day, but it is not a new phenomenon. Throughout history, lefties have accomplished many feats, and have come to be known as Leonardo Da Vinci, Charlie Chaplin, Lewis Carroll, David Bowie, Barack Obama and so many more! But why are so many famous left handed?

According to statistics, only 10% of the population is left handed. Yet, it appears like significant more of the celebrities predominantly use their left hand.

Why are left handed people so brilliant?

In the past, being left handed was frowned upon, particularly in the Western World. In fact, the origin of the word ‘left’ is the Anglo-Saxon ‘lyft’, which means weak or broken. Yet, the Incas celebrated lefties for possessing magical powers, and North American Zuni thought left-handedness meant good luck.

But what is the key to their success?

Brain left analytical and right creative hemispheres sketch concept vector illustration.
Brain left analytical and right creative hemispheres sketch concept vector illustration.

Scientists postulate that if you are left-handed, the right side of the brain is dominant. This is the side associated with creativity and innovation. However, there is little evidence of right hemisphere dominance when using the left hand. Still, many maintain that that is the secret to the lefties’ success.

Celebrating International Left-Handed Day

Yet, if there was nothing special and unique about being left handed, why would there be a day dedicated to celebrating them? On 13 August is International Left Handed day. Left-handed people make up only 10% of the population and are underdogs in a world designed for right-handers that 90% take for granted as being the status quo. The inherent bias against lefties has a long and stigmatized history. Ironically, being a lefty may actually provide an evolutionary biological advantage.

Although it may not be a case of right brain dominance, there are certain factors that can give lefties an edge above the others. Environmental forces and Neurobiology combine to make lefties predisposed to be trailblazers and iconoclasts. Lefties are used to being the odd ones out, to adapting to environments and learning to use new tools. This makes them more adaptable by constantly flexing your creative and divergent thinking abilities. Often it encourages out-of-the-box thinking and forges leadership skills.

So there you have it. So many famous people are left handed because they are adaptable, and are not scared to take risks.

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