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10 Good Habits to Develop an Innovative Mind

If I could sum it all up, creativity is really about being able to see associations when others couldn’t. Being innovative, on the other hand, is about coming up with something others have not thought of. Whether is it inventing a new product or coming up with solutions to a problem, innovativeness requires creativity because one has to be capable of connecting abstract ideas and facts with existing scenarios before creating something unique and different.

Granted, we are all wired differently (some of us are blessed with the natural inclination towards innovativeness and creativity), but this doesn’t mean that we cannot do anything to stretch the limits of our creative minds.

As Thomas Edison puts it, there is work to be done day in, day out before we could even get that stroke of genius.

” Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly, a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework. – Thomas A. Edison”

  1. Maintain a Keen Sense of Curiosity
    The most innovative people in the world are also the most inquisitive among us. They ask lots of questions (often about what the rest of us often take for granted) and they’re always looking for ways to improve things. Unlike many of us, innovators don’t simply settle for the status quo; they love challenging what is widely accepted as the norm or the standard.

Instead of relying on preconceived notions about things and people, they prefer to look at new things they’ve encountered, from various perspectives.

  1. Maintain a Keen Sense of Curiosity
    The most innovative people in the world are also the most inquisitive among us. They ask lots of questions (often about what the rest of us often take for granted) and they’re always looking for ways to improve things. Unlike many of us, innovators don’t simply settle for the status quo; they love challenging what is widely accepted as the norm or the standard.

Instead of relying on preconceived notions about things and people, they prefer to look at new things they’ve encountered, from various perspectives.

While there is certainly no prescribed formula that will help you adopt such child-like curiosity, making a conscious effort to question everything under the Sun is a good first step. With the magic of the Internet and Wikipedia at our disposal, there’s no excuse for not getting the answers you want. Equally important, strike up conversations with different people you encounter and listen to their unique perspectives about the world and their lives. Sometimes, the greatest insights come from our interactions with people who hold views opposite from ours.

  1. Jot Down Ideas and Thoughts
    You’ll need something to capture and organize your ideas and thoughts as you go about your day learning new things. Try jotting down everything that comes to your head including random words, phrases and even doodles. Ideally, you can try linking your arbitrary thoughts together to paint a picture of what your subconscious is trying to say.

Remember that innovation comes from creativity, and creativity is about how you associate different ideas and facts. As you jot down your thoughts into your journal or scrapbook, don’t let your inhibitions get the better of you. No matter how absurd an idea may seems to be, see it as a piece of the puzzle to your inner world which could potentially spark off an inspiration.

Not only does the act of penning down your ideas help you keep track of your thoughts, it can even stimulate your thought processes and lead to one new idea after another. Let your imagination run wild!

Read also: Top 10 Free Note-Taking Apps For Smartphones

  1. Seek out New Experiences
    Sticking to things that you’re used to limits your thinking process and perception. To think outside the box, you must step out of your comfort zone and look at the scenario in a different light.

As a matter of fact, the greatest innovators are often individuals who learn from different fields and merge them together into something extraordinary. After all, Steve Jobs innovated and revolutionized technology with his unprecedented emphasis on aesthetics and user-friendliness.

Some of you may think that seeking out new experiences in life entail something grand, like travelling to Iceland to witness the Northern Lights or even conquering Mount Everest. Well, it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is to try new things to stimulate your mind and senses.

Perhaps you can start reading books of a different genre or pick up a new hobby for yourself. If you see yourself as an introvert, try challenging your self-perception and open up to meeting new people. You’ll develop new skills for innovation in the process.

  1. Practise Mindfulness
    In the context of psychology, the term ‘mindfulness’ refers to the moment-by-moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment in a non-judgmental manner. In essence, it is a continuous attempt to pay attention to what’s going around us and being more accepting of whatever it is that we experience through our senses.

With this conscious effort to bring attention back to the present, we train our mind to focus on the present and not let it wander from one thought to another. Besides making you happier, practising mindfulness helps clear our mental clutter and makes us receptive to new ideas for innovations.

Read Also: 8 Proven Ways to Increase Your Happiness

For 10-20 minutes a day, you can engage in mindfulness exercise by simply focusing on your breathing. Better yet, incorporate mindfulness into your day-to-day activities by being fully conscious of whatever you’re doing at any given moment, focusing on only one task at a time.

When eating, savour each bite and appreciate the flavours. When listening to someone, maintain your eye contact and truly listen to what he or she has to say. Once you’re able to notice subtle things which you have never before from your surroundings, you’ll become better at discerning ideas for expansion.

  1. Take Risks & Make Mistakes
    One thing that separates innovators from the herd is that they are not afraid to make mistakes. Thomas Edison succeeded because he didn’t give up despite failing over and over again. He perservered because he saw failure as part of the learning process while he experiment with his ideas. Innovators like him see mistakes as opportunities for perfecting their innovation.

Keep pushing your boundaries. Innovators embrace risk because they love shaking things up to make things more interesting rather than lead mundane, typical lives. If Mark Zuckerberg had not taken that leap of faith and dropped out of Harvard University to finish up his Facebook project, he would never have realized that his innovation has the potential to change the world.

So, venture forth and take some healthy risks.

Face your fears and do what scares you, because they make for good practice in overcoming your fear of making mistakes.

The independent developer Lyubomir Vladimirov , promised to publish the same message for the daily businessman for a year. His intention was to ask Musk for permission to develop a game inspired by SpaceX , his space exploration company.

Dear Elon. I am a game developer and I am making a game about the colonization of Mars with you and SpaceX. If you think it’s cool, all I need is a ‘go ahead’ to use your name and logos. I will post this every day for a year or until I get a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. 154/365 ” , says the video game creator’s post.

It may interest you: Elon Musk will sell all his properties to finance colonization of Mars

After 22 weeks of prodding, the CEO of Tesla finally heeded him and answered Vladimirov’s request.

“You can steal our name / logos and we probably won’t sue you ,” the Space CEO replied from his Twitter account.

After receiving the long-awaited response from Elon Musk , the tweeter promised that a good part of the video game’s profits would go to SpaceX .

“I want to give 80% of the profits from the game to SpaceX. In that way, the game will not only serve the important purpose of entertaining people and arousing their interest in Mars, but will also help Elon Musk and SpaceX to achieve this, ” wrote the programmer, who promised to show more progress soon.

Vladimirov has shown that he wasted no time while waiting for Musk’s permission. In his profile you can find several videos showing the interface of the game.

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