At some point, we all asked ourselves one question: Why didn’t I think of that?
At least that’s what I ask myself when I hear about new ideas becoming reality or whenever I can’t find a solution by my own. As someone who’d like to be more original, I always admired innovative thinkers. So much that I asked myself in how far they’re different from the rest of us? And the surprising answer is: They’re not.
The American psychologist Adam Grant found the secret of originals – and the answer lies in their habits.
Originals are late to the party
Original thinkers do procrastinate. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. By procrastinating, originals give themselves more time to come up with new ideas for improvement. They use the additional time to engage with others, share their thoughts, and gain further inspiration. Also, having an idea already in mind, they are more alert and might come across something that wouldn’t have struck them before. By procrastinating, originals develop their ideas and make them better. They do not implement their ideas as quickly as possible in order to be the first to set foot. Instead, they let time pass by. However, there is one thing you should keep in mind if you love to procrastinate just as I do. Waiting till the very last moment won’t boost your creativity, because you are way too much under pressure than to have a clear mind.
Originals feel doubt and fear
Now if you’re actually that type of person who is quite innovative but who doesn’t pursue his or her ideas because they’re probably not good enough, you might be an original! Originals doubt their ideas too and are often afraid to fail. They have back-up plans in case their original idea does not work out. But in the end, this does not stop them from trying. Originals might fail and be afraid of it, but what distinguishes them from others is that they actually give it a shot. In the end, there’s nothing worse than the feeling of not having tried it at all.
Originals have lots of bad ideas
And last but not least, originals have bad ideas, too. As Adam Grant says: “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most … ’cause they’re the ones who tried the most.” If one of their ideas doesn’t prove popular, they try something else. Simply put, they never give up.
In the end, being an original does not necessarily mean doing it right from the very start. By contrast, it involves procrastinating, doubting, and fearing – habits that we might already share or should embrace the next time we fail – while at the same time, we should not give up that easily and keep trying and improving. That’s what it means to be an original and that’s where original ideas come from.