Some Thoughts on Original Thinkers

They are nonconformists who are willing to implement their ideas. They are generally procrastinators, not necessarily the first movers, handle doubt differently, see things differently, concerned about the failure not 'to have a go', have many ideas (most don't work), etc

i) procrastination

Research as shown that 'moderate' procrastination can increase creativity (Adam Grant, 2016). However, extreme procrastination does not increase creative activity.

Procrastination gives your mind time to incubate, think in a different way (like in a non-linear way), develop divergent ideas, new ideas, etc. In some ways procrastination is like thinking. However, it is not good for productivity.

Some examples of successful procrastinators include

- Leonardo da Vinci (it took him around 16 years to paint the Mona Lisa; he spent much time improving his painting skills, etc)

- Martin Luther King's famous speech (I have a dream) was not finalised until the last moment, ie he was still changing the speech while waiting to give it (by leaving it open, he had a wider range of ideas to choose from)

By procrastinating, you are keeping yourself open to new ideas and the freedom to improvise.

NB Many creative or original thinkers are quick to start but slow to finish.

ii) not first movers

The first mover's advantage is a myth, ie looking at 50 product categories, the failure rate with first movers was 47% while for improvers was 8% (Adam Grant, 2016), ie it is much easier to improve on someone else's idea than to start from scratch, eg Facebook (improver) waiting and watching MySpace (first mover), Google (improver) waiting and watching Yahoo (first mover), etc

To be original, you don't have the first; you just have to be different and better.

iii) handling doubts

There are 2 types of doubts, ie self-doubt and idea doubts. Self-doubt is paralysing, ie makes you freeze, while idea doubt is stimulating and encourages exploring alternatives. The difference can be in changing to saying the idea is 'rubbish' (idea doubt), not yourself (self-doubt).

iv) see things with fresh minds

Look at things differently

v) failure to try

They are concerned about failure but are more concerned about the failure not to try something.

Most people's biggest regrets in life are inaction, ie chances not taken.

Furthermore, people are not judged on their bad ideas, but rather on their good ideas.

People are afraid of appearing stupid

vi) have many ideas

The greater your output, the more chance of finding something worthwhile, original, different, etc


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