What Innovation Can Do For Your Life

By Des Menz posted in Work, Life, and Yourself


Part 4 of a 5-part series on optimism, creative thinking, and innovation. 

And how to use a series like this for personal advantage and profit.  

PART 1 - GETTING THE OPTIMIST’S EDGE

PART 2 - 7 STEPS TO CREATIVE THINKING

PART 3 - HOW TO BE CREATIVE


Part 4 - Tapping Into Innovation


Change Your Life, Become An Innovator

There’s scarcely a person around that can’t innovate, or be innovative, and yet many people think they can’t do it. 

Have you ever marvelled at someone’s creativity or their unique skills? These creative skills are within us all, but it just takes time and the right approach to bring them out. 

Everyone is born with creativity. Kids start off life with a magnificent sense of curiosity
and observation that is often transferred into paintings or drawings.

That’s how they learn.

You were once like that, but for many of us, somewhere along life’s journey many of
these special skills faded away into oblivion - well, almost!

You know how long it took to learn to ride a bike or drive or to never commit the same mistake again? It comes down to habits. It's the same with being innovative, where practice and patience are the two essential factors. 

So, what is it to “innovate”? 

It’s about introducing something new, or to make changes to anything that’s established, or to alter.

It’s as simple as that. When we look at those words of meaning, we should never be afraid of innovation or to innovate. It’s basically about the act of re-creation.


Know This Difference

Don’t confuse Inventor with Innovator. There is a difference.

Being an inventor is to devise something as new and original and includes all those physical and tangible things we now now use in our everyday lives; think of smart phones, tablet computers, even Amazon’s Kindle. It also includes unique pieces like music, literature, mathematics, and economics; and also chemistry, genetic discoveries and the like. Only a relatively small number of people become inventors. 

Being an innovator is, as stated earlier, about bringing in something new or to alter anything that is established. It could mean new ideas about existing procedures, or changes to accepted practices. Being an innovator involves being an astute observer
of natural and human functions so that improvements can be devised and implemented.
You can become an innovator if you look around your own community and the environment, and then devise ways how to make substantial improvements.


8 Factors In Becoming An Innovator

     Don't listen to what other people say 

Trust yourself and your instincts, and follow the beat of your own drum. Allowing for
the input of other people will only bring destruction of the beat you are trying to make. 

If you have an original idea, don't waste your time and effort trying to make people understand it. They most likely won’t, because it will just result in negative feedback.


     Spend time on your innovative idea 

Of course, this requires a special focus, a plan, perseverance, and dedication. 
It might also involve some careful time management in order to give time to others that deserve your attention. So, plan out your time, divide it equitably, seek affirmation of others if you need time to further develop an idea. With a little discipline you'll be able
to everyone’s expectations, including your own.


     Exercise to get a healthy innovator’s mind

This is so important, not only because it’s refreshing to take a break, but also to stay healthy. So, take a walk, go for a run, ride a bike. Get all those endorphins coursing through your veins. Exercising certainly clears and relaxes the mind and allows for innovative ideas to emerge … even while you’re walking, running, riding!


     Record your creative dreams 

If you've had these dreams before, this indicates the untapped innovative power within. That streak of creative "genius". So jot down those ideas. Try to recall dreams. They could be the innovative spark to get your future rolling on.


     Find your own style 

This is all about individuality and your special persona on that innovative idea. Just like the master painters and writers with their unique sense of style, so it is with you. Appreciation for your innovation will be widely acknowledged, and there’s nothing more satisfying than to have your name associated with it. That will let people see how valuable an asset you are. 


     Avoid gimmicks, gadgets, and flashy tools 

The ultimate tool or gadget is not needed to produce a masterful work of creativity. It’s the same with writing. You don't need an expensive fountain pen and ultra-fine paper, or the most expensive laptop, to create a bestseller. Did you know that J.K. Rowling wrote the first book of the Harry Potter Series on bits of tissue paper? 

If you have an inexpensive DSLR camera, or just a smart phone, it doesn’t mean to say you can’t take creative and innovative photos. And nobody cares if you’ve got an old laptop to do your writing on. 

Remember, the authentic innovator, the genuine creator, minimises the number of tools at her/his disposal. It’s the KISS principle.


     Be passionate 

Burning passion, flaming energy, great desire … Sometimes people with talent and creativity are overtaken by people who really want their goal more. If you’re not doing something that you really, really want to do, then you don't really need to do it. 

That’s worth thinking about. Save your time and energy if the passion and desire have faded. But remember, passion will keep you moving towards your ultimate goal. 


     Don't be concerned about inspiration 

It can't be forced. Inspiration hits when you least expect it to - it could be whilst you’re asleep, it could be in a place where thoughts flow easily. (For me, it’s the toilet … true!).

Expect the unexpected; an idea could strike you anywhere, so be prepared … always carry a note book to jot down that creative spark of an idea.  


I hope this article will help bring more innovation into your life. Keep in mind that you're doing these things for your own benefit and not anybody else's.

Your recognition will come in due course. Now go innovate!

Coming up ... the final in this series.

Part 5 : The power of a positive attitude


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