Cultivating The Innovator's Mindset

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There is a mindset innovators have, and you and I can have that mindset too if we put in a little dedicated effort. Every human is born with the ability to innovate, to do something very useful that no one else has ever done before. And we all began life with that mindset. As babies we had no restriction to what we should attempt to do. We had no fear of heights, no fear of failure, no fear of the new and no fear of tomorrow. But as we grow up we pick up patterns of behaviour that prevent us from trying new things, we avoid failure at all cost and we try to orchestrate tomorrow.

The Innovator's mindset is one that doesn't try to define itself. It is a mindset that is not fixed on old ideas and generally accepted ways of doing things. It is a mindset that waters its ground for new ideas. It is a mindset that that stretches itself constantly. A mindset that looks beyond the present, that looks beyond its mistakes, that looks beyond its current capabilities, that looks beyond the societal norm and that is constantly recreating itself.

So how do you cultivate that mindset?

It starts with having the right value system. Having a strong core that is value based. Because that is the only way you can remain unbroken by the challenges you will face and the failures you will encounter. Every innovator has that core that keeps them optimistic when all else falls around them. If you are Christian, that core will be build on God.

Next is you need to break free of group thinking, of doing things the way everyone else does them. There is nothing special about working hard along the path everyone is taking. We all consider Christopher Columbus as innovative. Yet the second person to journey to the Americas must have faced same troubles and worked just as hard as he did but no one remembers him. Why? Once there's a roadmap, anyone can do anything. Think about it. There are many things you do today that were innovations centuries ago. You make fire. You cook your meat. You write and read. Some people are permanently remembered as innovators for doing those things you now do and take for granted. And its because they found the roadmap we all now use. They broke free from the group thinking that was prevalent in their time and made something entirely new.

Lastly, you need to get used to failing. The path to failure and success are the same. The guy who passed his JAMB and the one who failed all followed the same path of registering for JAMB and writing the exam. Some get to finally pass on their second or third attempt, but the path was always the same. And it applies when you seek out new paths too. That you fail doesn't make the path wrong it just means you should try again. You have to be insensitive to failure.

And those are my recommended ways of cultivating the Innovator's mindset.


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