The last weeks have been productively busy. I must admit I have been a little bit all over the place, rather than focusing on a single thing, however, when you are digitally well organized, the overview and to-do’s, and general things to get done throughout the day are much easier – because there is a plan. Yesterday, I wrote about the Power of Patience, and while sitting on the bleachers watching my one my sons at soccer practice I thought about 3 things on personal innovation and noted those down. And I get it, in this field of personal growth and innovation, it is easy to become lost in the plethora of theories, experts, books, television series, and other materials that are all accessible online. However, please allow me to offer some succinct yet (what I believe) valuable advice:
I’ll keep it short and simple today.
1. Do Stuff, Rather Than Plan
The concept of “doing stuff rather than planning” may appear risky to some, and I’ll be the first to acknowledge that there is some arrogance in this approach. It’s an idea I’ve come across several times, both via personal experience and through the observations of others. What becomes clear is that, while thorough preparation is frequently regarded as an essential precursor to invention, it can occasionally inhibit the very creativity and innovation it seeks to encourage.
Let me give you an example. You’re faced with a task, whether it’s a simple problem that has to be solved or a larger project aimed at transforming an entire process. You gather your team, ready with whiteboards, spreadsheets, and detailed project plans. As you methodically define every detail, hours slip into days, and perhaps weeks. I’ve seen this in my old role where everyone needs to have a meeting with everyone about something that is as simple as whipping up scrambled eggs. The difficulty is that the spark of innovation can be snuffed sometime in the midst of this planning frenzy.
Innovation thrives on experimentation, on the willingness to take risks, to embrace failure as a stepping stone to success. When we over-plan, we unwittingly suffocate innovation. What was once a lively concept becomes a strict plan, with limited potential for organic growth and modification.
I want to underline that this advice is not a blanket rejection of planning (I wrote “because there is a plan” in the first sentence); rather, it is a call to assess the balance between planning and action. Sometimes you just have to jump in, get your hands dirty, and let the process unfold spontaneously. Experimentation frequently yields unexpected insights and creative solutions that thorough planning would never yield. It’s about finding the sweet spot where planning helps rather than hinders action. Furthermore, it is critical to consider who should be included in the planning process. Too many voices can drown out creativity in a sea of well-intended but competing ideas. As you embark on your road of daily innovation, consider how much planning is truly necessary. Whose involvement is required, and who should be set aside to allow the seeds of innovation to grow and flourish?
In essence, my advice is to embrace action, to be unafraid of experimentation, and to remember that sometimes the most revolutionary innovations occur when we walk forth into the unknown, armed with nothing more than curiosity and a willingness to learn from both success and failure. So if your currently working on something and planning, and planning, and planning, well, just get to the “doing”.
2. Play. Look At Things With A Child’s Mind And Curiosity.
The concept of “play” and addressing issues with the unfettered curiosity of a child may appear unusual, even odd, to some. It’s a sentiment that resonates deeply with me, and it’s a frustration I’ve grappled with time and time again. The crux of this frustration lies in our collective propensity to grow up and, in doing so, to shed the very qualities that once made us masters of innovation. As we go through life, we unavoidably amass a set of behaviors that have been ingrained by cultural standards and taught from our childhood. We begin to walk down well-worn routes, guided by the methods instilled in us by our parents, teachers, and society at large. We progressively lose the innocent wonder and inquisitiveness that marked our childhood as we get older.
Have you observed a young toddler before? Just watched without saying anything?
I remember my kids having a wooden shape board. One where they are given a circular (or star and what not) object and are determined to fit it through the square slot. They approach this issue with tremendous curiosity, spinning the object, inspecting it from every angle, and exhaustively attempting various techniques. Their unwavering pursuit of a solution is motivated not by rigid approach or convention, but by an instinctive need to investigate, experiment, and comprehend.
This is the mindset we should adopt when it comes to creativity and daily innovation. We must rediscover our childish wonder and fearlessness in the face of the unknown. As adults, we are sometimes imprisoned in the comfort of routine, following established conventions and techniques out of habit. As a result, we unintentionally impede creativity. When we dare to question the status quo, when we approach problems with fresh eyes and a willingness to explore, innovation develops. It is about rejecting the idea that there is just one way to accomplish things and being open to novel solutions. By viewing problems through the eyes of a child, we allow a feeling of playfulness and creativity back into our lives.
So here’s my advice: Be daring in your pursuit of new ideas. Challenge the established order, look at problems through the eyes of a child, and don’t be afraid to defy conventional ways. Embrace your natural curiosity, and you may discover groundbreaking answers in comparison to those trapped in the rigidity of adulthood. It is frequently the unusual thinkers who lead the road for growth and transformation in any field of innovation.
3. Find Your Fit In Life
The concept of “finding your fit in life” is one I cherish, and it’s a message I’m eager to spread. I’ll be the first to admit that not every day begins with me bursting with zeal to face the various obstacles that life throws at me. In fact, I find the everyday effort unpleasant, if not maddening – if you fully understand what I mean (I’ll explain it sometime). It’s a common emotion, I believe, since many people frequently find themselves caught in jobs that, on the surface, appear interesting but leave us with an uneasy feeling on the inside. It’s an odd paradox: pursuing a job that appears excellent on paper and is praised by society is often what leads us to inner dissatisfaction. As strange as it may sound, our ability to innovate in the exterior world is hampered by this inner conflict. The weight of frustration and discontent suffocates the creative process, which lives on a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
Now I understand that in life we are expected to pay our bills, fulfill our responsibilities, and follow society norms. That’s just how the world works, and none of us can completely avoid it. But, in the midst of these responsibilities, I implore you to continue the search for your true calling. Don’t accept a route predetermined by others, whether it’s your parents or societies conventions. When you live a life that fits with your actual self, true pleasure and inventiveness bloom (and I am not talking about “identity” here – that is a load of crap). It’s a trip that may necessitate patience, effort, and a willingness to take unorthodox paths. Pursuing a life that truly resonates with you, that fills you with a sense of purpose and joy, is not a luxury; it is a requirement for unlocking your entire creative potential.
People who are truly satisfied with their daily life frequently discover that their sense of fulfillment extends beyond their personal sphere. It becomes the source from which effortless innovation pours. When you get up each morning with a feeling of purpose, when you’re enthusiastic about what you do, you’re far more likely to face obstacles with zeal, creativity, and a desire to make a significant difference.
So, my honest advice is to keep searching until you discover that perfect fit in life, where your passions coincide with your daily activities. Your happiness is not a frivolous goal; it is the trigger for releasing your capacity for invention – of yourself and of life. In your quest for fulfillment, you may discover not just a life that speaks to you deeply, but also the ability to inspire, create, and innovate in ways you never imagined imaginable.
Take a few moments to write down a few things that truly fulfill you. Take the list, put it somewhere and look back on it in a few days.
Make it happen.