In the space between uninventive and eccentric, lies our ingenious imagination that magically links disparate pieces of information in unusual ways to solve a problem or produce a creative idea. The human capacity to imagine ways to improve things or provide innovative solutions is what makes us distinct from all other living things. Yet, I’ve found that many people hold self-limiting beliefs about themselves and will even tell you that they are not creative or particularly ingenious at all. My view is that if you have a brain, it follows, that you are also creative because all of us have an imagination. The typical stereotype many of us hold about “creatives” is that they are artists, performers, and artisans. Yet all of us can be highly creative in our chosen domains of interest. We’ve all experienced the proverbial “aha” moment in the shower — where we have an insight that is exciting. The creative process, in fact, requires that we incubate and rest our mind after immersion in our daily life or work. For it is in the space just after incubation that our insights are most likely to occur.
TILT 365 WEEKLY CHALLENGE: This week I will rest from my work and allow my imagination to incubate ideas, then wait for the insights to come.
Avoiding Eccentricity (Overuse):
Being eccentric, like all overused traits, can be a good thing unless it becomes too frequent and causes you to lose credibility with those who prefer that your ideas are actionable and practical enough to solve real problems. Ideas are truly a dime a dozen if you never do the hard work to evaluate and build out a prototype of your idea before trying to persuade others to go along. Creativity is the easy part. But a true innovation requires proof of concept evidenced by widespread acceptance in the domain to which it contributes. Too many ideators are not equally good at follow-through and diligence, so their great ideas never get traction. Espousing too many ideas (too frequently) can even cause one to lose the attention of others after a while. The phrase “all talk and no action” comes from this fruitless pattern that can be overused if we run after every idea that catches our attention. Decide which idea you find the most interesting and stay the course all the way through, and you will garner respect for your creative and ingenious contributions.
Commendable Trait: Ingenious
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