Here Are the Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

Claire Bernish
April 4, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) “Originals are nonconformists. People who not only have new ideas, but take action to champion them. They’re people who stand out and speak up. Originals drive creativity and change in the world. They’re the people you want to bet on. And they look nothing like I expected,” explained organizational psychologist Adam Grant in a recent TED talk.

I want to show you three things I’ve learned about recognizing originals and becoming a little bit more like them,” he said.

Creative and innovative people don’t put off work until the last possible minute, Grant noted — nor do they rush to complete their work as soon as they receive an assignment. In other words, original thinkers usually fall somewhere between procrastination and ‘precrastination.’ In fact, many Originals are “quick to start” but “slow to finish” projects.

Another key characteristic of Originals is that they doubt their ideas — but not themselves. Grant described the importance of heeding those lingering doubts about a project or an idea because it’s always possible to have what he calls a ‘vuja de’ moment — the opposite of deja vu — when one is suddenly able to view things from a fresh perspective. Self-doubt, however, can cause unnecessary anxiety and increase stress — and innovative thinkers don’t typically doubt themselves.

Originals also certainly fear failure, but where that might prevent many people from bothering to try, Originals also believe not trying at all is its own form of failure:

“If you look across fields, the greatest Originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most.”

Grant offers a number of pertinent ideas in the video below for those who wish to be Originals, because original thinking is “the best way to improve the world around us.”

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