I believe these are wonderful questions. I have tried most of my adult life to be original for better or for worse. It has made me sometimes stand out, to be able to think of different and sometimes valuable new ideas and solutions and follow my own path.
It has also meant that I have become bored far too easily, it has made me unpopular at times and i have lacked a single-minded focus with my business (something i am trying to remedy with my Speed Thinking concept).
But to be an original thinker is still something to be cherished i believe. We all need people in our lives that help us see something in a different light or can open us to a new possibility. Original Thinkers are people with courage and imagination that do not want to follow the crowd nor accept the prevailing wisdom. Sometimes original thinkers are way ahead of everyone else and shine a light that others may follow and occasionally there are people that are original but are just plain wrong or mad or both.
But every now and then wouldn’t it be good to be more original at work (and your personal life).–to be the first person to think of a breakthrough solution and to jump ahead of the competition. To help others break out of the ‘me-too’ cycle?
How do you become an original thinker?
Here are some suggestions:
- Deliberately adopt an unpopular point of view and see the world fro this perspective e.g. is a good for the world that
- Open your mind to new stimulus e.g. I read psychology and science magazines even though i am neither a psychologist nor scientist.
- Think of the ‘rules of the game’ that everyone seems to follow e.g. why are mobile phones getting smaller and smaller when the population is becoming older?
- Value your own experiences. We have been brought up to believe that our own experiences are somehow not valid they are too subjective. My bet is that if you are frustrated with a product or service for example then others feel the same way.
- Be fast. Don’t hesitate or second guess yourself. The lesson from Speed Thinking is that it is a process that enables your authentic and original self to emerge.
- Have courage. Be brave and follow your own thoughts. Be sure that if you voice a point of view others will follow.
These suggestions can help you become more original. Being able to think for yourself is a priceless ability and asset–in a washed out, neutral, grey world, a splash of colour can really stand out.