The surprising habits of original thinkers | Adam Grant

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How do creative people come up with great ideas? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies “originals”: thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world. In this talk, learn three unexpected habits of originals — including embracing failure. “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most,” Grant says. “You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.”

Adam hosts the TED Audio Collective podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant–a show that takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to discover the keys to a better work life. Listen to WorkLife with Adam Grant wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe to the TED Audio Collective:

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  1. I dunno, I’ve had a lot of ideas that seemed like good ideas and didn’t pan out, and I feel like people use that as evidence to think I’m a failure ?

    On the other hand, I can’t help myself. Trying is like a sick, self-sabotaging addiction. It’s going to happen regardless of whether other people support it.

    I do finally have a business now but it’s not going very well. Time will tell, I suppose.

    People seem to think “creativity” is akin to genius. I would say it’s closer to a mental defect. It’s not a fun thing to be afflicted by, but what can you do?

  2. Frozen…trap your special unique child in a room and separate her from all of humanity while letting her self-doubt and fear grow and grow, rather than teach her to harness her powers and be proud of how unique she is. Please, someone, tell me if my perspective of the movie is wrong…please.

  3. -By delaying the task upto a respectable limit, we leave ourselves open to ideas and modifications.
    -1st mover advantage is a myth
    -Procrastination may decrease productivity but it benefits creativity.
    -Originals are early to start but slow to finish
    -Originals look confident but behind the scene they have the same fear as everyone
    – Study : People who use non default internet browsers like chrome over default browsers tend to be more original than other people as they had the confidence to doubt the default. This doubt is what drives creativity.
    Vujade – when you see something for many times and all of a sudden see it from fresh eyes
    (Opp of vujade)
    -Originals are fear of failing. But they are even more afraid of failing to try. They know that in the long run the biggest regrets are not their actions but their inactions
    – You are not judged by your bad ideas.
    Originals have lots and lots of bad ideas.
    – The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, coz they are the ones who try the most.
    – If we have to be original, we have to generate more ideas
    So originals also have fear, bad ideas, they procrastinate but it is because of these qualities that they succeed
    You can motivate yourself by doubting your ideas and embracing your fears of not trying

  4. Mr Gant makes me examine my prejudices above everything. I remember the first time I listened to kendrick lamar. I couldn't stand his voice. Sounded like a mouse squeaking. I much preferred the smoother voices of J cole et al, or masculine voices of ice cube or dmx. Nut as time passed I started to embrace kendrick. The message is the key. Adam Grant is similar for me. I can't stand his accent, the way he talks. But it doesn't matter, because in the end the message is what is important.

  5. I am a highly creative (i.e. high quality thinker rather than just high-volume driveller) person so I can confirm much of this. BUT it is very far from true that critically creative people churn out a lot of duds. Beethoven and Bach were characterised by the consistent high quality of their works. Likewise there are no low-quality works in the Mozart sonatas, though M did churn out numerous rather unbrilliant symphonies before about the k200s. Meanwhile others like Czerny produced 100s of things really not worth remembering – high volume low quality.
    What is certain is that you cannot learn or be taught how to be a genius. You either are so doomed, or you are not. There are no courses you can take and no qualifications you can gain to prove your competence. For a genius to be recognised there has to be a society capable of doing that recognising. All too often there isn't.

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