Every individual can innovate. Innovation simply means having an imaginative mindset that is curious to come up with new ideas. The term innovation is not limited to businesses alone. An innovative mind is continually looking at ways to test and implement ideas, giving rise to certain cognitive and behavioral stimulation. Most times individuals refrain from exploring new ideas because of the sheer belief that they believe the idea won’t change the world. That is not the right way to look at things. Our ideas don’t necessarily need to have a major impact on our surroundings. What it needs to do is – to be able to satisfy our unmet needs.
Developing an innovative mind needs a shift in your mindset and creating that helps to override anything that is holding you back from stimulating your senses. This exercise corelates to many phrases you hear in your daily life – ‘think out of the box’, ‘get creative’, ‘explore the unimaginable’. Don’t let these phrases intimidate you or over power your urge to add new skills or try out new activities. If you keep doing the same things, you will have to expect the same results. Change in the outcome, requires a sustainable change in the inputs as well.
Once you have successfully developed your mindset, it then becomes easy to follow your mind in achieving milestones or goals that you set for yourself. Ticking off goals from your checklist is another way to keep motivating yourself to do more and achieve more. Just like you have KPIs at your workplace or a checklist to run home errands, the time to create your personal list is NOW! You can read more on the three best practices to foster a long-term ‘innovation mindset’ in a remote-first future.
Learn a new language
Start by taking smaller steps. Say for example you have always wanted to learn a new language and completing the entire course seems daunting. Here you can divide the course and set smaller milestones and celebrate achieving them along the way. Slowly, the motivation will keep you at it and give you the push to complete the course.
If you need to up your vocabulary or find creative ways of using the language, I would recommend you start reading books in that language or watch series on OTT platforms with subtitles on. Immersing yourself in the language and continuously exposing yourself helps you improve your vocabulary. If you are working on your English language skills, I would suggest you get the ‘The Magic of Metaphor’ from my personal favorites to practice your speech giving and articulation skills. You can also find more book recommendations here.
Upgrade your skills
Another daily example is a mundane task at work that you have always felt the need to outsource, because you do not know how to do it. For eg: you are great at developing sales presentations but always need help with putting your ideas creatively in a PPT format. As much as it is okay to outsource work, you can always decide to upskill and learn the basics of putting your presentation together. Slowly you can keep experimenting with all the options you have available and try to incorporate to see what works and what doesn’t. Google does an excellent job at tutoring and providing skills if you wish to upskill.
Innovation happens from Inside Out. Just like physical fitness is essential for the body, mental fitness is essential for optimum functioning of your brain. Keep it occupied with trying to solve puzzles, exploring new roads during your commute to work. Using your less used hand (For eg: if you are right-handed, using your left hand) also activates your brain cells and works towards developing your memory and memory retention.
You can start with simple activities that do not need you to make drastic changes to your lifestyle suddenly. It is all about the consequence of a changing mindset. This plays a major role in magically finding creative ways around all the barriers created during the journey and subsequently learning to deal with change.
Another interesting tip to note is when you fire new and less used areas of your brains, in small steps it still feels safe and it wires new connection network which is needed to improve our cognitive and problem-solving skills.