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How to be original?


If you are an avid watcher of TED talks, you for sure know who is Adam Grant. His speech about originality made people believe that procastinators are more creative. As a master postponer I just had to read his book Originals. So here are a few tips by Adam Grant about how to be more original:

1) Question the status quo - Instead of accepting the default for granted, ask why it exists.

2) Have 3 times more ideas. It will increase your chances of having a good one.

3) Immerse yourself in a new domain - learn a new craft, live in a foreign country, read about a different culture.

4) Procrastinate strategically - Deliberately stop in the middle of the brainstorming process. Give your ideas time to incubate.

5) Seek more feedback from peers - It’s hard to judge your own ideas, people who are too different from you can be too critical. Run your pitches by peers, they can spot the potential of your idea.

6)  Balance your risk portfolio - When you are going to take a risk in one domain, offset it by being unusually cautious in another realm of your life. Avoid unnecessary gambles.

7) Highlight the reasons for people not to support your idea - If you want to impress someone with your idea describe three of your idea’s weaknesses.

8) Make your ideas more familiar, repeat yourself - This makes people more comfortable with an unconventional idea.

9) Speak to disagreeable people - The people who were initially against your idea, but later were converted to it, will be your best allies.

10) Be a moderate radical - If your idea is extreme, redirect it to a more conventional goal. Instead of changing people’s minds, appeal to people’s values and beliefs.

11) Motivate yourself differently when you are committed vs uncertain - When you are sure you want to act, focus on the progress left to go. When you are uncertain, focus on the progress already made.

12) Don’t try to calm down - You won’t succeed. Turn your anxiety into an interest and enthusiasm.

13) Focus on the victim, not the perpetrator - In case of injustice focusing on the perpetrator produces anger. If you want to convert others to your cause focus on the victim, you’ll get their compassion and help.

14) Realise you are not alone - Even having a single ally will dramatically increase your will to act.

15) Remember that if you don’t take initiative the status quo will persist - There are four responses to dissatisfaction - exit, voice, persistence and neglect. Only exit and voice can lead to a change.