In today’s fast-moving world, it’s important to stay on the cutting edge. What we viewed as creative ideas in years past won’t cut it in this innovative age, so we must focus on the importance of discovering fresh inspiration for innovation.
While that inspiration may change over time, knowing where to find it is always the best place to start. Some inspiring things and people may be right in front of you. But others – like the ones here – may take a little digging to find their value in your plan for innovation.
Here are four surprising places to look for inspiration:
1. Historical figures with success stories. Much of the world as we know it today is because of contributions from historical figures. Many of them took bold steps that didn’t necessarily pay off. But their perseverance and creativity allowed them to become world-changers.
- Spend some time researching these daring thinkers. Understand their beginnings, inspirations, challenges, and turning points. You may find similarities between you and one of them. For example, Albert Einstein struggled in school, but was fascinated by the laws of nature and came alive when he discovered geometry and physics.
- Use those similarities to drive your own inspirations. Relate what you discover to modern-day challenges and you can push the envelope of innovation.
2. Inventions before their time. You hear the phrase “think outside the box” all the time. Now it’s time to apply it to your method for innovation.
- Some of the greatest inventors introduced concepts before the world was even ready for them. These inventions can serve as your inspiration. Look at all the far-fetched ideas Leonardo da Vinci came up with that have recently become part of our everyday lives!
- Are there ideas you’ve jotted down that you felt were too silly to share with anyone? Remember that once an innovation is fascinating enough, it will appeal to others. Then it can convince them that it’s actually something they want.
3. Nature. Look through your window and you’ll see inspiration all around you. It’s beautiful and intricate. Things that are so wonderfully created are often great sources of inspiration.
- Look at the colors, shapes and behaviors of nature. Whether plants, animals, or seasons, their uniqueness inspires interest from scientists and novices alike. Many innovations that stand out take inspiration from elements of nature. For example, did you know that the hook-and-loop fasteners we use in place of zippers were the result of inspiration from burrs getting stuck in a dog’s fur?
- Consider how these elements were created. You may not have all the answers, but that’s okay. (You don’t have to be a science geek.) What it teaches you is that complexity breeds creativity!
4. People who conquer overwhelming obstacles. Their challenges are incomparable and difficult. Yet they continue to push through with the aim of finding clear skies at the end of the road. If you can focus on someone like that, you’ll likely get a wealth of inspiration!
- How do those people keep moving forward? Are there special strategies they employ? When things seem impossible, the people who forge a new path are the ones that change the face of the future. There’s an African proverb that says, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”
- What you’ll realize is that bumps in the road don’t necessarily push you back. If you really want the prize, those bumps can spring you one step ahead. That drive to succeed creates a spirit of fearlessness and boldness. That’s what you need to be innovative!
These sources can provide you with the inspiration you need to be creative. Take a different approach. That’s a surefire way to stand out from everyone else.
When you elevate the thought process for innovation, expect great results!