Being First, Being Original, Being Innovative

There is an often missed distinction between Being the First, Being Original, and Being Innovative.

To determine that someone (or something) has been the first, we need to apply a temporal test. It should answer at least three questions: what exactly was done, when exactly was it done and was this ever done before.

To determine whether someone (or something) is original – a test of substance has to be applied. It should answer at least the following questions: what exactly was done, when exactly was it done and was this ever done before.

To determine if someone (or something) is innovative – a practical test has to be applied. It should answer at least the following questions: what exactly was done, in which way was it done and was exactly this ever done before in exactly the same way.

Reviewing the tests above leads us to two conclusions:

1.. Being first and being original are more closely linked than being first and being innovative or than being original and being innovative. The tests applied to determine “firstness” and originality are the same.
2.. Though the tests are the same, the emphasis is not. To determine whether someone or something is a first, we primarily ask “when” – while to determine originality we primarily ask “what”.
Innovation helps in the conservation of resources and, therefore, in the delicate act of human survival. Being first demonstrates feasibility (“it is possible”). By being original, what is needed or can be done is expounded upon. And by being innovative, the practical aspect is revealed: how should it be done.

Society rewards these pathfinders with status and lavishes other tangible and intangible benefits upon them – mainly upon the Originators and the Innovators. The Firsts are often ignored because they do not directly open a new path – they merely demonstrate that such a path is there. The Originators and the Innovators are the ones who discover, expose, invent, put together, or verbalize something in a way which enables others to repeat the feat (really to reconstruct the process) with a lesser investment of effort and resources.

It is possible to be First and not be Original. This is because Being First is context dependent. For instance: had I traveled to a tribe in the Amazon forests and quoted a speech of Kennedy to them – I would hardly have been original but I would definitely have been the first to have done so in that context (of that particular tribe at that particular time). Popularizers of modern science and religious missionaries are all first at doing their thing – but they are not original. It is their audience which determines their First-ness – and history which proves their (lack of) originality.

Many of us reinvent the wheel. It is humanly impossible to be aware of all that was written and done by others before us. Unaware of the fact that we are not the first, neither original or innovative – we file patent applications, make “discoveries” in science, exploit (not so) “new” themes in the arts.

Society may judge us differently than we perceive ourselves to be – less original and innovative. Hence, perhaps, is the syndrome of the “misunderstood genius”. Admittedly, things are easier for those of us who use words as their raw material: there are so many permutations, that the likelihood of not being first or innovative with words is minuscule. Hence the copyright laws.

Yet, since originality is measured by the substance of the created (idea) content, the chances of being original as well as first are slim. At most, we end up restating or re-phrasing old ideas. The situation is worse (and the tests more rigorous) when it comes to non-verbal fields of human endeavor, as any applicant for a patent can attest.

But then surely this is too severe! Don’t we all stand on the shoulders of giants? Can one be original, first, even innovative without assimilating the experience of past generations? Can innovation occur in vacuum, discontinuously and disruptively? Isn’t intellectual continuity a prerequisite?

True, a scientist innovates, explores, and discovers on the basis of (a limited and somewhat random) selection of previous explorations and research. He even uses equipment – to measure and perform other functions – that was invented by his predecessors. But progress and advance are conceivable without access to the treasure troves of the past. True again, the very concept of progress entails comparison with the past. But language, in this case, defies reality. Some innovation comes “out of the blue” with no “predecessors”.

Scientific revolutions are not smooth evolutionary processes (even biological evolution is no longer considered a smooth affair). They are phase transitions, paradigmatic changes, jumps, fits and starts rather than orderly unfolding syllogisms (Kuhn: “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions”).

There is very little continuity in quantum mechanics (or even in the Relativity Theories). There is even less in modern genetics and immunology. The notion of laboriously using building blocks to construct an ebony tower of science is not supported by the history of human knowledge. And what about the first human being who had a thought or invented a device – on what did he base himself and whose work did he continue?

Innovation is the father of new context. Original thoughts shape the human community and the firsts among us dictate the rules of the game. There is very little continuity in the discontinuous processes called invention and revolution. But our reactions to new things and adaptation to the new world in their wake essentially remain the same. It is there that continuity is to be found.

Achieving Success And Progress Through Creative Thinking

Many people believe that the goal of any society is progress, however for most of us it is not easy to get used to something new. It takes more or less time for every person to adapt to new environment, even if it is only using a new tool, cooking a new dish or finding a new bus stop. That is the reason why many people cling to the way things are and it is much easier for them to do habitual things.

Any person’s every day of life consists of many repeated activities, such as driving car, dressing, eating. People do most of these activities automatically, without much thinking. Automatic operations help brains to avoid unnecessary efforts, but many people also use this natural capability of brain in a wrong way.

They create “cliché” for many activities in their life, use same expressions, eat same food, and go to same supermarkets. People live with same world outlook whole their life. It is clear that in most cases laziness makes them live with “cliché” because it is much easier for people to make habitual things, say habitual phrases and do the same job everyday, then straining the brain, creating something new, and making progress in their life.

However, there are still many activities, which demand creativity, ability to orientate us in new, unusual situations. Life brings us surprises every day, and sometimes it is impossible to be prepared for all circumstances. Economical and political situation of any country in the world transforms every month or year and leads to changes in many life aspects. Today people need to be creative to get ahead, because it is impossible to find favorable work or life conditions, without any changes and unexpected circumstances.

There are not too many people, which think and act creatively. Most of those people are successful businessmen, artists or politicians, because they can effectively use the natural capability of brain to think creatively. Creative and imaginative people do not achieve success for themselves only; they also contribute to progress of the society. That is why it is important to train yourself to be creative and get rid of many “cliché” opinions in your mind.

First step to think creatively is to comprehend which activities are indeed in need of “cliché” (such every day simple operations as driving car) and which activities demand creativity (such as work, business, education, upbringing of children).

Second, do your daily activities such as work or family creatively, enrich your knowledge about your business, and find new ways to improve it, do not be afraid to give work to your brain, because in daily life most people use only 4-5% of their brain ability to think.

Last, but not least is to be aware that if you are creative and imaginative person you would not be disarmed by unexpected or unusual life circumstances and changes because you can always find a way to adjust and get ahead in your life.

10 Steps To Clear Thinking

Does your mind sometimes feel like a television station you can’t quite tune in? You know there’s an interesting program on – or several, but everything is mixed with static. What if you could “tune in” at will, have clear thinking whenever you want it? Try some of the following.

Ten Clear Thinking Techniques And Tips

1. Take a walk. Science will eventually prove this to be a great way to improve the quality of your thinking, but don’t wait for the proof. Aren’t there enough other reasons to take a walk anyhow?

2. Stay away from sugar. If you want to understand what brain fog is, eat a sugary donut on an empty stomach, then do math problems twenty minutes later. What you will experience, along with the “sugar blues,” is brain fog. At least lay off sugar and simple carbohydrates when you need to think clearly.

3. Organized space means clear thinking. It’s rare that a person can actually work better in clutter. Organised working space means you won’t have the thought “where is that…” distracting your mind.

4. Get better sleep. Sleep requirements vary, but the minimum for most is somewhere around five hours. Some suffer if they sleep less than eight hours. The research, however, indicates that after a certain minimum quantity, the quality of sleep is more important to normal brain function.

5. Try meditating. No time? Just close your eyes, relax, and watch your breath for a while. Accept that your mind will wander, but continually return your attention to your breath. Five minutes of this, and afterwards you’ll feel a boost in your brainpower.

6. Resolve your “mind irritations.” Watch your busy brain. Maybe a call you need to make has been bothering you, just below consciousness. Find these stressors, and do something to let them go. For example, make that call, or put it on a list, and your mind will let go of it for now. Just seeing a problem and saying, “There’s nothing I can do about this until Friday,” will often stop unconscious worrying.

7. Don’t drink alcohol. At least don’t drink too much. While moderate amounts can be conducive to creative thinking, all the evidence says that it is bad for the long-term health of your brain.

8. Make decisions quickly. Nothing gets in the way of clear thinking like a dozen decisions hanging around unmade. If nothing else, decide when you’ll make the decision.

9. Get some fresh air. Go outside and breath deeply through your nose. You’ll get a good dose of oxtgen to your brain, and the change of surroundings can help clear your mind.

10. Satisfy your physical needs. Clear thinking is easier if you aren’t too hungry, thirsty, or hot.

You can think more clearly starting today. There are certainly more than ten ways, but you really only need to make a few of them a habit to have a more powerful brain. Why not try one or two right now?

7 Tips to Make You More Creative

Many great things have started as an simple, creative idea. Consider donating some of your best ideas to help others. The more creative you are, the more ideas you will be able to create. You can be creative even if you don’t think you are.

I have known many people that were scared to use a computer for the first few times. However, after diving into it they became more comfortable. They were willing to take a risk and make some mistakes. The result was an ability to learn and do things they would never be able to do without the use of a computer.

Being creative and thinking up world-changing ideas occurs in the same way. Everyone can be creative but they have to be willing to start. The creative process will then become more natural over time.

Try the following tips to help you on your journey to be more creative:

1. Record your ideas on whatever is comfortable and convenient at the moment. What is important is that you record your ideas. In the past, I have forgotten ideas that I thought of when I was on a walk. Now I carry a digital recorder with me on those walks. At other times I use my computer, notepad or journal. Choose what will work best for you and make sure you have a way to record your ideas at all times. You never know when an important idea will surface.

2. Don’t limit yourself to ideas that seem possible. Capture all of your ideas. Even those that seem impossible to implement are important for a couple of reasons. First, what seems impossible to you may not be impossible sometime in the future or for someone else. Second, impossible ideas encourage further creative ideas that might be more likely to be implemented.

3. Change your scenery or location. A change in scenery can stimulate the creativity inside you. A change might be as simple as looking out a window. You can also visit someplace new like a park, beach, or mall. The new environment can foster new ideas.

4. Read on many topics. It is amazing how many things in a totally unrelated subject can prompt new ideas. By broadening your knowledge into more areas, you make your creativity potential grows.

5. Go for a walk. Some of my best ideas have happened when I was on a walk. This applies to any form of moderate exercise. I have heard of others that have written articles and speeches while waalking or jogging.

6. Focus in 10-15 minute increments. It does not take a significant amount of time to brainstorm some potential ideas. In fact, brainstorming works best when done for short periods of time. Concentrate for a few minutes on generate as many ideas to address a specific area or problem. Then capture anything that comes to mind throughout the rest of the day (see tip #1). You will have several ideas for consideration for little investment of time. One of those could become something tremendous for helping others.

7. Think big. What question are you asking to prompt your ideas? The larger the question, the larger the impact those ideas may have on the world. You can start by addressing smaller problems but don’t limit yourself to those. You have unique experiences, knowledge and talents that should be applied to helping others on a grand scale as well.

Follow these tips and you will be on your way to generating ideas that have the potential to change the world. Don’t let your previous lack of creativity keep you from developing and donating your ideas. Get started today.