I woke up this morning and had the urge to watch a Ted Talk. If you are not familiar with what these are you are missing out. They are short (or long) presentations by a diverse group of people. Talking about anything you could imagine. From motivation, to the science of laughter.
I opened my Youtube app and went to the Ted Talk Channel. Through my rabbit hole search I stumbled across The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers by Adam Grant. This interested me because I needed inspiration and well, this seemed like it would do the trick. It did.
At the begining of the talk Grant talks about how he passed up an investment opportunity from some of his students that were about to graduate college. He passed them up because they didn’t seem ready, they wanted to start an online business but didn’t have a website and they had back up plans in case this didn’t work out. So he declined their offer. Well that company was in fact Warby Parker. Grant focuses on what an original thinker is, and how he came upon all of this.
Originals are late to the party. He describes how he is a “pre-crastinator” the exact opposite of a procrastinator and how he has been this for his entire life, dating back to his child hood. He then goes on to talk about one of his students that claimed that procrastination helped her be more creative, and challenged her to prove it with data. It showed that pre-crastinator really aren’t that creative, and then showed a graph showing that the “original thinkers” come from people who are somewhere in the middle between extreme procrastination and pre-crastinator. It showed that Moderate procrastinators are generally, the original thinkers. This hit me, I could be one of those people! I tend to go more the right, of the extreme procrastinator, but I have the ability to bring it to the middle.
“You call it procrastinating. I call it thinking.” – Aaron Sorkin
Grant referenced the above quote in this talk, and it honestly made me feel like I wasn’t reaching my full potential with my procrastinating. Most of the time when I put off a project, or building something I do come back to it with better ideas. But when I put off the small stuff, I come back with nothing. That is a change I need to make. If I’m going to procrastinate, fine, but I at least need to make it a useful waste of time.
Grant also shows the audience famous procrastinators like leonardo da vinci and Martin Luther King JR. This was amazing and mind boggling at the same time. I’m seeing that to be an original is actually terrifying, you have to trust your gut and know that you are great. To be an original, you must first be self-confident and be able to over come almost anything. As soon as I had those thoughts he started into his next point.
Originals feels doubt and fear. Originals have the courage to be just that, original. He goes on about how original thinkers tend to look very confident, but have the same fears and doubts as everyone else, and if not more. He then goes into the two different kinds of doubt, self-doubt and idea doubt. The key is to focus on perfecting the idea, and not punishing yourself. Tell your self that your first few tries might have been crap, but you are not crap. You just have to keep going until you get over the idea doubt, and do not fall into the self-doubt. This made me stop, and think. What kind of doubt do I feel? Well, I realized that I feel self-doubt. Doubt that my ideas are not great, and even if they were, I wouldn’t be able to bring them to life. I’m simply not good enough for that.
Vuja de – When you look at something you have seen many times before, and suddenly see it with fresh eyes.
The above is the opposite of Deja Vu. Grant goes into examples of famous things we know today, such as the movie Frozen, that needed some Vuja de to get it off the ground. Maybe that is what I need to get my dreams going. I want to do and be so many things and I feel like I’ve gone over them time and time again. Maybe I just need a bit of Vuja De.
When you feel doubt, don’t let it go. – Adam Grant.
He talks about how our biggest regrets are not our actions, but our non actions, the chances not taken. These are words I need to live by.
Originals have lots of bad ideas. He mentions that most people do not share their ideas, in fear of looking stupid, or that the idea is already out there. This is something I fall into. At this point in the talk I’m convinced that Grant is talking straight to me, and I’m taking everything in. We need a lot of bad ideas to find the golden one. In order to be more original, we have to create many bad ideas. You can succeed, even if you procrastinate, or if you think your ideas are stupid, don’t fail to try.
I watched this talk and I just had to write about it. It hit me in a way that really opened my mind and made me think. Which was exactly what I was craving this cloudy Sunday morning. I want to write a book, but have so many ideas. Well, I just need to get those ideas on paper, and be okay with failing at many of them before I find the right one. I need to start, and to keep going. That also goes with this blog, I need to stop ignoring it, and looking at it as a failure. It’s not, it’s me learning and trying. Trying to grow and succeed at something I haven’t done before.
Below is the video of the entire Talk, I definitely recommend that you watch. I think this would be great in the morning with a hot cup of coffee or whatever it is others drink in the morning. It will hopefully get your mind going and ready to tackle anything you have to do today. I’m hoping it inspires you like it did for me.