Where in your life do you actually seek out and work towards innovation and experimentation? Do you purposefully have activities that leave you seeking out new ideas and methods of doing things? Where could you make changes if only you had the time, the courage or perhaps the money to try some new things? And are you making these activities toward innovation and experimentation a regular occurrence in your life?
Work and Play
Many people when they think of innovation they associate it with business and perhaps their work environment since that is typically where you hear the word and see headlines and articles about it. More than likely, your work already has elements of innovation in it especially if you work in technology and other industries where it is common. However, you should not define your work to have innovation or not, as it can very easily be an individual thing, not specific to a workplace, industry or certain environment.
Innovation is about expanding things, building on others ideas, answering curiosities, converting restless fascination into something new that can be created, and it’s about acting on or developing inspirations. These are all things that an individual can do independently of an organization. Are you ready to stop waiting for your organization to push innovation from the top, and are what are you doing about it in your own life and work?
Your free time has even more room in it to be innovative than when you are being paid. Work usually involved a high degree of following tasks and responsibilities that someone else has set out for you, so you do not always have the freedom you need to be at your creative best. There is always some room for it, but let’s face it, not every workplace is the most experimental and creative support environment. That can’t be said about your own time, your play time. The time you have to choose whatever you like in life and it’s in this play time that you can really be innovative and experimental.
Memory and Brain Mapping
A wonderful thing about innovation and experimentation is that it helps to quickly build more synapses in your mind deepening your brain maps for creative thinking and experimentation. Exploring new methods and learning from that (as does most learning) reshapes the mind to strengthen and develop the connections and associations you have with those activities and thoughts, which over time, continue to build on themselves.
There are many things you can do to be learning when you innovate. As you make change and create new things, you will be learning, mapping the mind and strengthening your memory. Memory and brain mapping may not be directly visible or understood, but they strengthen quickly with creative work, when building things directly and when learning anything new. Interestingly, visual mind maps and memory exercises have a similar effect and so they go hand in hand with innovation and experimentation since you learn in the process.
Discovering Activities and Hobbies
Discovering only comes by exploration. Discovery is also a part of personal development that I hope if you are reading this, is something you have often found yourself doing already. The act of change, seeking and exploration allow you to find things you are naturally good at as well as simply new areas to learn that may not come so naturally.
Experimentation requires some level of spontaneity and an open mind. This will lead you to be in new situations, continuous questions and curiosity. Putting curiosity to work will typically lead to new experiences in work and play and it will have you finding new activities, new things to learn and hobbies that peak your interest.
Tuning Your Life Enjoyment
These new activities and hobbies will lead to much more than just new things to do. It allows you to find and connect with new friends in activities you might not have ever discovered otherwise. It helps you uncover passions that would never be found without the exploration and courage to get there and it allows you to have enjoyment in life that could have otherwise been lost in a pool of complacency.
There is much value in tuning your life with the help of new discoveries and it lets you ultimately bring a bit more happiness to your life and gain more enjoyable past time. I’m certainly not saying you can’t find this without innovation and experimentation, but it certainly helps to know many more of the things you enjoy so you can pick and choose the ones that true are the most valuable to you and your life. They could be major life changes as a result, yet they could also be very minor.
Traits to Develop and Expand
There are so many ways to be innovative and more experimental, it is not a matter of do you have it or not, everyone does. The question you should ask is where do you have it and how can you use it more. Here are some of the traits you could rely on to be more innovative and experimental methods in your life:
- Curious – explore what is around you, ask questions, dig deeper
- Rebellious – challenge and question the status quo
- Willing to take risks – keeps complacency at bay to reach out of your comfort zone
- Adventurous – enjoy the unknown and some ambiguity
- Playful / Childlike – asking questions and simply having fun with things lets you be more creative
- Accept Failures – any kind of experimentation will have what seem like failures. Accept them and move on to the next one
- Imaginative – being experimental in your mind and your ideas
- Flexible/adaptive – open to change and able to adapt
- Thrive on Chaos – some unknowns and discoveries can only be found from unseen and even unwanted events. Find them in chaos with others get frustrated or over burdened
- Connector – build new relationships quickly and with varying combinations of diversity
- Perceptive – aware and reflective on the environment around you; pondering; contemplative
- Committed to learning – continually seeking growth and knowledge
- Persevering – willing to keep driving forward despite the odds and hardships and able to learn from the experience
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