How to Learn from Inventors

How to Learn from Inven-tors

5 Pathways to Greater Creativity

Anyone can become the next Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs. How? It’s easy – all we have to do is learn from successful innovators and rediscover our own creative talents. This is the vision of professor of education KH KIM. She has been studying the role curiosity plays in creativity for the past 25 years – in other words, the willingness to try new methods. In her latest book,“The Creativity Challenge”, Kim reveals how we can become just as productive and innovative as the greatest geniuses the world has ever known. We present five paths to this goal.

1. Open-mindedness

According to KH Kim, sticking to your point of view and rejecting the opinions of others is a creativity blocker. Instead, she recommends changing your point of view every now and again. “Almost all innovators have one thing in common: their open-mindedness”, says Kim. People who work in research are automatically confronted with contrary points of view. These serve as an aid to us in the perfection of our own ideas and the development of new creative approaches.  

2. Optimism

According to Kim, being an optimist means having positive expectations about future results – regardless of the current situation. Positive thinking has always been an essential factor in motivating innovators to take risks and overcome challenges. But what if the chosen path does not ultimately lead to the desired success? Kim’s tip: simply redefine problems in such a way that the desired objectives can be achieved.

3. Daydreaming

Can hard work and iron discipline alone lead to success? Not quite: constructive daydreaming is allowed – and it even helps to promote creativity. Kim’s advice: not to focus thought processes solely on oneself, the here and now, or on reality. Instead, we should, for example, think more often about people in distant countries, future scenarios, or fantasize about realizing the impossible. The creativity researcher calls this “big-picture thinking”. 

4. Playfulness

Children are inquisitive by nature. They never stop asking questions – both sensible and weird. They love stories, revel in details, and ignore social restrictions. This expands children’s horizons and simultaneously promotes development. In Kim’s opinion, this is something we can learn from: Anyone wishing to rediscover their creative streak should give their inner child free rein.

5. Say yes

Kim’s observations have shown that people lose their spontaneity when they brood too much over things. According to the professor’s book, “Paralysis by analysis” is a widespread phenomenon.” The way out of it is to say yes more often and follow up spontaneous ideas. That’s the way successful innovators did it. The examination of their ideas from the standpoint of feasibility and added value came only after successful completion of the creative process. For us, this means: don’t brood so much, just do it. 

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