The 3 Surprising Habits Of Original Thinkers

photo:The Golden Diamonds


Sometimes, we struggle to be creative in our own ways, whether it’s curating an awesome Instagram feed or writing an essay.

When there’s a flood of creatives out there putting out what seems to be their best work, it can be intimidating. ‘The Surprising Habits Of Original Thinkers’, a TED talk by Adam Grant, organizational psychologist, and New York Times bestselling author, might just be what you need to get back on track.

“Originals are non-conformists. People who not only have new ideas but take action to champion them.” Part of being original thinkers is learning to embrace failure as a means to be more creative in what we do.


The first takeaway from the talk was that ‘Originals are late to the party’. Being a ‘precrastinator’ (someone with an urgent need to get things done in advance), Grant realized that getting a creative task done in advance led to poor ideas compared to putting things off for a period of time before working on the task.

He talks about the ‘sweet spot’ in between precrastination and procrastination, where most ideas tend to be creative. He quotes research showing that moderate procrastinators were 16% more creative than the chronic procrastinator and the precrastinator. “To be original, you don’t have to be first. You just have to be different and better.”

Grant also points out that “Originals feel doubt and fear.” He goes on to explain that there are two kinds of doubts in the creative process: self-doubt and idea doubt. He encourages us to remove self-doubt but embrace idea doubt in order to strengthen the creative process.

“Originals have lots and lots of bad ideas”. The key is to keep trying and embrace failure as a way to gain better, more creative ideas. This is a super inspiring talk if you find yourself in need of encouragement and inspiration in being an original thinker.

Written by Carissa Morais

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