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#2 Innovation is fuel for the human spirit

When the human spirit is ignited to make a difference, anything is possible.

[Photo Credit: Sebastian Svenson]

“Anything that one man can imagine, another man can make real.”

― Jules Verne

Creativity is crucial. An electrifying vision showing us new ways to strive for a better world is how innovation drives progressive societies. And humanity can only progress forward when open-minded creativity is able to be pursued. Therefore, creativity and innovation are fated to be forever intertwined.

It’s critical for the success of science, technology and commerce to be in constant pursuit of developing new ideas for the evolution of us all. Through the mixture of exploration and association, bursts of curious spontaneity can unleash advanced insights into old problems.

Psychologists are furthering their studies on creativity. Some say, it is the spark of the idea and the way transformation refines the idea in a creative process. It’s a process of making the familiar strange and the strange familiar. The two are intertwined.

It’s through the collective effort of curiosity, critical thinking and dialogue that springboards us forward. It’s learning about those that came before us, picking up the baton and making what was started a little better. One day at a time.

Through security, we can play in curiocity. When we live in a place of scarcity and necessity, innovation is limited and narrow. We’re built to survive. But if we’re in a constant state of urgency and problems, we’re focused on minimal movement and fall-back approaches.

When we feel safe, we become more adventurous and willing to explore into the unknown. When our basic needs are met, we find we have more time on our hands and are free from distractions. Exploration and discovery is most often pleasurable when we no longer have fear of the unfamiliar. And those that are more ambitious to explore tend to be the most innovative ones.

“I think the idea that innovation depends on individual geniuses is misguided. History shows that inventions invariably build on earlier findings that are recombined and improved upon. Most of the things we use every day are inventions that no single human being could ever design within her lifetime,” states Joe Henrich, Evolutionary Biologist at the University of British Columbia.

Henrich recently wrote a book on the success of our species and the role culture plays in it.

“Rather than the product of individual innovators, these inventions can be thought of as the product of our societies. Innovations rely on individuals learning from others — in that way, human society functions like a collective brain.”

When we feel safe to connect and share our ideas through our interconnectedness, it enables us to innovate intellectually.

Open your mind and people will show you what’s on theirs.

The more you look, the more you find.

“If we had asked the public what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” - Henry Ford

Look beyond the obvious and obligatory. Uncover new territory. Discover new thoughts. Dive in and dig deep.

Explore ranges of possibility. Lose yourself in experiences.

Am I filling my life with work or filling my work with life?

Creative free-range exploring is a way of living. A curiosity 24/7 looking to see what’s around the corner.

“All designers at Martha Stewart tend to be collectors, whether it’s old books or old type or china patterns or whatever. We go to these pools of resources when we need inspiration for specific projects” — Kristy Moore, Art Director, Martha Stewart Living.

Leonardo da Vinci was a world class explorer. Work and life were seamless as he spent his sixty seven years passionately spotting ideas in nature and elsewhere, then eagerly applying his insights to his work as an engineer and artist.

Before John Vanderslice took the helm of Club Med, he took an anonymous trip to the club’s Cancun property. There he immersed himself in the resort and spent time at each job. He started with stacking skis and then later helped guests out of the water. He wanted to uncover and spot ideas to serve him, the guests and the company.

“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” — William Plower, Author, Novelist, Poet and Literary Editor.

Expand your territory, it’s a big world to explore.


Ask the right questions to gain a new perspective. And if you can’t think of new questions, try asking the same questions in a new way.

How do creatives ask the right questions?

Lots of people saw apples fall. Sir Isaac Newton asked why and explained gravity.

Lots of people wanted instant photos. Edwin Land asked how and invented Polaroid cameras.

Lots of people wanted fast shipping. Fred Smith asked when and started FedEx.

Lots of people wanted a monument to honor Americans killed in Vietnam. Maya Lin asked where and created a gripping memorial.

Questions can determine our fate — whether we’ll explore or stagnate, create or vegetate.

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” -Albert Einstein

Kids ask better questions than adults

Children don’t pull punches. They don’t try to impress with the caliber of their questions and worry about feeling dumb or silly.

Little kids ask things like:

How come the sky is blue?

How come dogs have cold noses?

How come chickens don’t fly like ducks?

How come we don’t have dessert after breakfast?

How can you approach something in your life that feels blocked with a new sense of wonder?

Reach into your inner child. And then go even deeper to connect to Source. Ask for guidance to wonder even more.

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