An innovative person does a handstand against a wall of graffiti

When I first started taking CrossFit classes, performing a handstand terrified me. I didn’t like to be upside down. After several years of training and competing, I often wonder why I was so afraid back then. When I first started flexing my innovation muscles, I felt uncomfortable at times too. I just didn’t feel like an innovative person.  Now, I can’t imagine not looking at life differently. Depending on the situation, sometimes I’m looking upside down, sometimes I’m looking sideways, and yes, sometimes I’m looking straight on.

Now, I work to help people look at things differently – to be innovative. Why? Because you’re innovative. Your friends are innovative. Your colleagues too. The world’s a better place when we’re all innovating.

Most of us, however, don’t know how to be an innovative person. 

But that’s okay. You can learn quickly. Below are 7 ACTIONS you can take today.

7 actions to becoming an innovative person

Action #1: Seek Opportunity

Actively seek out opportunities. Waiting for opportunities to find you only means you are missing what’s right in front of you.

Action #2: Be Constantly Curious

Be curious every day. Constantly look to discover the “why” or “how” behind things. Staying on the surface minimizes your creative mind.

Action #3: Look Ahead

Embrace a future-oriented mindset. Look to what’s ahead. The past is for learning, and the present and the future are for building.

Action #4: Embrace Failure

Hug failure. It’s your friend.  Failure makes a great teacher and will lead you to something important. Failure is a part of the process, not an end point.

Action #5: Seek Answers

You don’t have all the answers. Work to find them. Get input from others.  If you spend too much time trying to show “You’re right”, well, you’ll be wrong, a lot.

Action #6: Practice Innovation Exercises

Schedule innovative exercises into your daily life. Strengthen your innovation muscles. Too many times I’ve seen people ignore their innovation muscles and get frustrated in the 3 p.m. brainstorm because they can’t get beyond incremental ideas. Just like your physical muscles, your mental muscles need consistent exercise and fuel too.

Action #7: Leverage Your Innovation Strengths

Learn your natural innovation strengths and unlock your unique Everyday Innovator style. You’ll better understand how you innovate. (Note: Everyone innovates differently.  Learn to innovate your way, not Stephanie’s or Jim’s or Maria’s or Anthony’s.)

A Challenge for You

For the rest of today, ask yourself, “Am I being the Everyday Innovator I’m meant to be or am I falling for status quo mediocrity?” If the answer is “status quo”, don’t worry. Make note of the actions described above and put ONE into action today. Tomorrow, do the same thing. When you take action regularly,  you’ll not only act like an innovator, you’ll become one. All you have to do is take action. Soon, you’ll weave innovation into every part of your life. It’s a mindset and an action.