How can you be more innovative?

Is there a way through the challenges we face? Yes, there is. And one of its prime attributes is our ability to innovate.

The word “innovate” comes from the Latin “innovare”, meaning “to renew or change.” It’s a law of life and it catches up with all of us sooner or later, whether you’re a small child, a housewife, a Boomer, not a Boomer, a business person, a homeless person, a farmer, a clerk, or a retired author and part-time blogger like me.

It’s our nature to innovate. It’s actually one of our deepest longings to renew and change. “Behold, I make all things new,” says Rev.21.5 — and who is that “I” if not you and me?

Here are some examples of the power of innovation at work in our world that I found very inspiring and I hope you will too.

Adde Hinton, a five-year-old kindergartner at Fort Carson in Colorado, “adopted” a soldier named Pfc Sean Healy through American Military Family  and has been sending him care packages and messages while he serves in Afghanistan. “I don’t know if you know how much it means to me to meet you,” Healy told Adde when he came home on leave recently. “At least I have a warm bed,” she said as they chatted together. “I don’t like it that you sleep in a dirt hole.”

Sheena Matheiken launched a social initiative named The Uniform Project. She decided to wear the same dress every day for year to make a statement about the value of simplifying your life and wardrobe. In the process she raised over $100,000 to send kids to school in India as admirers donated help in various ways. The support Sheena received gave her the confidence to leave her day job and turn her passion into a new company that shows you can “do business while doing good.”

Ideo is a one of the world’s great design companies, taking on giant challenges such as access to safe drinking water, immunization delivery, and many more. But recently they launched Open Ideo, an invitation to everyone to join together and design for the good of the community. As the site says, “It’s an online platform for creative thinkers; the veteran designer and the new guy who just signed on, the critic and the MBA, the active participant and the curious lurker.”

6 characteristics of a successful innovator

How can you be a successful innovator? Here are 6 essential requirements. If you think of some more, please let me know.

1. An open mind

A successful innovator listens to her “hunches.” She, or he realizes that the last word has not been spoken about anything and their potential to create is greater than anything they have yet realized.

2. A relaxed mind

A successful innovator knows the value of taking time simply to be quiet and still. For from such stillness and relaxation true inspiration springs.

3. A trusting mind

Successful innovators trust in themselves and in the gift they have to give to this world.

4. A compassionate mind

Ultimately, all innovation comes from our own true nature, that is to say, it requires compassion and love to flourish.

5. A flexible mind

The successful innovator is flexible in mind and heart, ready to turn on a dime if that is what is needed – but stubborn too if that is what is called for.

6. Imagination

What good or great thing can happen without imagination? It’s a gift straight from God. It’s at the core of who we truly are. And it gives wings to our thoughts and actions and aspirations.

If you have any thoughts on the above I’d love to hear from you. Just so you know, this theme didn’t come out of thin air. Giving a lot of thought to this blog and how to renew it and re-invigorate it. Any thoughts you may have on my blog or on “innovation” much appreciated.

Picture credit:  doug88888 photography

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