Want to think Outside of the Box?

Have you ever heard of Warby Parker? Well this online glasses and sunglasses company was recently recognized as the world's most innovative company, but they didn't start out as strong as they are now. Ted Talks speaker Adam Grant shared that he declined to invest in the brand when they first launched. Why? He believed that the founders were slow to move and were full of doubts. However, they proved Grant wrong and are worth over a billion dollars.

The founders of Warby Parker were original thinkers and Grant describes the phrase as people who are nonconformists. They drive creativity and change the world. They stand out and speak up. Their habits might also be different than one might predict; here are 3 habits that Grant believes original thinkers have:

They procrastinate.
Grant wasn't confident in investing because the founders were slow to get moving – the day before the company launch their website wasn't even working yet, which was the whole basis of their business. Original thinkers fall in between precrastinators (those who rush to get things done and use their first ideas) and heavy procrastinators (those who wait until the very last second and aren't prepared). People who moderately procrastinate are more creative and the extra time allows for them to think in nonlinear ways. Their ideas are incubating in the back of their minds, but they are still open to an endless range of possibilities.

They are full of doubts.
Warby Parker's founders all had backup plans and jobs lined up, which is not assuring to investors. Grant classified doubt in two different categories: self-doubt and idea doubt. The first is paralyzing, but the second is energizing. Original thinkers doubt their ideas in order to test, experiment, alter, and improve. They're not confident that a single way is the only way; they want to push boundaries and concepts to make them better.

They're afraid.
Original thinkers, like everyone else, are afraid of failing, but they're even more afraid to try. Grant used a familiar phrase "our biggest regrets are not our actions but our inactions." Bach, Beethoven, Mozart: they all had created hundreds of compositions before landing on their now famous pieces. In the end, people generally don't remember someone's plethora of bad ideas, but the one that stuck and became something great.

If you want to think outside the box, put yourself in the shoes of original thinkers and adapt some degree of their habits. Being slow to start can result in boosting creativity, you can turn doubt and fear into motivators, and you can succeed more than you thought possible.