"The Innovative Mindset"

Originally Published on Feb 15, 2017

In sports, you cannot teach speed. Speed is innate. You can work on your acceleration. You can work on your strength. But speed is a valuable skill that cannot be taught. It’s either you have it, or you don’t. This is the same for having an innovative mind-state. It is something that you are born with. It is where true genius is created. It is nurtured from an early age. Innovators live a very non-linear lifestyle; they exist outside comfort zone. In this article, I will give you four habits of innovators.

1. Innovators Do Not Have A Kanye Persona!

People that think with an innovative mind-state have their egos in check. Innovators understand that the world does not revolve around them. There is no Kanye persona at all! Being an innovator comes from being a leader, and yes, most leaders do have a stronger sense of self than the average person. But, innovators do not allow their ego to blind them from their actual reality. Your worst enemy can be yourself, and innovators understand this. When you have efforts to build as a creative, a lot of times you can allow your ego to get the best of you. Anyone with a true innovative mind-state knows how to “check themselves before they wreck themselves,” like the wise prophet, Ice Cube said over thirty years ago.

2. Never A Master — Always A Student — Forever Evolvin’

When you become a master of something, you have a sense that you can no longer learn anything new about that subject. This is where complacency starts to leak into your life. Complacency is like that annoying ass in-law that overstays their welcome in your home; you must not allow them to get too comfortable! Innovators always are looking to evolve. You can ask Tom Brady if he feels like he’s a master of the NFL, and I’m pretty sure he’ll tell you that he is always looking to evolve his game to stay on top. Once you feel like you are a master of your craft, and there’s nothing else you can learn from it, you are leaving yourself open for someone else to take your top spot. There is no room for complacency when you are an innovator.

Complacency is like that annoying ass in-law that overstays their welcome in your home; you must not allow them to get too comfortable!

3. Iconoclast

Average people look to fit in. They follow all of the rules. They do not look to disrupt the status-quo. When you think from an innovative mind-state, you could give a fuck less what anyone thinks about you. As an innovator, you could give a fuck less about following all of the rules. Fitting in looks boring as hell to you! It takes a lot of balls to be bold enough to think for yourself! It takes a lot of balls to jump off the ledge to create a business, artwork, product, app, etc. that breaks down barriers. Iconoclasts are innovators by definition.

Being an innovator has nothing to do with inventing something brand new. Being an innovator is all about introducing new ideas. Originality is a lost art, and innovators understand this. Whether the outside world understands what you are working on in the infantile stages of your work or not does not matter to innovators. But, when the finished product is done and those say doubters say, “HOLY SHIT” is all that matters. Being an iconoclast is not easy, but as a person with an innovative mind-state, it is vital!

4. Obsession Is Not A Dirty Word!

Obsession, to most people is a dirty word. To someone that comes from an innovative mind-state, obsession is a daily habit. Being obsessed with being better every single day is second-nature to an innovator. While the average make excuses for not getting their dream projects finished, innovators do not make excuses for themselves. Innovators understand that there is no such thing as overnight success. Innovators are okay with taking it day-by-day to get their work finished to the best of their abilities. There’s no microwave mindset with innovative people! If there’s anything you want in life, you have to become obsessed with getting better as a human being in order to obtain what you want.

If you like this article & you would like to hear about the other three habits of people with an innovative mind-state, check out “The Innovative Mind-State” episode of my podcast, “Kevin Hates Hip-Hop.”