- Write it down. The old saying “If it’s not on paper, it’s vapor” is very true for me. I have the occasional good idea (mostly at night), but if I don’t write it down right away, I’ll never remember it.
- Bloom where you’re planted. As a former military brat who moved, on average annually, I’ve seen people thrive in less-than-perfect places and people struggle in beautiful places. It’s all about accepting where you are (geographically or otherwise) and making the best of it.
- Don’t just think outside the box, but realize that there is no box. “The way we’ve always done it” might just not be the best way to keep doing it. But, at the same time, don’t just change for the sake of changing; make sure that the change is well thought out.
- Try something different—read a book from a different genre than what you normally read, listen to a different type of music, watch a foreign or independent film.
- Surround yourself with smart, creative people….and listen to them. The best ideas usually come through collaboration.
- Give yourself permission to make mistakes. It’s hard to be innovative if you are constantly afraid of doing something wrong. Don’t look at mistakes as failures, but as opportunities to learn.
- And, my favorite one (which probably explains why it was common to each of the lists that I found) is to stop trying to be someone else’s idea of perfect. Don’t be an incomplete copy of someone else, but be the absolute best version of you.