The Curse Of Being Innovative

Innovators are oftentimes glorified, and seen as visionaries that take humanity to the next level. Think Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg and all the things they have done to advance the human race – from changing the way we interact with people to the way we travel the world. But is innovation really as sexy as we perceive it to be?

We tend to be too engrossed with the glamorous side of innovation that we fail to see that it is a double-edged sword. We feel blessed to be living in a world filled with innovation but oftentimes forget the sacrifices required to obtain it.

So is innovation really a blessing? Or is it curse? You be the judge.

This article aims to assist individuals in understanding the demands of innovation and the mindset shifts required to become more innovative. Below you’ll find the 3 key sacrifices needed for innovation to blossom (along with some of my survival tips).
1. Divine discontentment. Be in constant pursuit.

The struggle is real. The biggest sacrifice of an innovator is the ability to truly be happy with the final product. Innovators are serial over-thinkers that go out of their way to prove why things don’t work. It is this exact mindset that allows them to find gaps in ideas and provide solutions that are sometimes unimaginable by others.

Innovation in itself is the act of constantly searching for better ways of doing things. It is an eternal pursuit of something unattainable: perfection. So how do we create a belief that it is okay to never be content? We focus on the thrill of the chase, the joy of the journey, and the security of knowing that we will never be able to achieve perfection.

2. Sacrifice mastery. Be the jack of all trades.

In order to innovate you’ve got to be non-discriminatory towards knowledge. What this means is trying your level best to keep yourself interested in various fields to see the unexpected connections that experts don’t. Contrary to popular belief, being too well-versed in a subject matter can actually limit your ability to innovate.

Fall in love with data. Develop a passion for knowledge and information, because that is the only passion you can have as an innovator. It will help you see the invisible connections between seemingly disparate pieces of information.

3. Kill routine. Embrace the unknown.

Innovation is a battle. It is a constant pursuit of something unheard of. There will be skeptics; people will doubt you and you might never achieve your vision. But people with innovative mindsets are okay with that, they relish living in the unknown and the uncomfortable. They know that nothing great ever happens when we do things within our comfort zones.

Embrace failure and shift your mindset to see failure as opportunities to learn and grown. Fear of failure is the number one reason why people don’t try new experiences. Remember that not trying is as good as failing. Opportunities come knocking all the time, maybe it could be as simple as saying yes more often?

In short, innovation is demanding. It asks its disciples to devote their time, happiness and well-being in its endless pursuit. Yes, innovation is great – it can change lives and impact the way we see and experience the world. It enables us to go places we never thought we could go to and achieve things that we’ve never achieved before, but it demands devotion and sacrifice.
It isn’t easy knowing that in the pursuit of innovation, you will be succumbing to the idea of never being content, comfortable or even certain. But the journey will leave you in awe of the things you can achieve when you’re willing to make those sacrifices. So is innovation a curse? Absolutely, but it’s a curse I embrace as I become a better version of myself in this eternal pursuit of perfection.