Almost everyone looks up to the great innovators of the world. To name a few you, here’s a list of some of the most innovative people to ever live: Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, the Wright Brothers, Nikola Tesla... Whether it be inventing new technologies, allowing man to conquer the skies, or mastering new fields of science; these individuals were able to change the world by pursuing the unknown. But what exactly made these people so innovative? While these individuals didn’t all work in the same fields and certainly didn’t work in the same time periods, they share a set of traits or characteristics which set them apart. Here are what I believe to be the 3 characteristics which set these innovators apart:
- Desire for perfection. Innovative people are obsessed with perfection. Many innovators have even been noted as being impatient when it comes to acquiring exemplary results. Everyone craves ideal result, but innovative people take this to new extremes. One of the characteristics which truly separates innovators apart is their inability to give up. Just because you will pursue your passion or vision regardless of the time, energy, or resources required doesn’t make you innovative though. There are other necessary characteristics to be considered an innovator. However, this trait is a substantial piece of the puzzle for understanding what makes an innovative thinker tick.
- Far from ordinary. If you have followed the life of any great thinker, you would realize that these types of individuals are anything but normal. In fact, you might even think that these people make it a point to not be normal. Just look at Albert Einstein’s hair, he clearly didn’t care what ANYONE else had to think. That’s basically what it boils down to, innovative people just do not care what anyone else has to say about them. If you think that the Wright Brothers approach to the invention of the airplane was socially accepted, you’ve got it all wrong. The difference with innovators is that they know what people say about them, and pursue their dreams anyways.
- Tireless work ethic. This may be the most obvious characteristic of the three, but it may be the most important of them all. Those who possess the ability to innovate have the ability to work on their craft for anywhere between hours to days on end. When an innovator is on the verge of a break through or creating something truly spectacular, time spent becomes a non-factor. Innovators have lost sleep, skipped meals, even lost friends due to the amount of time spent honing a craft or chasing a desired result.
Does this mean you have to do all of these things to become an innovator? Not exactly, but I’m sure that it wouldn’t hurt either.