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The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

Original Content Publication Date: 02/01/2016


Adam Grant highlights the common habits of original thinkers. The first is moderate procrastination which allows for time to think and the free flow of ideas. Original thinkers have more success when they improve others' ideas compared to being the first to market. They focus on idea-doubt instead of self-doubt and fear never trying more than failure. Finally, originals aren't afraid to attempt even if they may fail because sheer volume of attempts bring successes.

Key Points

  • Original thinkers may not fit into the mold or idea that most associate with successful people
  • Moderate levels of procrastination help to generate thoughts and ideas
  • Originals doubt ideas and approaches, not themselves and fear inaction over failure
  • Increasing the volume of attempts and ideas also increases the number of successes

Discussion Questions

  1. Can you think of any more examples of original thinkers who failed before their big success?
  2. How does this knowledge apply to your future?
  3. If you don't think you identify as an 'original thinker,' how can your career benefit from knowing who they are?


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