“Originals embrace the uphill battle, striving to make the world what it could be. Becoming original is not the easiest path in the pursuit of happiness, but leaves us perfectly poised for the happiness of pursuit.” Amen to THAT!
An another amazing book by Adam Grant, author of Give and Take. What I love best about books like this is how they give us a vocabulary to talk about concepts with which we are familiar but which are not easily condensed into shorthand terms we recognize.
“Pioneers & Settlers” contrasts the benefits of being first with being better. “Being original doesn’t require being first. It just means being different and better.”
“Young Geniuses & Old Masters” contrasts conceptual thinkers who may peak early with experimental thinks who may bloom late. There is no formula for being original.
There is also a fair amount of time spent on procrastination. And it’s not all bad! “Procrastination may be the enemy of productivity, but it can be a resource for creativity.” He goes on to outline examples of those who have used procrastination effectively, including Leonardo Da Vinci (the Mona Lisa and Last Supper) and Martin Luther King, Jr. as it relates to his “I Have a Dream” speech. “Procrastination turns out to be a common habit of creative thinkers and great problem solvers.
One of the most remarkable sections of this book is titled “The Narcissism of Small Differences” and went into a deep dive about the Suffragist Movement from 1855 to 1918. Grant examined the hurdles faced by the early pioneers – Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They were together, then splintered, aligning themselves with other advocates and movements. It was a tumultuous period and a history we need to understand. Such “small differences” are felt within groups – not nearly so strongly between disparate groups. Coalitions, collaborations and alliances are critical to movements and seismic change and we have to recognize how to align interests and groups to be more effective.Read More