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Aha! moments aren’t magic, they come to people who have cultivated daily habits of approaching life differently. The backstory behind great ideas is often more winding and complex than having an apple fall on your head.

Teresa Amabile, a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, stated, “The fact is, almost all of the research in this field shows that anyone with normal intelligence is capable of doing some degree of creative work. Creativity depends on a number of things: experience, including knowledge and technical skills; talent; and ability to think in new ways; and the capacity to push through uncreative dry spells.”

A quick summary of all eight habits are:

  1. They look for inspiration in unexpected places. Instead of staying focused within their industries, people who have great ideas look elsewhere.
  2. They make slow decisions. Intelligence increases when you think less.
  3. They find internal motivation. People who have great ideas are motivated to work on something because it is interesting, involving, exciting, satisfying, or personally challenging.
  4. They start from scratch. Instead of improving on an existing item, people with great ideas pretend the product doesn’t exist and they design from scratch.
  5. They are willing to take risks. People need to have courage and bet on his/her idea, take a calculated risk, and act.
  6. They’re always trying new things. Instead of becoming set in your ways, people who have great ideas have formed the habit of trying something different.
  7. They find connections between experiences. Great ideas are often the result of connecting two seemingly unrelated items.
  8. They’re open to magic. Ideas are out there waiting to find the right person who can bring them into life.

As the saying goes, “old habits die hard.”

(via FastCompany)
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