Merriam-Webster defines ingenious as “marked by originality, resourcefulness, and cleverness in conception or execution.” I know I’ve seen something ingenious when it makes me think, ”I wish I had thought of that!” or when there is a particular elegance to a creation. We can all improve our ingenuity by practicing looking at things with a fresh eye. Doing brainteasers (like matchstick puzzles or river crossing puzzles) can help you “think outside of the box” — an important quality for ingenuity.
Another critical part of ingenuity is giving your ideas time and space to incubate. How often have you solved a knotty problem with an “aha” moment in the shower or even in your sleep? That’s because you were giving your creative brain space to make important connections. It can be difficult to provide that space when you’re under pressure or a deadline… but that’s precisely when you need to make the time!
This week’s Challenge: This week, I will pause to give my ideas time to incubate and I will watch to see what insights emerge!
Avoiding being Eccentric (overuse): It’s one thing to have resourceful and clever ideas, but if overused, ingenuity becomes eccentricity. Being eccentric isn’t a problem in and of itself, other than it creates a barrier for your ideas to be given due consideration. Just like all other overused character strengths, it’s OK (and sometimes beneficial) to overuse ingenuity every once in awhile; it’s just when you are eccentric to often — or too extremely — when others may dismiss your ideas.
Commendable Trait: Ingenious
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