I went to church in Des Moines this last weekend, and the sermon was on giving. He talked about a mission trip to Jamaica, and one of the older mission trip members wasn’t comfortable with a couple of the projects (one with handicapped people … he preferred the building/reno projects). On his daughter’s desperate insistence to think outside his box of “comfortable” he reluctantly agreed on the last day to help with this specific mission. The pastor, also on the mission trip, went to this area to see how things were going. He found this older mission trip member helping with a 20-year-old mentally challenged girl, without the use of her arms or legs, in his arms … he was holding her and he was feeding her. Tears were streaming down his face. He was changed as a person.
Innovation doesn’t necessarily mean building a better mousetrap. Innovation, to me, is changing the way you see a problem or project or opportunity … or a weakness. To change your perspective is probably the only way you are able to grow and change.
I use the phrase “thinking outside of the box” a lot.* I talk about living outside of the box and redefining yourself as “all sorts of innovative with open and creative ideas”. Interesting in theory - but we all (because we are human) have fears and limits. Sometimes I find that tough times force me to think differently, and through this - I grow and push my limits. Whatever your self-imposed boundary on whatever problem or limit you’ve given yourself, think of a different way of seeing the situation. You might just change as a person.
*Probably too much. I would venture to guess people are sick of hearing me say this.