In life, it is essential to be content when it comes to certain things. However, when dealing with innovation, that is far from the case. When an innovator decides they are satisfied with their product or idea, they will be in for an unpleasant surprise. This contentment can be the ultimate enemy of innovation.
Virtue or Enemy of Innovation?
The state of contentment is a state of peace, satisfaction, and acceptance of a situation, outcome, or circumstance. While this sounds great, issues arise when one becomes so content they give up. When people choose contentment, they often avoid any conflicts or challenges. Innovation is all about finding ways to improve things. When an innovator is content with where they are, they develop a false feeling that change is slowing down. This false sense causes the innovator to miss warning signs of an incoming change.
Contentment will lead you to avoid risk and change. The contentment then acts as an innovation antibody. Now you can see how contentment is the enemy of innovation. True innovators are never content with where their products or ideas are. Instead, they are constantly working to improve them.
My Experience with Contentment
During my life, there have been a few times where I fell into a state of contentment. I allowed myself to check out and remain on autopilot. I was satisfied with my successes, but my state of contentment was short-lived. These phases were because of some disruptive shocks that occurred in the world around me at these times. When these changes happened, they shook me up, and my contentment rapidly disintegrated. It was then that I learned how contentment is the enemy of innovation.
Avoiding Innovation Contentment
Here’s what you can do to avoid the enemy of innovation. Firstly, challenge yourself to do things that make you uncomfortable. Try a new hobby, learn a new instrument, play a new sport, etc. This challenge will give you a new perspective and keep you from being stagnant. Secondly, you can change up the way you do things. This change can be simple, like switching up your morning routine or driving a different way to work. Thirdly, you can try some creative muscle exercises.
Start with challenging yourself to come up with five problems that need solving. These can be personal things, work or school-related, things for a non-profit, etc. There will never be a shortage of issues that need solving. Doing these things will keep you creative and alert, avoiding the enemy of innovation known as contentment.
To know more about contentment and why it is the enemy of innovation, listen to this week's show: Contentment: Virtue or Enemy of Innovation?