As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we want to
express our gratitude for you, our phenomenal community of innovators. Your hard
work and great ideas keep us inspired every day! We have so many things to be
thankful for this year—to name just a few, our inventors, new partnerships, and
the return of Everyday Edisons in February
The mother and the
While we’re on the subject, did you know that gratitude can
actually boost innovation? Of course, there is great truth in Plato’s adage that
necessity is the mother of invention, giving us products such as Post-Its and Velcro
that it’s hard to imagine life without. But gratitude might be considered
necessity’s fun aunt, who fosters creativity in a totally different way. Many
studies have shown that cultivating gratitude can make us happier, but did you
know that being happier can also make us more creative?
When we experience negative emotions, all of our energy and
attention is spent managing them. When we feel gratitude, on the other hand, we
enter a calm frame of mind that makes us more receptive to information and able
to consider new possibilities. As Pete
Sulack, the founder of StressRX.com, explains,
When you are grateful, your stress is reduced and you experience positive emotions. These in turn help you remember peripheral details more vividly, think outside of the box, and recognize common themes among random or unassociated ideas. All of this adds up to a more creative response.
The attention in
This Thanksgiving, after you reflect on the people and experiences
for which you are grateful, think about the everyday inventions that make your
life better. You may even come across some
of these products as you prepare the Thanksgiving meal!
When a product makes something you do every day easier and saves
you time, it shows that someone has paid careful attention to a common human activity.
Whoever invented this item didn’t cut corners, didn’t just try to make
something that just looked or sounded novel, but drilled down to ask “what
would really make this experience better, and how can I bring it to fruition?”
It feels like having a conversation with a friend who is
really, really listening.
For me, this invention is thumb holes in running shirts and
jackets. Any time I run in weather under 50 degrees, I am so thankful to the
person who thought to make this small adaptation to athletic clothing. What is
it for you?
While necessity may still remain the primary driver of
invention, don’t underestimate the value of brainstorming your new idea from a
position of gratitude. By recognizing the products or adaptations that have
really addressed a need, you may find more inspiration than you do when thinking
about the need itself.