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The surprising habits of original thinkers | Adam Grant

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How do creative people come up with great ideas? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies "originals": thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world. In this talk, learn three unexpected habits of originals — including embracing failure. "The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they're the ones who try the most," Grant says. "You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones." TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate Follow TED news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tednews Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector
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Text Comments (2677)
Say Say's Kitchen (1 day ago)
can you be thinking for 40 years.
RAVIKANTH ANDHAVARAPU (3 days ago)
Why am I being discussed in the ted talk :P
Pere Vilalta (4 days ago)
your're all thinking that you are creative while watching this hahaah. Take that smile off your face burh
8:37 it doesn't matter what was first, it matters what's better
Dick Martino (5 days ago)
I'm unemployed and have some amazing ideas. Agree with browser. Chrome just gives what you want quicker and more often. You've got to be comfortable with people not liking you, in fact that is part of being original.
Austin Burrow (6 days ago)
6:12 - 7:19 Also, I've heard Lincoln was writing the Gettysburg Address on the train to the site".. 🚆📜..
Austin Burrow (6 days ago)
6:09 "You call it procrastinating, I call it thinking".. 😁👍..
Arcturus Black (6 days ago)
blablabla his arguments are very weak
heartbeatpoetry (6 days ago)
Relevant: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f84n5oFoZBc This guy created his own programming language btw
Brian Smith (6 days ago)
Then I am an original...and I agree
Brandon Mullins (7 days ago)
Great TED Talk. I am a procrastinator... Same as him. Spent my early morning playing games like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy III (USA), Zelda, Banjo Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, and many other great games. It's helped me develop an artistic skill and in return now am working on my own game. It's taken many years in the making, but it's a passion I've found. Something I one day want to do professionally, given the chance to go to college. My point is I believe in this kind of thinking, and it's given me a new outlook on my own path.
JAMES JAMMA ANDERSON (8 days ago)
Outside the box ....= nothing is beyond your limits 🙏
Lenon Borja (8 days ago)
Don't forget: BE AWESOME! Our goal at Habitgrams is to help you take hard behaviors in life like eating right, working out, or just being kind to your spouse and transform them into true habits that you can repeat with consistency and keep up indefinitely. You have changes you want to make in your life, and we build tools to help you. Visit habitgrams.com
ShamelessMan (8 days ago)
Did anyone else think it was strange how he kept talking about people who improved on others' ideas, and yet he called them originals?
Bruno G (8 days ago)
8:03 happens because the first people are encountering a market that does not exist. It is normal for improvers or second movers to succeed as the market is set and there is a set demand for the product.
NeverForget1776 (8 days ago)
Whats interesting in most corporate environments promote just the opposite of everything Adam is saying that Original Thinkers do/act. Original thinkers are often viewed and treated by management as not being "Team Players".
Amy V (9 days ago)
This is everything! I’ve come to believe all of this as a creative. So much truth. Thank you.
Dani the Girl (9 days ago)
taaaaks finny
Abdulelah Fallatah (9 days ago)
Google Chrome user here.
Innocent Sanders (10 days ago)
this is going in my TEDx hall of fame
Ingrid Weiner (10 days ago)
Zsatz szooo szweet
Sasja Wolters (11 days ago)
THEY USED THE INSTANT GRATIFICATION MONKEY AND PANIC MONSTER I'M-
Bruce Bruno (11 days ago)
MBTI types line up with authentic original people, and a form of procrastination. I, being INFJ, a lot of the time seem like I'm in failure to launch mode, but in reality I am previewing the goal from every angle I can. That way when I get started I have thought of everything, and more. It's as if I want to master something before ever starting it. That way everything goes smoothly, and I have time to be creative while doing what I am doing. Procrastinating beforehand also allows me to be creative then. I switch in and out of critical and creative thinking using both hemispheres of my brain. Getting stuck in one or the other would be the far ends of the curve. The "sweet spot" in the middle is where I am using both hemispheres switching back and forth. Doing this may SEEM to lead you of track, but it always comes around full circle incorporating new ideas. Hope this helps someone!
nilton61 (12 days ago)
What crap
Paul Lukes (12 days ago)
This is really on point. As a graphic designer who's tasked with creating compelling original work regularly, I can say that a lot of this is very true. It's about learning to reel in your doubt and procrastination and getting it to work for you rather than against you. Good stuff.
TheArtist (12 days ago)
There's a difference between procrastination and just simply taking your time...
Noodlin' Nirvana (13 days ago)
Starts with definitional issues.
Miss Kim (13 days ago)
True, but Elon Musk is a fraud. Total fraud.
Nicole Merasty (14 days ago)
Awesome video
Cassie Wash-Bowman (14 days ago)
My novelty is due to me questioning and analyzing EVERYTHING! I accept nothing on face value, I try to find the unfinished ideas driving a machination.
waine dodd (14 days ago)
if it were a bad thing. it would be called Crastination
It's "jamais vu," dude. Maybe "presque vu."
dodadagohuhsgi (14 days ago)
"FAILURE IS THE PRICE OF SUCCESS."--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Adrian Ochsner (15 days ago)
Déjà-vu
Tenebris Fractum (15 days ago)
I guess the fact that I use swr iron as my browser means Im a goddamn snowflake
Tushar Girotra (16 days ago)
Exactly, I have my exam tomorrow and I am procrastinating at the moment watching this video.
Alan (16 days ago)
My experience is that a relax mind tends to wander and lots of unrelated ideas will pop up out of nowhere, that's creativity. When your mind is busy, stressed or panic, it freezes. This might explain why procrastinated people tend to be more creative. In fact, I would argue that the chronic procrastinated people are even more creative, they just didn't catch and materialize those ideas which disappeared as fast as they came.
TheMarmite09 (17 days ago)
He just looks like the kind of guy who doesn't procrastinate.
Thijin Bol (17 days ago)
He's my new favorite person 😏 I have a thing for bald headed men 🤷🏿‍♀️
DancingCheese (17 days ago)
Adam Grant: The guy that talks about smart people without filing himself under that title. A true hero
KT Four (17 days ago)
I'm procrastinating right now. this is awesome.
the shuriken (17 days ago)
if you watch this you are not original thinker. bye
YOUSUF ZAFAR (18 days ago)
This reassured me of my ways
RGB_RAO (18 days ago)
Aside: The "I have a dream" phrase that MLK Jr. used came because Mahalia Jackson cried out to him, ""Tell them about the dream, Martin!" ~ King was really good at improvising and so he took it and improvised on the spot and the rest is history.
Jonathan Vezinat (19 days ago)
that nintendo news article was hilarious
Faolon Spahl (20 days ago)
What if you use the default to get to the better option without downloading it?
Independent Mind (20 days ago)
Who decided that Beethoven and Mozart are more great than Bach. That’s “original” to say the least.
Marquis De Sade (21 days ago)
Genius is not originality but synthesis.
Miles Asher (22 days ago)
I HAVE THIS WHOLE NEW WORLD INSIDE MY HEAD, I'M SO SCARED TO PUT IT IN A NOVEL, OOOOOH MAAAAN HERE GOES, IM SO SCARED BUT HERE GOES, IT'S VERY DIFFERENT VERY NEW AND A TOTALLY ORIGINAL NEW THING, STILL SCARED BUT HOPE THIS NOVEL BECOMES AN ORIGINAL SERIES
Mark Crawford (22 days ago)
I was taught in design school that your first idea is usually the worst idea..
ROVE city (22 days ago)
i got a shock when i watch the video half way and saw the name Adam Grant, his book Originals is my first ever book to ever finish reading.
Ahmad Khan Films (23 days ago)
One of the best TED talks, to the point and informative. well done.
Umbrium (23 days ago)
Thanks for the video. I will post a comment later.
Anthony Larson (25 days ago)
You can't evolve as a Man without making mistakes
Ivy Lee (26 days ago)
I'm so envious of pre-crasinators
scikick (27 days ago)
One of the best talks I've watched in a loooong time!!
uKnow (27 days ago)
I would not call it "thinking" I would call it cooking. I don't want to try I don't want to do anything accept ****** don't care to be original don't care to be extra ordinary don't really care to be anything don't strive for anything that will generate small fame of how you are glorious because really the light bulk guy is not anyone special he just did what he was made to do by God Himself.
uKnow (27 days ago)
Steve Job was a disgusting person I can't stand him and glad to say I never ever will purchase APPLE PRODUCT ever disgusting! apple is a rip off as well!
m l (27 days ago)
this is crap
Dankus Memus 3000 (29 days ago)
You shouldnt like edison he was a fraud and imorak
Ivan P (29 days ago)
I consider myself very original when i buy pizza with pineapple
JackThatMonkey (30 days ago)
Guy looks like Johnny Sins
JackThatMonkey (30 days ago)
"Plans are useless, but planning is everything" I finally get it now. Good TED talk
10 cylinders SON (30 days ago)
Wow I thought he was gay. Guess new generation is getting more and more feminine
J Bones (30 days ago)
I passed my tests by studying on the way to my tests or three days before if I really needed the time. Averaged between 75% to 95% on my scores.
Savior (1 month ago)
Originals
Great Spirit (1 month ago)
Forget not the original problem in the search for (a quick?) solutions in a jungle of options.
Darren Fenton (1 month ago)
Nope ...... mahalia jackson was with M l king ....and told him .. tell them about your dream . History was made thanks to M Jackson (a movement singer.)
WhiteTreeRightful (1 month ago)
14:01 "You may be wondering, how did this guy become great without doing a whole lot?" Because Wagner wrote a literally 15 hour, 4 part opera and tons of other giant works, so he still didn't really violate the rule that Grant layed out.
sfincione2000 (1 month ago)
Hate to say it but his voice is quite annoying. It's artificially high and low (probably coaching). He sounds like a politician who's voice goes UP at the start of the sentence and down at the end. He constantly sounds anxious too.
Maryam Mm (1 month ago)
the funny thing is am really procrastinating while watching this
dreamlume (1 month ago)
some people need procrastination for motivation, it sounds contradictory but i am that way and let me explain. i am unable to measure time accurately nor realistically, and i unfortunately do not have an instilled sense of urgency, therefore i have to do what i have to do to function in this world where you need to be punctual in order to be a contributing member of society. when i am presented with a deadline, or say when i set up a date&time to meet someone, i have enough common sense to know the importance and detriment of committing myself to completing those (sometimes) daunting tasks within the limits of said timeframe. I do not understand the concept of time, and as a child i also didn’t understand the dire necessity to be punctual in order to progress in life. Early on, I was often in trouble at school for turning in work & projects late or just flat out never turning them in, as well as being late to my classes. the teachers lectured me about the problems i would have in the future if i continued that pattern of behavior, not to mention the great deal of issues i was already having because of these. at that age, i heard what they were saying but did not have the capacity to understand the implications of their words. the future was an unfathomable concept and i did not have the means to plan ahead or ‘care’ about my school work, because i had a mental block preventing me from being able to comprehend the true reality, the significance of time and the ability to gauge it. i wanted to be a good kid and make good grades, i respected my teachers and they often told me i had potential because i absorbed the content and put forth the effort in class to do work, but would not turn in my homework or complete projects. i didn’t enjoy disappointing my parents and teachers with my low grades. basically, when the subject at hand was not tangible, like when i am home and not being made to think about it, the matter simply didn’t exist to me. therefore when i went home everyday from school, i was so in my head and crucially distracted by my immediate surroundings/stimulus that school was like another plane of existence, robot mode. robot mode was something that had to be triggered by the setting i was in, a trance like state for coping with school and avoiding punishments, it was nothing i could induce on my own, as i was never studious, i just wanted to create and thrive in an environment where i felt like i belong. so as i matured, after years of conditioning and trying to force myself to accept and attempt comprehending the importance of punctuality, i have developed a way of coping and working to overcome the issues i experience. deadlines are my best friend and worst enemy, when they are presented to me i keep them in mind because they are my driving force. until said due date i will store it away for later, the existence of my task will dissipate along with my stress and anxiety about having to do it. i will gauge how much time i need to complete my task depending on the intricacies required and i will begin from 2 days before, up to the nite before i must have something to show for myself. i will specifically dedicate those predetermined days to my task, rather than working on it in segments through my time limit. this way, the pressure, anticipation, and stress will push me through to completion. it’s a phenomenon, rly. i get a burst of urgency, work diligently, i’m attentive to detail. i have to be thorough and creative as to make the project of quality and so it doesn’t appear rushed because procrastination is frowned upon and procrastinators know this, so often times they will be the ones with more intricate work as they do not want to seem irresponsible/unprofessional, because procrastination is associated with laziness, carelessness, etc. when in reality, lazy people are indeed procrastinators, but not all people who procrastinate are lazy/careless in their work, but rather they need the rush of anticipation or the fear of consequence/embarrassment in order to actually start on and finish a task. regardless of how/why someone chooses to be punctual, the fact is that as long as they do what is necessary of them & make the decision to be where they need to when they are obligated, more power to them & great things can come from it.
Richard Taylor (1 month ago)
I was going to comment on this when I first saw it, but decided to do it now instead.
Bradley Johnson (1 month ago)
I am a creative professional with a lot of success who never procrastinates. I think this is BS.
Prabhjyot Kaur (1 month ago)
This is so fucking AWESOME!!😂😂👍
Geges G (1 month ago)
if you pick Edison and Jobs for your original thinkers models, you clearly fall as the Safari browser type.
Hritik Vijay (1 month ago)
"Original people." Hmm...
Keshav Roopnah (1 month ago)
thanks, now i just want to relax and wait until the last week of submission for my final year project to start working on it!!
Gurjinder Kaur (1 month ago)
First time not feeling a crap for being a procrastinator
William Rice (1 month ago)
Wagner was a master procrastinator--took him like 9 years to finish the ring cycle
Europa Man (1 month ago)
What about Martin Luther ? The European Revolution was unleashed onto the globe when the Catholic Church was displaced by science. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted people to be judged on their character, not their race. Only sixty years later, we are formally judging everyone on their race. But he was a fake and plagiarizer that was allowed to pass on account of his race.
Raven Anklam (1 month ago)
What if you use something other than Firefox or Chrome?
When you've been doing all of these things instinctively. Feels Good.
Great information
Tim Roberts (1 month ago)
Great presentation
Eritrea Constantino (1 month ago)
10:10 but i use chrome and safari
GREY E CAT (1 month ago)
Your "wife", wink, wink. :)
Kam :/ (1 month ago)
I really love the connection between his talk and the “Inside the Mind of a Procrastinator” talk that went right before him, beautiful way of transitioning topics.
jmitterii2 (1 month ago)
Part of investing is massive gambling anyway. You can find the same late to the party folks. And they fail. It's random for the most part... what does correlate, can they find access to capital... do they know influential people? Can they get law behind them to bring law suit against competitors... Apple did this to an extreme... then there's those that keep law suits at bay, like Goolge which has tons of money to fight law suits defending Youtube... if a smaller capitalized entity had youtube it would be relegated to literally posting home videos... forget about using the legal "fair use".
Brendon Gugg (1 month ago)
I assume Wagner did it by finishing compositions in his head. I do this with my art work. Within a very short period of time, and very little paintings, I have achieved a high level of painting. I will sort out a ton of designs, compositions etc.. and pick out ones that I feel have potential. I can sort through variations of that fairly quickly just by picturing the finished product. Then I stop at nothing to achieve that image, making necessary alterations as I see fit during the painting process. I will repaint parts many times over until I get it to where it needs to be, not settling for anything less than perfection.
Rishita Loitongbam (1 month ago)
He kind of looks like Olaf
Nouer Uz-Zaman (1 month ago)
i am a precrastinator when i was at uni i, i set a record to finishing undergrad dissertation/thesis in the fastest time (4 months before the due deadline), but i submitted it later (slowly finishing it) but there was few guys/girls who lieterally started it a month before the deadline ( i mean start from cractch) and got higher marks than me, at point i thought they were just more clever than me, but now to think of it, after finishing my first proper draft i became comfortable and was not really being creative!
Rokto Korobi (1 month ago)
https://youtu.be/-kuk59G93Uo
thinkulum (1 month ago)
Take that, Cult of Done!
cadence villamor (1 month ago)
You said people who fail often are more likely to be successful...Are you telling me to fail so I can succeed???
Ryan Jonas (1 month ago)
Forwarding this to all of my teachers when papers are due
Sharon Bush (1 month ago)
Great talk! I learned a lot from watching.
Hailee Beiler (1 month ago)
Anybody else's Google activate around the 8:20 mark?
Juan Casas (1 month ago)
Hey lets take some bullshit features that fits everyone, put them in fake statics to give a motivational speech.
Zech Todd (1 month ago)
I like how his shoes match the Ted logo

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