Why does it feel like there hasn’t been anything good invented in a really long time? Is that really the case? Are the Da Vinci’s and Tesla’s part of the past? Is everything we need already invented? To answer these questions is not easy. However, we as people tend to oversimplify the word ‘invention’.
What is an invention? Is it something ground-breaking and life-changing or is it simply something new and unknown? Whatever the case may be, it’s obvious that the new inventions are nowhere to be found – at least the good ones. But, why is that? Are we out of brilliant minds that think outside the box and are not afraid to step into the unknown and search for new things?
Well, that’s hardly the case. There will always be innovative minds. Innovation breeds inventions. However, there are some obstacles along the way. Let’s talk about them.
1. Fear Of The Unknown
The dominant and thus the strongest fear of all is that the fear of unknown. By nature, we are programed to love certainty. We feel comfortable when we can guess the outcome. The thing is, the innovation by its nature is characterised by uncertainty. When it comes to innovation, this uncertainty is typically divided into two.
Known unknowns – something that we all know we don’t know. There are risks involved in such situations, but they’ll be calculated and managed with risk management, and that reduces the uncertainty and provides us with quite strong feeling of certainty.
The tricky ones are unknown unknowns – which are those we don’t know that we don’t know. The thing is, you cannot deal with these through risk management, they can only be managed by experimenting and learning. Preparing yourself or anyone else for the unforeseeable is difficult, some would argue even impossible. You’re asked to take a leap and try something without any clue as to what the final result or the outcome might be. You don’t know what’s waiting on the other side.
The fear of the unknown is what creates problems when you have to deal with the uncertainty. And innovating is exploring the unknown, the uncertain. Something unexpected might happen, which could mean you’re onto something new and on the verge of the invention. The thing is, without overcoming the fear of the unknown, we can never cross over and see what’s on the other side and it’s hard to innovate if you aren’t willing to look at what’s on the other side. It all comes down to this – innovating means conquering your fear of the unknown and opening yourself to something new.
Fear Of Failure
The vast majority of us are terrified of making mistakes. We’re taught from a young age that failing is shameful and painful – and that sticks with us for a long time. However, failure is an inevitable a part of invention process. However, that doesn’t mean that failing over and over again will ultimately and certainly lead to new inventions. That is by no means true. However, trying over and over again, in spite of failing, means you’re persistent and willing to learn. Learning from failure is the best way to learn. However, it’s not necessary to fail. Sometimes you can avoid mistakes and failures. Sometimes all you need to do is read more and avoid a few of them. You will find more details on Invent Help, a company that can assist you with your invention and help you overcome certain obstacles.
Fear of failure keeps us from peeking over into the unknown. And as we’ve mentioned earlier, we need to take that step in order to invent. Sometimes the fear is so strong, it paralyses us. It’s normal to experience fear of failure – it can even be helpful sometimes. Unfortunately, as we’ve said, we’re taught from young age, in school, at home – failure isn’t a positive thing.
As we were growing up, we were rewarded for good grades and good behaviour. Failing caused opposite of that. That made us believe that we always have to win, that failure isn’t an option. But, if that’s the motto all of us are living by – how can we ever expect to take a leap? You cannot invent from a comfortable space.
The good thing is – we’ve learned to fear the failure. We can just as easily forget it.
3. Fear Of Risk-Taking
Most people aren’t willing to take a risk and would much rather stick with what they know. It’s understandable to choose the option of predictable outcome, it’s natural. Why would we need something new, if the old one is good enough? We like to play it safe. It’s comforting. If nothing else, knowing the outcome makes us feel in control. If you wish to invent and innovate – you have to forget about being comfortable and predictable. You have to take a risk, be creative and prepared to fail.
Risk-taking is not for everyone. That’s why there are not a lot of inventors and life-changers between us. Not everyone can be what Elon Musk is today, or what Tesla was back in the day. Why is that? It’s probably because we’re not willing to risk it. There is absolutely no chance of creating anything new or innovative if you’re not willing to risk it.
Overcoming risks isn’t easy, but it’s possible. You just have to understand what risk means. If we think about what risk essentially means – it’s something that it’s potentially damaging. In the modern day, this could mean losing money, respect or reputation. Many aren’t willing to risk these three things, which ultimately means there aren’t any new, revolutionary things.
So, what does this all mean? Have we seen the last of inventions? Of course not. Innovation is not an easy process. Inventing is even harder. However, all it takes is someone fearless and creative to create something new. Is it going to be easy? No. It never was. We’re just looking in the past and it seems like it was easy back then because ‘nothing was invented’. That sure seems like it, from today’s perspective. But, they couldn’t have known what the future holds. Most of them also thought the same thing. But a few of brave individuals took a leap of faith and tried to create something new for a better tomorrow.