Being an inventor isn’t easy. Getting lost in your mind while you germinate on a brilliant idea and develop an amazing product, sounds like something only a crazy person does. And let’s be honest, you do have to be a little crazy—in the best way—to be an inventor.
Since the process of invention can be so mentally intensive and trying—for example, Thomas Edison went through thousands of experiments before creating the light bulb—motivation can be hard to come by after a while. So, how do you stay motivated as an inventor?
We’ve collected seven of our favorite tips for motivation, so you can stay focused and on track to invent like a genius.
It’s not enough to want to invent something. That won’t keep you motivated. Instead, you need to have a goal, vision, or mission that you can put your focus on. This personal mission statement becomes the direction for your life, and a promise to yourself, your invention, and your family.
Your mission statement can be as unique as you are. Whatever it is, we recommend writing it down and keeping it somewhere in your office, laboratory, or workspace, so you can read it everyday for extra motivation when you need it most. Need some help coming up with ideas? Check out these 13 personal mission statements from CEOs.
Inventing doesn’t happen in a bubble, and you can’t succeed without a plan for success. A plan helps you figure out how to execute your vision and dream. It also helps you to look into the future.
Your plan should include both short-term and long-term goals. For example, at first, your plan might just include goals such as spending three hours a day working on your invention. In the long-term, those goals will need to change to things such as creating a fully functional prototype, getting a patent, and selling your product.
It might sound ridiculous and cheesy, but affirmations work. Research shows that self-affirming words can lower stress hormones in our brains. Sometimes all you need is a note or recording telling you that, “You can do it” and “Keep at it.” The key is to mix up your affirmations often. As humans, we quickly adapt to anything that we consider “normal,” so, for the most successful affirmations, you’re going to want to change what you tell yourself on a regular basis.
Think of it this way, how do you feel when someone tells you “good job?” Do you suddenly feel more motivated to keep going and work harder? Affirmations take away the need for outside feedback and put you in charge of your own motivation.
Spending all day, every day in your garage with your toolbox is a sure fire way to run out of motivation. There’s not a lot of inspiration to be found in your regular workspace. So, when you need a boost, take some time to go out and get inspired. Go for a hike in nature. Visit a museum. Read a book. Whatever you need to do to get your creative juices flowing and to find your motivation, do it. And don’t let this inspirational time make you feel guilty for leaving your work; it’s necessary to open your mind and grow.
Invention doesn’t have to be a lonely process. Wilbur and Orville Wright worked together to create the airplane. Doctors Watson and Crick partnered to build the DNA molecule. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield worked together to create Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Sometimes the best motivation comes from friendship and peer pressure. When you surround yourself with like-minded people, not only do you prevent boredom and loneliness, you find motivation for continuing on your journey.
After a bad day in the office or workshop, motivation can be hard to come across the next morning. That’s why you need to meet each day without baggage from the previous day. You may have made mistakes, you may have failed, things may have gone wrong, but you can you start out each morning with new eyes, ready to take on the world. The difference between successful inventors and those who gave up: true inventors never give up. Train your mind to stay progressive, inquisitive, and hungry.
If you can’t get passionate about where you are right now in your invention process, think about where you could be instead. Would you rather be stuck in a boring office job watching your dream slip away from you?
When you’re tempted to give up and drop the weight of being an inventor, remind yourself about why you started this journey in the first place. You have a dream and a desire to use your talents and creativity to change the world—or at least your small piece of it. Remember where you could be when you struggle with where you are.
Stay motivated, friends. Only you can create the next genius invention and we’re counting on you!
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