Adam Grant is the author of this fascinating book titled “Originals: How Non-Conformists move the world”. This book will help readers by not just recognizing their own unique gifts, but also find the courage to challenge conventional wisdom to flourish these gifts in their professional lives.
In the first chapter Grant talks about entrepreneurs and risk taking. He explains that extreme risks aren’t always required to achieve success. It is true that there are inherent risks to being an entrepreneur, however, risks can be balanced by being conservative in different areas. In the real world, entrepreneurs struggle with fear and a lack of confidence (page 7). There is a common conception that entrepreneurs enjoy taking risks, Grant argues that most entrepreneurs work to avoid risks.
Ideas can’t see acceptance if one never shares them. Voicing one’s thoughts and beliefs is the most fundamental components of an original an unique individual. However, when one speaks up at the wrong time, it might cause people to dismiss those ideas. Grant explains that how individuals offer their original thoughts determines whether people are listening (page 73). People will listen an consider one’s words if they admire and respect them as a person. In my professional career, I wanted to express my ideas, yet I was afraid how my idea will be presented to others. What I have learned from this chapter, for people to accept my ideas, I need to be able to present to people who will listen with an open mind.
Being an original person is a challenge. There is some anxiety, fear, discouragement and wide variety of unpleasant emotions. Grant describes the strategies from Psychologist Julie Norman to use when dealing with emotions, the defensiveness of pessimism and the mindset of and the mindset of an optimist (page 213). The key strategy an optimist uses is to centre the attention of the positive side of things. A pessimist considers that everything might go wrong and feels negative emotions when things eventually go wrong. However, Grant explains that pessimists are the ones who find the most success because they consider what may be the worst outcomes and figure out worst case scenarios (Page 214). I consider myself as a pessimist because I feel anxious and stressed out before, but what I found interesting is that it makes me more prepared. How one act’s when these emotions arise is the main method to success. If one act’s like they are not afraid, it can lead to overcoming negative aspects of fear.
My concluding thoughts on this book is truly fascinating. I never felt a book truly speak to me in a way that Grant did. The book inspired me because of how originals grow to become unique individuals with extraordinary ideas to become successful in their professional career.