What do all heroes have in common?
Two words: courageous mindset.
The heroes we revere and the creative visionaries who change the world have a mindset that allows them to push beyond their fears.
They have the courage to try, fail, and keep trying, realizing that failure is only feedback for the next step.
Extraordinary people realize that limits are not static. Every time we push past a limit, we set a new one. You can see this in sports, in science, and in technology. What is a limit today is not a limit tomorrow.
To push beyond the limits and be courageous yourself, consider these strategies of visionary creative thinkers.
How To Be Brave
1. Embrace trial and error.
To pursue success in a new business or any creative endeavor demands that you take risks and be willing to learn from your mistakes.
Unfortunately, most people are not willing to do this work. In fact, we have been indoctrinated from the time we were born into thinking that the worst thing we can do is make a mistake.
Creative visionaries don’t see mistakes this way. A great example is Steve Jobs, visionary founder of Apple.
Jobs saw the enormous potential for using an existing technology, the graphical user interface, to create a new kind of electronic device: the personal computer.
But after a few years, Jobs resigned over disputes with management and left to found his own software company, NeXT.
Apple struggled in his absence with failed products, monetary losses, and stock declines. Then in 1997, Apple bought NeXT and brought back Jobs.
Using software Jobs developed at NeXT, Apple created the Mac operating system and blazed the way for a series of products that have totally revolutionized how we interact with technology.
Through it all, Jobs and Apple embraced trial and error—and look what happened.
2. Learn through adversity.
During tough times, where others might give up, courageous people keep trying new ideas and combinations until they find what works.
A great example of learning through adversity was the 1970 Apollo 13 mission. While in route to the moon, the spacecraft experienced an electrical short, a fire, and an explosion in an oxygen tank. The blast crippled the service module, the part of the spacecraft built to carry and sustain the astronauts on their trip to and from the moon.
The crew was forced to tackle a host of problems, including limited power, loss of heat, a shortage of water, and a build-up of carbon dioxide, all beneath the looming question: would they make it home alive?
Mission commanders realized that the only way to keep the astronauts alive was to use the lunar module, the craft designed for landing on the moon, for life support on the return journey.
That meant they could not turn around, but would have to continue on to the moon and use the gravity of lunar orbit to propel the spacecraft back to earth.
Using ingenuity under extreme pressure, the crew and flight controllers adapted systems aboard the spacecraft to allow the astronauts to survive and return to Earth. They removed failure as an option and methodically explored options until they found ones that worked. In the process, they pushed the limits of themselves and their spacecraft.
How you respond to adversity often depends on your ability to think creatively. Creative visionaries do not allow hardships to derail them.
Instead, they respond to adversities as challenges and find the learning that comes through grace under pressure.
3. Identify your path and allow your path to choose you.
Most people follow the conventions of society and chase what everyone else seems to be chasing.
For instance, rather than discovering what truly stirs their own passion, they go after the career they think will earn the most money or has the most prestige, all the while thinking that these things are the key to happiness.
Related: 6 Ways To Become Happy
Visionary thinkers have a different driving force.
Steve Jobs, for instance, was compelled by his passion to create the ultimate customer experience for Apple users. He saw that the future was about giving people a more personalized experience with technology. The company’s huge financial success is a result of his passion to change the way we interact with technology.
If you are a creative thinker who wants to make a difference, you must identify your purpose. Often, that process takes years. Your purpose finds you when you are ready and willing to accept it.
To be courageous and help your purpose find you, ask yourself what you want to change in the world and where you can use your creative gifts to make a difference. Follow your passion, and it will lead to your purpose.
4. Prepare for success.
Change happens in an instant. But it can take years to prepare for that one instant.
Creative visionaries and innovators typically prepare for years to make advances that change the world.
When disaster struck Apollo 13, the astronauts and engineers were ready because they had been preparing all along for success. They had planned for many scenarios and trained their minds to accept nothing less than success.
Once they removed failure as a possible outcome, they were able to focus their full creativity on the task of returning safely to Earth.
Steve Jobs’ whole life was about preparing for the opportunity to succeed. He knew his purpose and passion and he embraced trial and error as the path to making his dreams a reality. He could see nothing but success, and that allowed no room for defeat.
To be courageous is to commit fully to learning and growing through trial and error, adversity, and the inevitable setbacks. When you prepare for success through every difficulty and every opportunity, you will achieve great things.
Samuel P. “Pat” Black III (Pat Black), author of Cracking the Flourishing Code and founder of visionary businesses and philanthropic organizations, aims to create an environment where today’s unconventional thinkers can thrive. One of his groundbreaking companies include HERO Bx, LLC one of the largest biodiesel manufacturers in the Northeast. He’s building “The Flourish Summit” to give communities tools, spaces, and programs nonconformist leaders will use to find solutions to today’s most pressing challenges.
Image by Bazzerio