“Great minds don’t think alike. They think different.” – My daughter
We were outside coloring when my daughter, out of nowhere, dropped this truth bomb. I asked where she heard that, but instead of citing a source she explained her reasoning. Basically, all the great minds she learns about in school are still relevant today because their ideas were unique, creative, and original. Thinking differently is what made those minds great.
I’ve heard quotes like that before, so whether she saw it on a poster or learned it through osmosis, doesn’t matter. What matters is that she’s absolutely right.
A couple things hit me in that moment. First, who is this kid? Her mind was drifting somewhere while coloring and moving in a direction I never would have guessed. But that’s the beautiful thing about child-like wonder. It’s boundless, indiscriminate, and free-flowing. It’s not tethered down to whatever is happening in that moment, yesterday, or tomorrow. There seems to be a constant big-picture perspective allowing a seamless jump from deep realizations to corny dad jokes.
This was a great reminder of how important it is to allow our minds wander. Time spent outside-the-box is never time wasted, even if nothing comes of it.
Then I started thinking about all the projects we have going on at work, and how every single one of them would benefit from a “great minds think differently” perspective. I thought about the value in allowing time each day for removing thought boundaries and exploring what’s possible rather than what’s practical.
As parents and business leaders, I believe it’s on us to encourage this type of thinking. By encouraging new ideas that push limits and challenge norms, we’re helping great minds grow and evolve.
Today, I’m setting aside some time to let my mind wander. I probably won’t replicate my daughter’s “great minds” moment, but just getting in the habit will do a lot of good. I encourage you to do the same because new ideas are usually found in new places.