Shawn Gold
6 min readJan 17, 2020

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist and best-selling author of several books, including Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. Published in 2017, Grant’s book quickly became a #1 New York Tims bestseller and is celebrated by many modern-day creatives and innovators.
The book shows how some of the greatest innovators in the world think, work and come up with ideas. He defines these people as “originals,” the people that don’t only have ideas but take the action to champion them.

“Originals drive creativity and change in the world. They’re the people who you want to bet on,” Grant said in a TED Talk he gave before his book came out.

While Grant looks at several greats, like Leonardo Da Vinci and Martin Luther King Jr., he also shows us all how we can find ways to enhance our creativity, identify ideas that work, and break the status quo by fostering diversity and originality.

“In these pages, I learned that great creators don’t necessarily have the deepest expertise but rather seek out the broadest perspectives. I saw how success if not usually attainted by being ahead of everyone else but by waiting patiently for the right time to act. And to my utter shock, I learned that procrastinating can be good,” Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, writes in the forward to the book.

Below are some key takeaways from Grant’s book that all of us can consider in our personal and work lives.

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Practice vuja de

We all know about Déjà vu, when we see something new and think it’s familiar. Grant wants us to practice the opposite. It’s called vuja de. This comes when we encounter something familiar with a fresh perspective, helping us gain new insight into old problems. As humans, we tend to “rationalize the status quo as legitimate,” but that’s a “default system,” as he puts it.

“The more expertise and experience people gain, the more entrenched they become in a particular way of viewing the world. As we gain knowledge about a…

Shawn Gold

CEO PIlgrim Soul Brand — a mission-driven company focused on optimizing human creative performance to gain a competitive edge in business and life.