Go and learn something totally different

dad skateboarding doing something different

This week a friend and his son are taking beginners skateboarding lessons each day.

Learning something totally different and unrelated to your work or prior skills in life is now recognised by psychologists and neuroscientists to be something that truly fosters creativity and innovation. It literally rewires the brain.

I first thought more about this a year or so ago when Chip Conley spoke of it and how he had decided to learn to surf.

Yesterday I wrote: “Want to be creative? Walk a different route to work” and talked about that rewiring of the brain with new neural pathways. The post anchored around my definition of innovation of:

“Innovation = doing things differently and doing different things”

It turns out that science shows that “doing different things” literally makes you more creative and innovative.

When I think of my friends who I regard as the most creative and innovative, I recognise that they also tend to have skills and experience in many, many areas, often unrelated.

What skill could you choose to focus on to master that fascinates you but has nothing at all to do with your work or current skillset in life?

PS how cool is that Dad in the photo?

Also published on Medium.

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