When I normally think of growth, I think of the markings on the wall, where it shows how much I’ve grown taller, yet growth can also mean more through your experience too. I always find it fun to look back at where I’ve started when I get older. Innovation Diploma has become a great opportunity to be able to connect with others who share different and similar passions. I feel that innovating means to come up with different ideas, and slowly set them in motion, whether you’re just trying to improve an idea, or come up with an all new one. This next questions, “What does it mean to be an innovator,” has popped up multiple times, and each time has had a different answer associated with it.

To be an innovator means many things, such as thinking outside of the box, or looking from a different perspective. I believe that being an innovator is being true to your curiosities and passions. An innovator is curious, and seeks out an answer, or if they can’t find an answer to their question, they make a brand new one. I feel that I’ve been through so much as an innovator.  Being an innovator can mean accepting the world and knowing that you want to try and make it a better place.

At the beginning, I hardly knew what innovation even meant, but now, I feel that I am more comfortable with hearing and knowing what innovation means, and how we can utilize it to our fullest. I feel that the skills of innovation are that we need to observe what happens in our surrounding because sometimes we don’t always have to be in the action, and always doing something. When innovating, you need to keep an open mind, and be able to see from all different kinds of perspectives. There is no exact list as to what some of the skills of innovation are because we each perceive it as something different. Going to the CDC has definitely helped me with learning some of those skills, along with the ways we’ve been thinking about things because it opens your mind up to different ideas that you couldn’t see earlier.

I believe that I need to become better at being able to actually go out into the world and be able to ask questions, without being afraid of being criticized. I think that by slowly speaking up, I’ll be able to develop a mind where I am not afraid of criticism, and I soon will gladly accept it.

How can we find our passions? Why are we doing this? How do we know when to start? These are definitely questions that circle in my mind over and over. I don’t even really know fully what my passion is, but I have many other, smaller passions I would love to dive deeper into, which may lead to other ventures along the way. Every once in a while, I like to look back to the start of a project, and know “why exactly are we doing this?” I think it gives us a chance to slow down, and take a breather from all of the busy work because it helps us to understand what is going on. It shows us what our goal sometimes is, and who we are doing this for. Then I continue going, keeping the goal I have in mind, and realizing where this started from.

Knowing when to start is quite hard too because we were raised with someone always giving us a green light, telling us to go, and holding up a “STOP” sign, so how do we decide when it’s our turn “to race,” without being told? I think that we can go anytime we would like. The only person holding you back from your passions is you. As each of us go on our different ventures, we will meet people who will help us, and give us encouragement. With the encouragement of others, and an innovator’s mind, we all can affect the world.

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