According to Vocabulary.com, “Ingenuity is the ability to think creatively about a situation or to solve problems in a clever way.” The Latin word for “mind” or “intellect” is a root of ingenuity…Ingenuity is all about imagination.” That is fine, as far as it goes. One of the strengths of Values of the Wise, though, is that a much deeper and broader understanding of a concept as important and sophisticated as this. If you want to really know what a value means, the dictionary definition will be a bit thin. However, ingenuity quotes from a wide variety of individuals, from different cultures, times, and places, is just what you need to really appreciate the phenomenon. A few examples and insights, as well as quotations about ingenuity, are the goals of this blog.
If I were to distill my thoughts on this virtue to a couple dozen words, I would define it as the following (and be ingeniously alliterative in doing so!):
An interest, instinct, and ability to assemble and examine inchoate ideas, impulses, and insights intelligently is ingenuity in a nutshell. It is an immature inkling that becomes an inspiration or idea of the impassioned intellect.
Some of us think more quickly and more originally than others. These are two hallmarks of the adjective ingenious. This is the value that excites, inspires, engages, and synthesizes. “If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain” The Wisdom Archive of this website.Intuitive powers played a central role in my scientific work; not wild speculation, yet a valued resource when no other approach was available.” These are just two of the many amazing ingenuity quotes and quotations about creativity, vision, and inspiration available in
Anyone can grow in their ability to “think outside the box,” engage in lateral thinking, and break the mold. “Personality traits that define the creative individual include openness to experience, adventuresomeness, rebelliousness, individualism, sensitivity, playfulness, persistence, curiosity, and simplicity” notes researcher
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight, but no vision.” ~ Helen Keller
…awakened, we humans have a pretty strong tendency to go back to sleep, literally and figuratively. That may be why, for so long throughout human history, saints and sages, artists and philosophers, and political and social activists of various traditions and persuasions, have urged humanity to ‘wake up.'” Ingenuity quotes that we keep in front of us and rehearse can be inspirational and “keep our brains moving.”
The late wisdom researcher and cybernetics expert, Copthorne Macdonald, looks at creative thinking in this manner: “For a long time it has been common for artists and writers to attribute any genius it might have to the Muse. They have held that this non-intellectual, other-than-them something is the source of all their good, really creative stuff. Today we know the Muse to be these unconscious mental processes that work on behalf of the intellect to solve are creative problems for us and make our creative breakthroughs.”
“To bring anything into existence, to be a creator of circumstances, we have to imagine the new, then speak the new, then usher it into reality with the power of our intention, the passionate force of our belief in it.”
Ingenuity is, interestingly, morally ambiguous; that is, one can find positive inspiration for good or neutral ideas in ingenuity quotes, or one can do evil as well. Whenever you see the villain dressed in black, twisting his moustache, in cartoons and films, and he gets a great idea to destroy the planet or outdo the protagonist, it is ingenuity and insight at work. This awesome value can be symbolized by the proverbial lightbulb above a person’s head who is deeply contemplating something, as well as a lightning bolt, destroying all it touches. “At my lemonade stand I used to give the first glass away free and charge five dollars for the second glass. The refill contained the antidote.” ~ Emo Phillips
“Building a better mousetrap” is not just for poets and philosophers; inventors, entrepreneurs, managers, and consultants can be the “thought leaders” and “change agents” who can successfully lead us from where we are to where we can be. Author of the book The Art of Original Thinking, Jan Phillips, puts it this way: “Every original thinker today is urging a rethinking of the entire system, a retooling of the corporate imagination and the organizational mind so that the products and processes we develop and export around the world support growth, not just financially, but personally, socially, and spiritually.”
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Now that we have gone over a few of the fundamentals, let’s get to the meat: enlightening and inspiring ingenuity quotes!
“Wandering gives me a new set of eyes – or removes adulthood’s blinders from the ones I have. It is permission to see as well as to wander, to be an archaeologist of my own life.”
“Making mental connections is our most critical learning tool – the essence of human intelligence: to forge links; to go beyond the given; to see patterns, relationship, context.”
“I call intuition cosmic fishing. You feel the nibble, and then you have to hook the fish.”
“Any authentic creation is a gift to the future.”
“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”
“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.”
“Our thought patterns become habituated. Neurons fire in the same way over and over again, and our ideas eventually lose their plasticity and congeal into ideologies that soon need defending. To think originally is to connect the dots that have not been connected before and blaze new trails through the meadows of the mind.”
“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”
“In 1785, Thomas Jefferson wrote that ‘I am safe in affirming that the proofs of genius given by the Indians place them on a level with whites,’ and he often spoke of how the political organizations of specific tribes evinced an attachment to liberty that should be emulated by the colonists.” ~ Michael S. Roth
“Light comes to us unexpectedly and obliquely. Perhaps it amuses the gods to try us. They want to see whether we are asleep.”
“Control of attention is the ultimate individual power.”
“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
“Wonder is the seed of knowledge.”
“The visionary is the one who brings his or her voice into the world and who refuses to edit, rehearse, perform, or hide. It is the visionary who knows that the power of creativity is aligned with authenticity.”
“We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”
“Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy: the sense of order imposed by the disciplined adult intelligence.”
“Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.”
For more ingenuity quotes and inspiration for creativity, click HERE.