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INNOVATE

9 Bizarre Ways 9 These Incredibly Innovative People Got Their Best Ideas

After all, if doing something nutty helps you be more innovative… keep doing it.

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BY Jeff Haden - 17 Aug 2018

9 Bizarre Ways 9 These Incredibly Innovative People Got Their Best Ideas

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Innovation matters. Creativity matters. Finding new solutions to old problems is what businesses -- and careers -- are often built on.

But where does creativity come from? You can't just decide to be innovative. It doesn't work that way. You need a way to come up with great ideas.

Which is exactly what these famously creative minds did, a list compiled by the folks at Business Backer, a funding firm that helps small businesses get the capital they need to not only survive, but thrive. (I've also included a cool infographic created by Business Backer at the bottom of this this post.)

Here we go:

Igor Stravinsky Did Headstands

The Russian composer is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential composers of the twentieth century. But how did the musical revolutionary keep his mind fresh enough to innovate every day?

He did headstands. Stravinsky's strict routine had him locked away for hours while he composed his master works. If he reached a creative block, he would do a headstand, which he said "rests the head and clears the brain."

Salvador Dali Slept With a Key

This mustachioed surrealist master was one of the most versatile and prolific artists of the 20th century. His work explored the deepest realms of the subconscious and dream imagery.

His secret? 'Slumber with a key,' an afternoon siesta of less than a second. Dali would sit in a chair holding a heavy metal key above a plate.

The instant he dozed off, he would drop the key onto the plate and wake up. He felt that this allowed him to utilize the fluid space between wake and sleep, where mysterious images occur.

Honor de Balzac Drank Massive Amounts of Coffee

The 19th century French novelist and playwright was one of the pillars of French romantic literature, thanks in part to insane volumes of caffeine.

It's rumored that he drank 50 cups of coffee a day to stimulate his writing - sometimes more than one at a time.

The writer enthused that during his caffeine binges "ideas quick-march into motion like battalions of a grand army to its legendary fighting ground, and the battle rages."

So at least he had that going for him.

Nakamatsu Yoshir Stays Underwater Until Inspiration Strikes

The Japanese inventor's wide range of unusual inventions have netted him around $50 million, including jumping shoes and eye-shaped glasses. (He's most famous for his claim that he invented the floppy disk, which is hotly contested by IBM.)

Reportedly he holds nearly 4,000 patents. So how does he keep churning out ideas? He feels that he's most creative when closest to death - so he dives underwater and remains under the surface until he gets a genius idea, which could happen "just 0.5 seconds before death."

Maybe don't try that at home.

Steve Jobs Bathed His Feet in the Toilet

Arguably one of the most influential geniuses of our time, Steve Job's impact on the modern world is immeasurable. But how did he cope with the stress of trying to make his visions a reality?

According to his authorized biography, one of his favorite stress relievers during the early days of Apple was to head to the company toilets and soak his bare feet in the toilet water. Yes, toilet water.

Truman Capote Only Wrote Lying Down

This trailblazing American writer's works are recognized as literary classics, and at least 20 films and television dramas have been produced from Capote novels, stories and plays.

Like most writers, he had a particular method of getting his creative juices flowing: writing while laying on his back, often with a glass of sherry in one hand and a pencil in another. "I am a completely horizontal author," he explained. "I can't think unless I'm lying down, either in bed or stretched on a couch."

Dr. Seuss Wore Outlandish Hats

The American author, cartoonist, poet and animator is best known for authoring some of the most popular children's books of all time, like The Cat in the Hat. But all writers face writer's block at some point. How did Dr. Seuss beat it?

He wore hats. He would go to his secret closet filled with hundreds of hats and choose one to wear until inspiration hit. The writer started his secret collection of hats from around the world in the 1930s and kept collecting them for 60 years.

Agatha Christie Took a Bath Surrounded by Apple Cores

She penned more than 60 detective novels, and classics like Murder on the Orient Express made her the undisputed queen of crime. If you haven't read any of her novels, you've likely seen one of the many screen adaptations of her enduring whodunnits.

Turns out that she dreamed up these gripping murder mysteries while munching on apples in the bath - sitting there thinking, undisturbed, with the rim of the tub lined with apple cores.

Nikola Tesla Curled His Toes Before Bed

We have a lot to thank this eccentric genius for, but he's best known for envisaging and designing the world changing alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. It brought electricity into the homes of millions and we still use it to this day.

So how did he keep his brain so sharp? The inventor curled his toes 100 times per foot every night before bed because he thought it boosted his brain cells.

All righty then.

 

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