Easy victories are the innovator's worst enemy, since they lead us to use the same solutions over and over again, psychology professor Art Markman writes. Adversity and difficult situations break us out of that rut and bring out our creative streaks, so it's worth cultivating a little artificial hardship by setting awkward rules, incorporating arbitrary elements into your problem solving or forcing yourself to think about a challenge more abstractly. "You may not succeed, but if you do, chances are the solution will be novel," Markman writes.

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