Learning To Look At The World Anew: Thinking Outside of The Box

Nov 28, 10 Learning To Look At The World Anew: Thinking Outside of The Box
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How can one person learn to “think outside of the box?”  For example, cut a cake into eight slices, however you have to make no more than three cuts.  Most people will have trouble coming up with a way to cut the cake.  But to solve this, you have to change the way you look at the cake and how to cut it.  One perfect solution is to cut the cake into two equal sizes and put the other half on top of the other.  Cut it again in half then stack the other half pieces on top of one another and cut them again.  That is thinking out of the box.

Another example of thinking out of a box is this:  Here are four words…  subtract, multiply, add, decrease…  Now which one does not belong to the group?  Most people would say that the word “decrease” does not belong.  Why?  Because all the other three words are mathematical functions and the latter is not.  Unfortunately, that would place you squarely in the box because the answer is “add” since it only has three letters while the others have six or more.  There are many ways to view the world.  Yet, there are only a few that demonstrate creativity and fresh thinking.

Our minds work by inserting referencing past experiences and processes.  Another good sample is when you are asked to name two days that begin with the letter “T”.  Your answer would probably be Tuesday and Thursday.  What about Tomorrow and Today?  Companies try to test a new product and are sure they are getting a design at a reasonable cost.  They look at things in the business and think that their objectives will work just as planned.  Unfortunately, these ideas are already outmoded due to their monotony and reliance on past patterns.  Patterns are helpful since they help finish tasks such as driving, eating or drinking.  However, these same patterns make it hard for people to look at the world with new eyes and create alternative solutions to dilemmas they are facing.

One important move to break the pattern is trying to reverse patterns, designs, or potential solutions in order to gain a new perspective.  Take things as they are and turn them inside out, upside down, or simply turn them around and you may be surprised with the result.  This was Henry Ford’s personal experience.  His conventional plan was to “bring people to work.”  He tried to change all this into, “bring work to the people.”  This plan generated more revenues.

In order to think out of the box, never shy away from the fact that some of your ideas could really be crazy enough to work.  Breaking the rigidity of our thinking is a way to sift through the harebrained and irrational and find ideas that are revelatory.  Start by listing several odd or absurd ideas about a certain problem.

Remember that you could be a genius in your own way.  Your thoughts come from deep reaches and are often unique.  Many times these completely different ideas are clever enough to make a difference in the end.  Being creative and out of the box is wild sometimes, but practicing creative thinking could move you to new heights of growth and self-development.  You will be surprised at how easy and differently it will be for you to address problems, find solutions, and innovate.  Start looking at the world with anew.  You will be happier, more focused, and truly think outside of the box.

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