Think Outside the Box | What Box?

When you here the phrase, “think outside the box” what comes to mind?

You Want What?

I’ve heard people say they want to hire someone who can think outside the box or that they themselves are outside the box thinkers. But that raises the question, “What is this box we’re talking about?”

The Artificial Box

Perhaps you’ve heard the quote credited to George Bernard Shaw, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” In other words, those who think it can’t be done and wait too long, get passed.

Getting PassedSo what do I mean by an artificial box? Well, if you’ve ever known a true pessimist you will understand. These are people who give up at the first sign of difficulty. They lack the will to push through. Sometimes they don’t even get started because they think it is impossible. They have constructed an artificial box that constraints both their thoughts and their actions. They simply seem unable to think outside the box, but in this case it is a man-made box.

It Starts With Belief

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!” ~Henry Ford

Do you think Henry Ford understood the importance of belief? How many failures do you think experienced before he was successful in the automobile industry? He simply refused to construct in his mind an artificial box that would stymie his imagination and drive to succeed. He was what we refer to as someone who can think outside the box, and he could be that way because he did not let anyone, including himself, construct an artificial box.

How many people do you suppose thought space flight was impossible because of gravity? What they failed to realize is that the principles of aerodynamics would be able to counter the effect of gravity.

The Real Box

Of course, we have to be realistic. None of us is going to jump across the Grand Canyon on our own power. Likewise, none of us will ever have the knowledge that God has. But, the point I want to make is that we need to fight the tendency to throw up artificial barriers so that we trap ourselves. Be careful in letting others define your box so that you can think outside the box that they are trying to use to limit you.

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As always, your comments are welcomed.

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