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Thinking Outside The Box Print
Written by Mike Noel   
Thursday, 06 March 2008

The phrase "thinking outside the box" has become a bit less popular over the last few years -- I think it's been replaced with "being real" but that's a different story.   The general idea behind thinking outside of the box really is dealing with a perceived limitation in a person's thinking.  That is, the person in question has placed artificial limits to the possible solutions and the things that they allow themselves to think about.  Thinking outside of the box is the idea of removing those boundaries and freeing the mind to think of many more ideas.  It strikes me that there are two ways to "think outside of the box".

 

The first is the conventional idea of removing the boundaries as discussed above.  That is, the person tries to identify and move beyond those limitations that they have placed in their mind.  When a person is successful at this they really can move on and think of bigger and better things.  This is rare.

The second, and more common, approach to thinking outside of the box is to make the box smaller.  That is, instead of changing the thinking process that is currently constrained inside a "box", redefine the box to be smaller.  Unfortunately this kind of approach doesn't really change anything.  It gives a false sense of accomplishment but nothing has really changed.  The "box" isn't the main point.  The main point is to change your thinking.  The "box" is a tool to encourage changing the thought process -- it's not the end in itself.

So this is just something else to think about.  Maybe I'm thinking outside the box myself... 

 

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