There is a famous puzzle- a person draws a vertical line on a piece of paper and asks you to make it shorter with the condition that you should not alter that line.
Thinking? Is it possible? Why not? Of course you can make it shorter – by drawing a taller line by the side of the first line. Now the original line is shorter than the second line. The above puzzle makes an excellent sample of using out of the box thinking you can get startling positive results.
We are often asked to “think out of the box”. It is actually “Thinking outside the box” which is also referred to as lateral thinking, thinking differently, unconventionally or looking at things from a new perspective.
It generally means creative thinking. Thinking out of the box requires willingness to go beyond normal boundaries and usual approaches to anything.
The concept originated in the US in the seventies. It was used in the July issue of the Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine in the US. It said, “We must step back and see if the solutions to our problems lie outside the box.”
The Difference between out of the box thinkers and inside the box thinkers
Out of the box thinkers are open minded and approach everything with an open mind and willingness to explore. They also accept the fact that ideas need nurturing and actions to fructify.
A shining example of out of the box thinking is the software giant Infosys that has caused the world to look at India with awe and respect. The Company has revolutionized wealth creation through their innovative business ideas and rewarding its employees.
Mobile and internet technologies have made life easier, convenient and more productive. This is the direct result of out of the box thinking to go beyond what was available and the possibility of finding a much better way to communicate across the globe.
The inside the box thinkers always accept the status quo and do not want to invest time or effort into finding a new or better way to accomplish anything. They consider creative and innovative thinking are risky and of the opinion that they will not work. People who opposed computerization of processes fearing loss of employment are the good examples of this type.
How to Develop – Out of box thinking?
To develop out of the box thinking you require some specific traits. They are:
- Willingness to see things from new perspective in everyday work
- Interest in doing different things and also in different ways
- Striving to find new ideas
- Open to suggestions and ideas from others
- Willing to break away from the usual, obvious patterns
The use of right brain is predominant in out of the box thinking. The brain should be relaxed to be able to think creatively. It is therefore imperative to choose the right time when the brain is well rested and is relaxed or is about to rest. The time just before sleep or just after waking up or when you are enjoying your favorite music or taking your morning shower are all good for the use of the right brain when you are most likely to get bright ideas.
Benefits of out of the box thinking
Many great advantages can be brought on by stimulating and supporting out of the box thinking in any set up. Here are a few:
- Problems can be converted into opportunities
- Solve problems in newer ways
- Constructively challenge the status quo and enable new ideas to emerge
- Implement alternate ideas
- Building on the concept behind the innovation to create more ideas
- Encourage and utilize the creative energy of the group
Eat brain enhancing foods like fresh vegetables and fruits and also foods rich in Omega3 fatty acid such as flax seeds, salmon fish and sardines. Use organic items to avoid exposure to toxins.
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Exercising, such as even a brisk walk is also sufficient for brain stimulation. Challenging games and puzzles done on a regular basis is also good exercise for the brain. Travel and playing with children also expand the brains horizons.
Get ready to put on your thinking caps!