In different occasions and inspirational speeches, I usually hear a very popular advice–“think outside the box”–and once I reflect on myself, I always find it hard. The problem could be mine. However, let’s elucidate the disparity between thinking inside and outside the box and reach a viable conclusion about what’s much practical to be sought.
Objectively thinking, we need to initially clarify the meaning of the “box” that some people urge us to think out of it. For me, the meaning in this context is, to some extent, related to our own minds and how we do perceive whatever we interact with. Since we born, we daily add blocks to that mind–or let’s say box–and it keeps growing with us day by day. The size and the contents of the box will differ from one to another according to what kind of blocks being used in addition to the willingness to enlarge each one’s box.
Nevertheless, we are all similar in the major materials used to build our boxes such as our values, beliefs, norms, biases, traditions, concepts, experiences and knowledge. On the other hand, the contents might be different as they evolve through the interaction of the before mentioned factors along with our behavior, attitude and perceptions.
Advocates of “thinking outside the box” usually claim that primary stimulus for promoting this idea is to let people think differently and change their scope of viewing aspects from different and new angles. Assumingly, people agree to think outside their boxes to come up with new insights and innovative considerations compared to those who think inside their boxes, the question here would be: Will individuals be required to rely on their experience and perceptions or use some other ideas, tactics and thoughts they never used? A simple answer here could be that even when people decide to think outside the box, they’re still required to count on their past experiences and personal interpretation to explicate both new and old situations. What do you think?
Additionally, thinking inside the box does not, by any means, refer to keeping our minds limited to what’s previously acquired and not to explore and search for extra knowledge and information that help building our personalities and how we differently perceive subjects. What runs behind the scenes and what’s written between lines can’t be observed and understood unless and until we move to untapped territories and discover new fields to add valuable blocks to our own boxes.
What should we do then? We may have two options once we decide to think creatively; firstly is to enlarge the box to accommodate extra different and various stuff which could be achieved through improving our skills, being exposed to new experiences and most importantly long life learning. Other option is to let some new blocks replace some old ones or to allow the process of some interaction between old and new blocks (boxing each other) to create a unique mixture that form non-traditional ways of thinking which could be achieved through keeping ourselves well-informed about contemporary updates and relate what we currently aware of with other fields of knowledge and expertise.
The beauty of this healthy argument that both concepts of thinking outside or inside the box are looking for the same goal which is actuating people to think and act differently and stimulate their minds and inner feelings to eagerly look for their personal improvement and progress to distinctly stand out from the crowd.
We have both choices available for all of us either to be imprisoned inside our existing boxes and got satisfied with staying in the back rows or to be keen to expand our boxes and let new stuff in so that we can move to the front lines and lead those who stay behind!
We need to challenge the status quo and allow change to be a perpetual component of our daily activities. Once we look for achieving different results, our inputs should be diversified and promote the notion of generating unique outcomes and think creatively but within the box. Finally, I will keep adding blocks to my box to stay conveniently and think within its flexible walls. Will you keep, change or expand your box? Or will you think outside the box? Whatever your answer is, I suggest letting new blocks come inside and allow the new knowledge fight the old ones to get better results. In other meaning, let your blocks box inside the box!