When we were kids, we loved to play in a box, that box could be anything from a race car, rocket ship to a submarine. It could take us anywhere and everywhere and be anything we wanted or needed it to be. The possibilities were endless! It was probably sometime in grade school or middle school we started to hear about the phrase, “Think outside the box.” Some people catch on right away as to what that is. Others it takes a bit longer to get it. Me, I am still trying to figure out what that box is exactly.
So today I posted to good ole Facebook the question of what does “thinking outside the box” mean to you? The answers I received were as varied as the people who gave them. For some it’s their comfort zone, others it’s outside the norm, and for others yet its taking what you already know and doing it better.
I like G Mitchell Baker’s answer of: Ah ... so you are finding some of the things you may put in a box here... in the Group. Now, the trick is to take those things out every once in a while, and use them, improve them, create new versions of them ... Only when you take all the things you tucked away out of the 'box', and, start using and improving on them do you find yourself thinking outside the "box" (one take on it anyway)
I also liked Alan Tucker’s take on it as well; Generally, I think "the box" stands for convention, or what is ordinarily done. Whatever is standard operating procedure when tackling any sort of problem. Thinking outside those parameters is what creates new solutions for old problems.
There were many others with varied answers. I think on the thinking outside the box it’s as different for each of us the box was when we were little kids playing. Now we just have to find a way to make it work to the best of our own ability, whether it’s drawing every day to improve upon your talent, typing on a story every day and trying to get at least 1,000 words every night. In my case it’s trying to figure out how to do all of the above and still manage to bring in some sort of income. So when I look inside my box I see all these things, some I know what they are, some I am learning what they are and some are still as foreign to me as eating grasshoppers and liking them. (No I will never go there!) It will stay foreign. So while you are trying to figure out what is outside your box, just remember what is in your box and see if you can’t improve upon it or make it better somehow. If you don’t know what something is, ask. Someone will know the answer to it. Like a teacher once told me, “there is no such thing as a stupid question except then one not asked.” So get out there, go outside your comfort zone, pull things out of your box of knowledge, use what you already know in a different way and ask those questions! Together we can all learn to "Think outside the box!"