Have you ever wondered how to think outside the box? I’ve learned in my journey as an entrepreneur and all-around creative spirit, it’s that thinking “inside the box” simply won’t cut it in today’s world.
The magic, the sparkle, and the true essence of innovation lie just beyond the boundaries of what we’ve been taught or told is “possible”.
With that, I’m beyond excited to share with you 10 creative strategies to kickstart your thinking, shake off the shackles of convention, and truly think outside the box.
What It Means to Think Outside The Box
“Thinking outside the box” is a popular phrase that has danced its way through corporate boardrooms, academic institutions, and brainstorming sessions worldwide. But what does it truly mean, and why is it so coveted in today’s age of relentless innovation?
At its core, thinking outside the box is an invitation—an invitation to challenge the status quo, to go beyond the standard conventions, and to approach problems with a fresh and unconventional perspective. It’s about breaking free from the constraints of traditional thinking and opening up to new possibilities and ideas.
- The Origins of The Box: This metaphorical “box” often represents the norms, traditions, and accepted practices of a particular group or society. Growing up, we’re taught certain ways to behave, think, and solve problems. While these guidelines can be beneficial, they can also become limiting confines if not periodically reassessed.
- Beyond Problem Solving: While it’s commonly associated with problem-solving, thinking outside the box is not just about finding unique solutions. It’s also about challenging assumptions, asking powerful questions, and recognizing that there are multiple ways to view a situation or achieve an outcome.
- The Creative Element: Creativity is an integral part of this form of thinking. By tapping into our innate creativity, we can generate ideas that might initially seem outlandish or improbable but, upon closer inspection, are both innovative and practical.
10 Creative Ways to Think Outside the Box
1. Find metaphors
For every situation, every solution that you need to find outside the box, we recommend you to find another way of expressing it. Just like a metaphor. A similarity, a parallel situation from a completely different area of life.
Meaning, if you need to think outside the box in a business matter, then take your precise situation and replace the entire context and elements with 1-on-1 elements from a field like sweets, or animal world, or anything else.
You might be surprised by how many solutions you’ll get for your metaphoric situation. Then, you will reverse the solution into your actual business matter.
2. Read something on a new subject
If you are a specialist in communication or literature, read something scientific, or vice versa.
If you usually read a certain type of books or articles, enter a new world. Something that you would not usually be concerned about. This opens new realities for your mind and boosts your overall creativity.
3. Register for a new course or class
Continuous study keeps your brain young. Never cease learning new things in a structured manner. Besides exercising your mind to create new neuronal paths and to develop new skills, you will receive the gift of becoming more creative in all areas.
4. Ask for opinions from the most unexpected people
Besides asking for a specialized opinion, sometimes thinking outside the box comes from the most unexpected persons.
Usually, people who are detached from the issue itself, or people with a very clear and relaxed mind, are good at giving out of the box solutions without even knowing what precious information they contribute.
Make a habit of consulting an older neighbor, or a doorman, or a child. Children are known to offer out of the box ideas, quite a lot, for situations that adults usually over complicate.
5. Disconnect your mind
Disconnecting your mind from this search is the path to new revolutionary ideas. Sports stimulates the body and disconnects you from the pressure of finding a special solution.
When you completely forget about the search, an out of the box idea suddenly shows up in your mind. One, at least.
6. Sleep on it
Sleep is a magic elixir for new out of the box solutions. Disconnection and complete body and mind relaxation, lead to unexpected ideas, either upon waking up, or even during the night.
There is no surprise that many of the geniuses, along with history, had their big Eureka moment while they were sleeping. Besides, let’s not forget that the saying “sleep on it” is a piece of wisdom as old as time.
7. Ask the right questions
Another ancient wisdom says that a rightful put question already contains half of the answer within. This means that a lot of time you already have the out of the box solution at hand, but you’re not aware.
Bring it to the surface by asking numerous questions about the issue. The secret here is not even to give an answer to them.
Simply asking questions, you will filter your thoughts and will get to the unique essence. Don’t forget that what you are searching for is not something external, but an idea already within you.
8. Get into the habit of daydreaming
Just like the night dream, if you make it your habit to daydream, you will become a great creator of new scenarios. Daydream about all your desired outcomes and as many variants that you can find.
Then you will always be living in a creative state of mind.
9. Try method acting
Just like a successful A-list actor. Method acting is all about becoming, on all levels, a certain character, not just playing a part. Become the person that thinks outside the box, the person that already has the solution.
How is this person? How does he/she think, act, speak to others? After you totally embody this person, the results around you will also align.
10. Change your space or environment
If you work from a certain office, or location, go somewhere else to think outside the box. A park, a museum, a supermarket, wherever you don’t usually go.
The change of context and scenery puts your brain into another mood, brings in new perspectives and unexpected inspiration. Thus the efficient ideas will surface.
The Importance of Thinking Outside The Box
To think outside the box is the engine for novelty, changing things and lives. Actually, this should be more than just the solution to particular issues and rare stressful moments. That is why it is important to explore new ideas and train our minds to find creative solutions to complex problems.
We are supposed to bring in the world our unique contribution, all the time.
It pays off to think this way. We just presented with 10 of the most creative and at hand ways to stimulate thinking outside the box.
We firmly believe that, when it comes to creativity, there are no limits about the ways you can actually think outside the box. So, it’s up to you to reveal all the authentic solutions within.