Like the opposable thumb,it comes with the territory ofbeing human.
Think about it.We’re thinking almost all the time.In the shower. On our feet. In ourdreams. Even at the office.But just because we think, itdoesn’t mean we’re coming upwith anything very extraordinary.For that, something else is required.
It’s what Einstein did.It’s what Picasso did.And it’s what YOU do…That is, when you are “out of the box.”
Ah! The box!THE BOX!That much talked about, habit-forming, mind-crunching, option-limiting, six-sided, culturallyrepressive thing that keeps thegenius within you imprisoned.
Why all this fuss about a box?Boxes aren’t bad. Are they?Chocolates come in boxes.So do birthday gifts.And Scrabble. And diamond rings.
Boxes protect.Boxes contain.Boxes convey.
True…But they also confine,constrain, separate, and limit.(Especially when what’s contained within them doesn’t want to be there.)
Think cubicle.Think prison cell.Think coffin.Think the closed mind of the person at work who isalmost always shut down to your new ideas
Which leads us to theinevitable, existential,frequently askedQUESTION –(one you will need to answer ifyou ever expect to get out.)What is this so-called “box” actually made of?
Opinions, vary of course.But it is made of something.And so, to get the conversationrolling, we’ll suggest 6 things wethink it is made of – four for thesides and one each for the top andbottom.)(If you don’t agree, you’ll get yourchance to name the sides in a moment.)
Ready for the first timedeconstruction of the mythical box?(The mythical box)
Limiting Assumptions• False conclusions• Questionable hypotheses• Misinterpretation of data• Artificial lines drawn in the sand“640 K ought to be enough for anyone.” – Bill Gates#1
Addiction to the Status Quo• Fear of change• Conventionality• Playing it safe• Defaulting to “the way it’s always been.”#2“If you always do what you’ve always done,you’ll always get what you always got.”
Hyper-Rationality• Over-dependence on the left brain• Analysis paralysis• Excessive use of logic and linearity• Premature evaluation#3“Not everything that counts can be counted; and noteverything that can be counted counts.” - Albert Einstein
Tunnel Vision• Narrow mindedness• Inability to see new connections• Mental isolationism• Silo-itis#4“Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyoneelse and seeing something different.” – Albert Szent Gyorgi
Intolerance for Ambiguity• Settling for the first ‘right’ idea• Excessive need for certainty• Impatience with “process”• Discomfort with transition and chaos#5“Now that we have met with paradox, we havesome hope of making progress.” – Niels Bohr
No Intrinsic Motivation• Out of touch with your own fascination• Lack of inspiration• Inertia and lethargy• Good soldier-itus#6“I will act as if what I do will makea difference.” – William James
Oh, by the way, Bell Labs did astudy some time back in order to find outwhy some of their research scientists were“creative” and others weren’t. After sixmonths of intensive data collection,interviewing, and interpretation do youknow what they discovered?The scientists who thought they werecreative were creative. The scientists whothought they weren’t creative, weren’tcreative.A total self-fulfilling prophecy.
OK.Now you know the names ofthe six sides of the box.But maybe you see them differently. Ifyou do, how would you name them?
Of course,no matter how you describe the box, thechallenge remains: getting out.
And so, to get you going, choose the oneside that bugs you the most and commit toone thing you will do to go beyond it.1. Limiting assumptions2. Addiction to the status quo3. Hyper-rationality4. Tunnel vision5. Intolerance for ambiguity6. No intrinsic motivationTo make this even more real, apply your “out of thebox” insight to your hottest, new project.
Next, take a cue from thefollowing six creative thinkerswho, by hook or by crook,succeeded in finding their wayout of the box.
“Intuition will tell the thinkingmind where to look next.”– Jonas SalkWhat is your intuition telling you aboutnext steps with your hottest new project?
“Money never started an idea.It’s the idea that starts themoney.” – William CameronWhat can you do this week to communicate yourhottest new idea to your most likely money source?
“If you have always done itthat way, it is probablywrong.” – Charles KetteringIn what ways can you proceed differently than younormally would with your hottest new project?
“Do not fear mistakes.There are none.” – Miles DavisWhat is your biggest fear about your biggest creativepursuit? And what can you do to go beyond it?
“The new idea either finds achampion or it dies. No ordinaryinvolvement with a new ideaprovides the energy required tocope with the indifference andresistance that change provokes.”– Tom PetersWhat is it going to take in order for you toreally champion your most inspired new idea?
“If you do not express your ownoriginal ideas, if you do not listen toyour own being, you will havebetrayed yourself. Also, you will havebetrayed your community in failing tomake your contribution to the whole.”– Rollo MayWhich original idea of yours do you need to honorand express with more boldness and commitment?
Get Going Now!Keep The Impetus up !!Be Winners Always !!