If you want to think outside the box, don’t use a box as your reference. To be original you need to break convention. To break convention you need to break your routine and get inspired. To get inspired you may need to go inside (like meditation) or to The Far Side with Gary Larson to Pago Pago. What you don’t need is to go back inside the wisdom that’s already got you stuck and stay there thrashing around in it hoping for a different result.
According to Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way ideas are like toast and they just pop up.
I think of concepts like hot-air balloons. You mix a fire in the belly with blue sky imagination and the balloon will either fly or some naysayer will through a rope around it and drag it back to earth.
In our team process, when the rope goes out, I typically trumpet, “Let it live!” And either my team sees something possible about the idea and makes it better or they bring it back for revision or death. (They are smart people and I trust them to squash only the squash-worthy)
I am not advocating lunacy but I am herralding possibility – the sheer liberation of imagination gone wild. You will ALWAYS find people willing to drill it back to reality – and eventually reality is where the idea has to live.
So go ahead, today think boldly, imagine boundlessly, listen intently to your inner yearnings or just stand on your head for a new perspective. (remember, you did this often as a child and never thought it was weird)
As Laura A. Liswood said in the introduction of her remarkable book, Women World Leaders, ”Had I known the enormity of my undertaking in advance, how much I should have know in order to do it, this project would not have gotten done by me. In the end, I just did it. The impossible became the inevitable.”
Live your thinking!