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Learning to Think Outside of The Box: Your Key to Success

February 03, 2016 - Posted to Writing Tips

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Learn To Think Outsie The Box

Every one of us has a different world view. These individual perspectives are influenced by a variety of factors. These include our family, our friends, the things that we’ve experienced, and the cultures in which we live. Then, there is also the influence of our own personalities. Unfortunately, we receive mixed messages about the personal characteristics and quirks that set us apart. On one hand, we are told to feel good about ours, and we are told to be ourselves. On the other hand, when we do exactly that, we are frequently told to knock it off and conform. These contradicting sentiments can make it difficult to think outside the box. After all, doing so is guaranteed to upset people and draw criticism. On the other hand, if the most successful people in the world have one thing in common, it is their willingness to think outside the box without concern for what others think.

The Benefits of Thinking Outside The Box

Here are just a few of the benefits of thinking outside of the box. These can have a positive effect on your education, career, and even your interpersonal relationships.

  1. When a problem seems to have no good solutions, your ability to take a completely different approach could be the key to finding the solution that nobody else can see.
  2. You will stand out from the crowd
  3. Because you focus on the result and not following a prescribed process, you won’t get ‘stuck’.
  4. You will make a lot of mistakes, but you will learn a lot. Your triumphs will also come with a lot of lessons learned.
  5. You will learn to embrace stepping outside of your comfort zone
  6. You will develop your creativity and critical thinking skills

Ultimately, people who think outside the box are more likely to become leaders, and they are more likely to create things that are useful to and valued by many people. In fact, if you think about it, anybody who is an entrepreneur is somebody who thinks outside the box. They see a problem and they think outside the box to create a better solution for that problem than any that currently exist. They see a need that is unmet, and by thinking outside the box find a way to meet that need. If you have somebody in your personal life who always thinks of interesting and fun things to do, that is probably a person who can think outside the box as well.

Can You Develop The Ability to Think Outside The Box?

This is just like any other skill. Some people come by it naturally. Others have to work at it. Some people have to work very hard to learn to think outside the box. However, this is something that anybody can do. Here are a few things to do that may help you to retrain your brain a bit.

  • Don’t stop thinking about a problem when you arrive at an obvious solution. Think of a few alternative solutions that require taking a different approach.
  • Seek out opposing points of view
  • Do things that are creative, even if you aren’t very good at them
  • Read and watch things that aren’t your  usual choices
  • Experience and explore unfamiliar foods, art, culture, and music
  • When you fail at something, write down all of the things that you learned through that failure as soon as you can
  • Revisit an old project and work through it again using a completely different methodology
  • Change up your daily routine
  • Mentally correct yourself when you say things like, “This is the way we’ve always done things.”
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