We’ve all heard the phrase “thinking out of the box”. But it is amazing how we rarely heed the advice. We often find ourselves in our old ways or following what others have done convincing ourselves that’s how its always been done or that we must follow exactly how we have been instructed to do something. And we find ourselves stuck in a cycle of routine. We can all learn and strengthen skills at the base level and perfect our craft. Once we have done the latter we must recognize that those skills can takes us so far, to take it to the next level we must think out of the box. We must get creative and imaginative using the skills we’ve acquired. This is where we get to stretch our creative muscle and this is where we get in touch with our unique and authentic essence. It reminds me of the phrase, “You have to learn the rules to break them”. For example in the field of photography we can see a myriad of personal styles; some stand out more than others…why? Those who stand out have a very strong presence of personal style. They’ve explored a part of their skill and found something that spoke to them or they looked at the subject and technique in an entirely new way and developed a unique style all together. They have taken a style that we may see many do and then do something completely different with it. Some have chosen to take photos only at certain angles, some have chosen to portray their subject in a particular stylistic color using a certain technique and some have opted to only shoot a certain subject matter and only in unconventional ways. Another example of this we can see in inventors. Inventors have a way of looking at impossibilities as possibilities. Most inventions came about by someone thinking out of the box; someone who stepped outside of a habitual and conditioned train of thought and discovered a new way to solve a problem perhaps by combining two completely different ideas into one or taking an existing idea and changing it slightly for better results. In any case this is where creativity happens. Looking at a situation differently than one would normally see it sparks creativity and allows for newer, progressive, unique ideas to come about.
And sometimes thinking out of the box can also help us discover our authentic self by helping us to step out of the way we have been conditioned to think and really start discovering ourselves and our potential. Letting go of our limited self image of our selves and allowing a new way of doing something, perhaps breaking form routine and trying something different can help us discover that we are not just our self image but so much more than who we think we are. Impossibilities may start to become possibilities.
Ask yourself how you would approach a problem, project, photo, design and yes even life itself differently. Combining and mixing existing ideas and creating new concepts or way of looking at or doing something is thinking out of the box and a vital component of creating. This is where your personal style emerges and your unique expression and authentic self shines. There is a misconception that we should conform to or mimic what everybody else is doing. Sometimes daring to be different is what helps us progress and evolve.