Dedicated to


Outside the Box!

There is ONE THING that distinguishes human beings from the so-called ³lower animal forms.´ No, not skateboarding. Not stock options. Not the invention of the disco ball.


Like the opposable thumb, it comes with the territory of being human.

Think about it.
We¶re thinking almost all the time. In the shower. On our feet. In our dreams. Even at the office. But just because we think, it doesn¶t mean we¶re coming up with anything very extraordinary.
For that, something else is required.

Creative Thinking

It¶s what Einstein did. It¶s what Picasso did. And it¶s what YOU do«

That is, when you are ³out of the box.´

Ah! The box!

That much talked about, habitforming, mind-crunching, optionlimiting, six-sided, culturally repressive thing that keeps the genius 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.

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 is almost always shut down to your new ideas

Which leads us to the inevitable, existential, frequently asked

(one you will need to answer if you ever expect to get out.)

What is this so-called ³box´ actually made of?

Opinions, vary of course.
But it is made of something. And so, to get the conversation rolling, we¶ll suggest 6 things we think it is made of ± four for the sides and one each for the top and bottom.)
(If you don¶t agree, you¶ll get your chance to name the sides in a moment.)

Ready for the first time deconstruction of the mythical box?

(The mythical box)


Limiting Assumptions
‡ False conclusions ‡ Questionable hypotheses ‡ Misinterpretation of data ‡ Artificial lines drawn in the sand

³640 K ought to be enough for anyone.´ ± Bill Gates


Addiction to the Status Quo
‡ Fear of change ‡ Conventionality ‡ Playing it safe ‡ Defaulting to ³the way it¶s always been.´

³If you always do what you¶ve always done, you¶ll always get what you always got.´


‡ Over-dependence on the left brain ‡ Analysis paralysis ‡ Excessive use of logic and linearity ‡ Premature evaluation

³Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted counts.´ - Albert Einstein


Tunnel Vision
‡ Narrow mindedness ‡ Inability to see new connections ‡ Mental isolationism ‡ Silo-itis

³Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and seeing something different.´ ± Albert Szent Gyorgi


Intolerance for Ambiguity
‡ Settling for the first µright¶ idea ‡ Excessive need for certainty ‡ Impatience with ³process´ ‡ Discomfort with transition and chaos

³Now that we have met with paradox, we have some 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

³I will act as if what I do will make a difference.´ ± William James

Oh, by the way, Bell Labs did a
study some time back in order to find out why some of their research scientists were ³creative´ and others weren¶t. After six months of intensive data collection, interviewing, and interpretation do you know what they discovered? The scientists who thought they were creative were creative. The scientists who thought they weren¶t creative, weren¶t creative. A total self-fulfilling prophecy.

Now you know the names of the six sides of the box.
But maybe you see them differently. If you do, how would you name them?

Of course,
no matter how you describe the box, the challenge remains: getting out.

And so, to get you going, choose the one side that bugs you the most and commit to one thing you will do to go beyond it.
1. Limiting assumptions 2. Addiction to the status quo 3. Hyper-rationality 4. Tunnel vision 5. Intolerance for ambiguity 6. No intrinsic motivation

To make this even more real, apply your ³out of the box´ insight to your hottest, new project.

Next, take a cue from the following six creative thinkers who, by hook or by crook, succeeded in finding their way out of the box.

³Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.´
± Jonas Salk

What is your intuition telling you about next steps with your hottest new project?

³Money never started an idea. It¶s the idea that starts the money.´ ± William Cameron

What can you do this week to communicate your hottest new idea to your most likely money source?

³If you have always done it that way, it is probably wrong.´ ± Charles Kettering

In what ways can you proceed differently than you normally would with your hottest new project?

³Do not fear mistakes. There are none.´ ± Miles Davis

What is your biggest fear about your biggest creative pursuit? And what can you do to go beyond it?

³The new idea either finds a champion or it dies. No ordinary involvement with a new idea provides the energy required to cope with the indifference and resistance that change provokes.´
± Tom Peters

What is it going to take in order for you to really champion your most inspired new idea?

³If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. Also, you will have betrayed your community in failing to make your contribution to the whole.´
± Rollo May

Which original idea of yours do you need to honor and express with more boldness and commitment?

Get Going Now!
Keep The Impetus up !! Be Winners Always !!

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