Unboxing Creativity.. Is the box really that bad? | by SunlitScribes | May, 2024

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Is the box really that bad?

What’s this box everyone keeps talking about? How do I think inside or outside of it? Why does it even matter?

Photo by Ante Hamersmit on Unsplash

Oh, you know, just the usual box. The one that’s been holding you back from achieving greatness. The one that’s been stifling your creativity and innovation. The one that’s been… wait, what was the question again?

Seriously though, who comes up with these clichés? “Think outside the box.” What does that even mean? Are we talking about a literal box? Like, a cardboard box? Do we need to think outside of it because it’s too small? Too confining? Are we worried about being claustrophobic in our own minds?

And what’s with the assumption that thinking inside the box is bad? Maybe the box is actually a genius idea generator. Maybe it’s the ultimate brainstorming tool. Maybe it has Wi-Fi and snacks! Honestly, we should all be thinking inside the box more often!

But no, instead, we’re all encouraged to think outside the box. Because, you know, that’s where all the cool kids are. That’s where the innovators and disruptors and game-changers hang out. (Eye roll) They probably have a secret handshake and matching jackets too.

Picture this: you’re cooking dinner and realise you’re out of a key ingredient. Thinking outside the box might involve substituting an unconventional ingredient or improvising a new recipe entirely. This can lead to a delightful culinary surprise and maybe even a new favourite dish. “No cumin? No problem! How about a dash of cinnamon instead?” Voilà, you’ve just invented a fusion masterpiece.

Now, consider organising your weekly schedule. Thinking inside the box means sticking to a routine that keeps you productive and on track. You wake up at the same time every day, exercise, work, and unwind in a structured manner. This predictability ensures you accomplish your tasks efficiently and maintain a balanced lifestyle. “Same old, same old,” you say? Well, sometimes the tried-and-true methods are what keep our sanity intact.

Then there’s dealing with a stubborn stain on your favourite shirt. Thinking outside the box might lead you to research and try various DIY stain removal hacks, from using baking soda to applying white vinegar. You might discover an effective new method you hadn’t thought of before. “Goodbye, stain! Hello, Pinterest-worthy life hack!”

But what about when your phone battery is dying and you need it for an important call? Thinking inside the box here means finding the nearest charger and plugging it in, rather than attempting some convoluted, unproven method of extending battery life. Simple, straightforward, and effective. “No need to build a solar panel out of aluminium foil and old CDs – just plug it in!”

So, to answer the question, I have no idea what this box is or how to think inside or outside of it. But hey, if it makes you feel better, go ahead and think outside the box. Just don’t forget to wear your thinking cap. And your creativity cape. And your innovation socks. And remember, sometimes it’s perfectly fine to peek inside the box. You might find some pretty useful stuff in there. Plus, it’s cosy, and who doesn’t love a little cosiness now and then?

The box – whether inside, outside, or somewhere in between – is just a metaphor. It’s about finding balance. Sometimes the most brilliant ideas come from looking at things in the simplest way possible, while other times, they emerge from breaking all the rules. So, think in, out, around, above, below, and through the box. Just don’t get so caught up in the clichés that you forget to actually do the thinking.

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