My first question whenever I hear this phrase is, why is there a box in the first place? Why is it that our thoughts are all seemingly combined into this “box” never to see the light of day? The answer is pretty simple, creativity is dying. People are so used to being told what to do, given a set list of rules to abide by, and taught only one “logical” and systematic way to think and solve problems. It’s no wonder when we try to come up with a new and awesome idea, our brain immediately begins to cramp.
So if you’re like many people (almost everybody) that has the issue of not being able to think outside of the box, here are a few simple steps to help stretch your creative muscles.
Do creative things more often. Whether that would be doodling, writing, crafting, playing an instrument, taking pictures etc. Do something creative that you enjoy doing already. Get the creative juices flowing so to speak.
Channel your younger self. Remember when you were a kid and you used to make up crazy stories or scenarios (that would never happen) but IF they did they would be the coolest ever? This is where you start really flexing your imagination, let your mind run free and think of those silly and unlikely situations.
Clear your mind. Whether you do this through mediation, a breathing exercise, taking a walk, staring at the clouds, or simply taking 10 minutes away from any technology and just sitting and observing everything around you. Do this at least once a day for at least 10 minutes.
Think of the possibilities! (I don’t know why but that made me think of a Dr. Seuss book lol) When you begin your initial thinking outside of the box thoughts, reserve no room for judgment of those thoughts. There should be no thought of “what if’s” or “but’s”. Every idea you come up with is equal to the next, none are better or worse, and they all have the same potential. In other words, write every single idea down, no matter how dumb it might sound.
Rinse and repeat. Don’t just do these steps once and think you’re good to go. Do them daily. Your brain’s ability to think creatively has been suppressed for so long it may take a little time for creative ideas to come to you more easily.
Above all, don’t get discouraged, it always seems like the harder you try to come up with a creative idea, the harder it is. Loosen up your thoughts a little and know that it’s ok if your mind wanders, it might just wander right into that idea you were searching for!