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You’re NOT Thinking Inside a Box, but Through a Window

sunset through the windows
The old piece of golden advice that taught us to think outside the box never felt accurate.

When trying to come up with a new idea, I rarely felt that I was constrained within a six-sided container. I felt that I can think upward, but to a certain extent; downward, but to a certain extent; to the left, but to a certain extent; to the right, but to a certain extent; and when thinking forward, it felt like I can keep on thinking, but only in that direction, with the only constraint being what my eyes can reach.

It felt more like a window that provides a frame and allows you to think of as many ideas as you can, but only through a certain perspective and a certain direction.

Constantly trying to think of a new idea outside of the world you know and live in is not really how to come up with new ideas. And, in reality, you really are constrained by the world around you.

It’s not that your mind is in a box, but that it is looking at the world around you through one window. And since the world has so much more to be seen beyond a window in your bedroom, it is essential to step away from it and look at the world from other perspectives. (Not another perspective, but as many different perspectives as you can think of.)

So if you are feeling less inspired someday, take your creative gear to another location that provides a different view and perspective, and think of a new idea once more.

And, rather than thinking through a window at all, step outside and draw inspiration from the world beyond the glass.

Patterned Windows

Suhaimy House

A Window in Bayt al-Suhaimy on El-Moez St. in Old Cairo, Egypt. (by ZeinDesignz)

Apart from the idea of perspective, the way we view our lives can also be compared to a patterned window.

We understand the world around us based on our beliefs, morals, cultures, interactions, and our past. And all of these aspects of our understanding all form a mural, or a pattern of some sort, that allows us to see the world around us through it.

We see our troubled times through those panels that are as similar to our current situation. We come up with conclusions and take decisions about our current situations based on what we see through those panels.

But, just as is the case with perspective, those panels rarely show us the entirety of the scene, and, depending on with what color the glass is stained and how it is formed, that scene may even be discolored and disfigured in that window panel.

Most of the time we need to think beyond what our windows show us and take a look from the outside to get a better picture.

Kites in the Sky

Kites

Kites in the Sky

We all walk around through life with kites strapped to our wrists. Big shiny wonderfully colored and brilliantly designed kites.

These kites are our mood and feelings of self-worth and self-appreciation. And, as kites are, they don’t just take flight on their own.

Yes, wind is needed for them to fly, and they definitely do better when the weather is more pleasant. But the world around us is not the only thing that decides if our kites will fly.

We also have a major impact in how high those kites fly. If the wind isn’t strong enough, run. If the wind is too strong, loosen it up a bit.

Those aspects that we control are our own self-motivation. That inner drive that we find and discover – and rediscover when lost – that pushes us to run and run some more when the weather isn’t enough to push our mood and feeling of self-worth high enough.

So as you wake up this morning, find that drive you need to let your own kite fly high.

Overcoming the Walls in Life

Walls

Brick Wall (by Oula Lehtinen)

We live our lives with goals and dreams somewhere in our conscience, only to find walls blocking the paths toward them.

These walls vary in height, and width. Sometimes a wall seems so high it blocks the sunlight that shines from our dreams and aspirations. Sometimes it is so wide that it will seem like forever to go around it.

The next wall can be a wall of steel, concrete, or bricks, and the idea of penetrating it or breaking it seems practically impossible.

And sometimes a high and wide wall may seem impenetrable, but beneath the façade, it’s just plaster and sheet-rock.

However high or wide those walls seem, whatever they are made of, you need to cross over to the other side to reach your destination.

Whether you have to go all the way around it, climb over it, or charge right through it, do whatever it takes to cross over the next wall and get to your destination.

The Voices Around Us

We live a life full of voices around us.

No, we live a life full of voices both around us and within us.

And as you move forward towards whatever it is you are reaching out for,

As you take each of those strenuous steps up the challenging steep slopes of that mountain,

There will be those voices that reach out and try to pull you back down.

Not to where you were a few steps ago, but below the surface.

Those voices try to drown you, and keep you isolated from your dreams.

Those voices are not always from your competition.

There will be times – many times – when those voices will be from people who are close to you.

Friends. Family. Colleagues.

And sometimes even your inner voice.

Recognize those voices for what they are.

People who are trying to pull you away from your dreams.

Your hopes.

Your goals.

Your desires.

 

 

Simply smile at those voices.

And persevere.

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