Thinking Out of The Box

Posted by Eshan Sharma
September 7, 2017

Self-Published

The notion behind the phrase “Every child is unique” is quite true when we talk about the youth. With the largest youth population in the world, India has a good chance to improve international rankings in the near future.

However, all of this seems difficult because of our education policy that is solely focussed on obtaining marks. It is because of these policies that our young people are unable to think outside the box.

Thinking out of the box is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new and different perspective. Curiosity is a pre requisite to be able to think in this creative manner.

This phrase was originally coined during the 1970s and 1980s who tried to make clients feel inadequate by drawing nine dots on a piece of paper and asking them to connect the dots without lifting their pens, using only lines.

For almost every scientific invention, we can say that ‘thinking out of the box’ helped them create something unique. According to Ryan Lilly, an American author, “You can’t force creatives into a box. If you try, they’ll no longer be creative. And no one wants your box”

Here in India, NCERT textbooks are the boxes and now most of us find it difficult to solve any HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) questions. Why? Because we are busy learning the NCERT word by word. We often end up complaining to our teachers that a particular question was out of syllabus and wasn’t discussed in class.

We need to understand that unconventional thinking leads to incredible new possibilities. Take the example of entrepreneurs. One example that I can give is Sunny Bee. It is a very simple concept for supplying vegetables and fruits based in Chennai, led by my friend Sanjay Dasari.

They buy fresh vegetables and fruits from some certified Sunny farms, which means that they directly buy from farmers at a good rate. The processing and packaging are done in units called ‘Bee Hive’. After this, they send the packages to ‘Code Alimentarius’, which is the food safety testing unit and then, they send it to their outlets. This is an easy process, but what makes it different is Sanjay’s ability to think out of the box.

This ability requires creativity. In order to encourage creativity, I would like to quote the strategies by Forbes Magazine:

  1. Identify your box, which means self-introspection and know your perspectives and beliefs.
  2. Next step is to define your box. Are you open minded or closed? Is change difficult for you?
  3. Know your biases and beliefs. That means how you perceive information. Psychologists Dr.Taibi Kohler defines six ways that you perceive the world: Thoughts, Opinions, Emotions, Reflections, Reactions (likes & dislikes) and actions.
  4. And after this, finally collapse the walls of your box. Flexibility and adaptability are paramount in learning to appreciate individual difference.

 

I hope after following the above steps you can also start thinking out of the box.

Thank You!

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