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Thinking Outside of The Box means.....

24 Jun. 2011 Posted by Hannah Mich
critical thinking, problem solving, analyze, solutions

Most of us have heard of the expression "Think outside of the box"; but have you really considered what that entails? Well, luckily I have had my high school teachers, college professors and parents telling me to think outside of the box for most of my life. Therefore, I have put some thought into what it means or at least what I think it means.

"Thinking outside of box" means doing things differently or unconventionally. In order to do this, you need to ask questions and lots of them.

"Thinking critically about such topics as our lifestyles, health, food and the environment is challenging..."
I especially like questions that start with "Why": [Why do we do things this way? Why does this work or not work? Why do we keep repeating the same mistakes?]. Now, it is not just about asking questions. You do have to put some thought into it and ask the right questions. And I believe it is like peeling away layers with each set of questions. The more questions the more likely you are to hit the core of the problem or concern. Anyone who has thought this deeply about something knows this is not easy.

I have been yelled at by professors. I have been asked if I have a problem with "authority", and I have been given the "what kind of question is that?" look more times than I can count - all because I asked "hard" questions, instead of just taking their word for it. By "hard" I mean they did not know the answer. But not every question has an answer, that is where the thinking outside of the box really comes in- searching for the answers. That is what this website is for me and hopefully many other people - a place to ask hard questions, think critically about the answers and then take that information and do something productive with it. Think outside of the box.

Again this is not easy. Thinking critically about such topics as our lifestyles, health, food and the environment is challenging because it really takes you out of your comfort zone- the box. Lets say thinking inside the box is like being in your warm cozy home on a cold winter's night. Asking the questions, which is where thinking outside of the box really begins, is like someone forcefully removing you from your warm cozy home and putting you into the cold and dark outdoors without even a winter's coat. Not so much fun. And the critical part, "thinking outside of the box," is you desperately searching for your way back to that warm cozy home. Just remember though - you can never really go back to that "home"- you must re-discover or re-build that feeling of warmth and coziness because you will end outside of that box with a whole new perspective on life.

Deep stuff, huh...but this is why many people do not think outside of the box. It is hard and uncomfortable and requires you to change, knowing that many around you will not choose to do the same.

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