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Thinking Outside the Box
I assume you have all heard the expression, “Think outside the box.” Although everyone is familiar with the expression, few people actually practice it, and it is not a difficult thing to do.
A Simple Problem
Let me provide you with a simple problem. Suppose you have a pizza and you want to cut it into eight equal pieces. However, you can only slice it three times. So how do you do it?
Most people would have trouble coming up with a solution. No matter how you try to cut it, you feel that you need to slice it at least four times. But it can be done in three slices — all you need to do is think outside the box. Here is the solution: imagine you cut the pizza into two pieces. Stack the pieces on top of each other and cut it into four pieces. Now stack all of the pieces on top of each other, and the third cut you make will cut the pizza into eight pieces.
Another example would be to figure out two days that start with the letter “T”. Most people would say Tuesday and Thursday, but what about today and tomorrow? A small percentage of the population would answer it this way, and that, my friends, is thinking outside the box.
Our thought process works by processing patterns from past experiences and applying changes to them. While these patterns are extremely useful for regular activities (sitting, eating, driving, swimming, etc.), there are some activities that require creative thinking and these patterns restrict the brain’s ability to do just that.
How Can You Reprogram Your Brain?
One easy way to do it is to reverse the patterns, designs or solutions and arouse new interests. Turn normal processes inside out, upside down or around; changing the orientation of things can hide some patterns but can also make new patterns emerge.
Another way to find alternative solutions to simple problems and situations is to think not about the subject or the problem, but rather the people or subjects in motion. Use that information to come up with a new design or solution. When you think outside the box, your ideas may seem crazy, but don’t shy away from them. Our brains make it hard for us to accept out of the box ideas; it needs processes, experiences and structure, and ideas that are not developed by these means seem preposterous.
One suggestion to help retrain your brain is to find a problem and intentionally come up with several ideas as solutions. Not only will they be amusing, but this will help stimulate your brain to think outside the box. Think outside the box in real-life scenarios as well and try to come up with clever responses for normal questions. For example, if a friend asks you for the time, instead of raising your wrist and looking at your watch, you could perhaps say “It’s time for vengeance,” as you head toward the door. If you observe their reaction, you will see their confusion; you have mixed things up in their head and interrupted their thinking pattern. (Even though this is fun, make sure you apologize after.)
Thinking outside the box enables one to rearrange elements freely in space, and this leads people to develop artistic, creative personalities. You will bring a lot to your company if you start thinking outside the box. Being creative can be wild and unpredictable, but it will lead to self-growth and development of the mind. If you need help preparing for your next interview, or if you are interested in upgrading your technical skills to better market yourself for employment in the IT field, please feel free to contact us. We provide intense Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Cisco, Linux and Red Hat courses. We are located in Mississauga near Toronto, Milton, Hamilton, Oakville and Brampton and offer courses to students looking to change their career or improve their professional skills.