Nothing’s working? Try Thinking Outside the Box!

Thinking outside the box is the term used for seeing things from entirely a new angle. It also refers to thinking about alternate solutions and ways to get something done.

Why we need to think outside the box? Because, the existing solutions aren’t working.

Or…

In other words, current solution or practices or the ways things are done are not suitable for us.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s suppose you don’t have money right now and you want to kick start your own business.

Let’s suppose again, you are an expert in Italian and you want to start an Italian language coaching center.

The conventional wisdom dictates that, you should have enough money to get a building on lease. You should readily afford chairs, furniture and other equipment required for teaching students language.

You should have enough money to buy any thing that is required to establish your business.

If, you will follow the conventional wisdom, you will never be able to open a language center.

Because you don’t have money.The current world rules aren’t in your favor. But it doesn’t mean you can’t break these rules. You can!

How? Think outside the box.

Now how to just get started?

Pick up the pencil and a paper and write down these steps.

When you are all alone…

  1. Try thinking out loud about setting up your [insert your business / goal here].
  2. While thinking outside the box, don’t have a filter. Say anything you want to.
  3. Any thought that crosses your mind, just catch it. Don’t hold it back. Thoughts like borrowing from a friend, launching a website and asking for donations. Reaching out to Seth Godin for a shout out or just reaching out to students and asking them to pay you in advance. Applying for loan from bank. Any thought is welcome.
  4. Don’t sort out ideas as good one, bad one, wild guesses, speculation or weird. Whatever comes from the mind should go down to the paper. Straight.
  5. This same practice of writing every thought down to the paper can be exercised verbally as well. Just keep talking and think about the problem you want to resolve or about creating new post, article, business or a way to do a certain thing entirely in a fashion.
  6. Initially, thoughts will be rough, so don’t worry. Don’t look for making them complete. For now, your job is just to write or say whatever comes to your mind. We will sort it out or connect the dots later.
  7. Don’t over analyze your thoughts. Just keep the momentum going.

When you have done enough self-talk and having noted down all the solutions that you have been thinking tirelessly, it’s time to filter them out. Out of 100 ideas, may be you get two actionable ideas.

Now it’s time to look for external help.

After enough brainstorming and thinking outside the box, you need to find a mentor. This mentor can be your trusted friend who has a lot of experience and exposure. Or, she can be someone who is good at planning things and have done some great work.

You can also reach out to a person who has suffered a lot of failures. She can tell you, at least, what won’t work in this real world. She is in better position than you to assess probability of your success in light of your ideas and goals.

It’s a wise thing to always give proper weight to the opinion of people who have lived a failed life.

Just make sure, they are sincere with you. Once you have got actionable advice from your mentor. Act on it.

Believe in your idea up to the level of conviction.

It is very important to have belief in your ideas. You should be 139% sure that you will get success. The way you are running things will not only be fruitful for you but also for people who will interact with you.

Therefore, it is important to be clear-headed and be confident about whatever you want to do. People will only come forward, invest their money and time in you if they will be sure that you are super confident that your idea will work. You are worth their attention and support.

Never be a dollar chaser

Never aim money for your goals. Instead, it should be some passion, some desire to bring change in your environment and in the lives of people who deserve that. Only then you will have a consistent supply of motivation, energy and loyal followers.

Sometimes don’t think at all.

Yes that right. That make sense as well.

Why? Because our mind is also like a muscle that needs some rest. In order to keep it fresh and a valuable idea generating machine, we need to give it rest. Make sure that you give your mind enough peace to rest. Take regular naps during working days, sleep 08 hours a day, and have positive outlook towards life.

Refer great minds.

While you are pursuing your goals with full force, attach yourself with great mind. How? By just reading their books and by understanding their philosophy.

It’s no accident that all the successful people have one habit in common. They are all book readers.

The great benefit of reading book is that you get new ideas and concepts. They are not merely ideas- the author has lived them, tested them and have achieved success from it.

See, writing a book isn’t an easy task. Publishing it even, harder. It needs a lot of experience, knowledge and conviction. So, it is clear that authors have led a life full of adventurism and after passing through experience of many decades, they are handing you over the crux of their wisdom.

Hence, it’s really wise to read books. This habit will make you more informed, wise and an optimist.

Think like a child

Recently, Steve Mueller, the founder of Planet of Success gave a valuable advice regarding thinking outside the box. He says that, in order to have a simple answer to a complex question, just reach out a child.

The reason for asking a child is simple. He hasn’t gone through schooling in which conventional methods are taught. A child’s mind is fresh, so chances are far brighter that she will come up with a very genuine and a simple idea. And your world will change.

Make good relationships.

Whoever has good friends won’t ever be at loss. She won’t be ever poor. She will have both happiness and money. Good friends help you remain happy and will always be there to get you promoted, get you money, get you moral support.

The value of having strong relationships is beyond words. Therefore, honor relationships and make it your first priority to have good friends. Invest time in building friendships, take care of their needs and always be there to help them.

And never expect return of anything you give away.

Embrace 1% rule for improvement.

James Altucher is my favorite blogger. He is of the view that instead of bringing massive change at once, we should go for bringing only one percent improvement in anything we want, at a time.

This continuous yet small improvement will eventually become far greater both in value and in impact and is easier to practice.

I think, this is reasonable approach. You only have to do as much to meet 1% requirement and then you are better than yesterday.

Small improvement on a daily basis is also the source of permanent happiness. You have great chances of success in improving things just 1%. Massive changes or urge to do remarkable things in a haste often backfires. As a result, we get disappointed.

Start Writing

Writing is an art and it is very useful for sharpening thinking skill. Writing your thoughts and your plans is a good way of managing your goals and life as a whole.

You can maintain a private diary to record your thoughts or you can opt for a free blog on internet. This act of writing will make you a perfect girl, in the sense that your thinking ability will increase. Since, this demands a lot of focus and attention.

I know that writing is a difficult task, but if you will remain consistent, words will come naturally to you. Again, you can apply 1% improvement rule. Start easy, write as much as you can. Again, come back tomorrow with the intent of improving your writing skills by just 1% hope.

If you will keep improving at the rate of 1% per day. You will be 100% better writer than you before previous 100 days. Isn’t it a big change?

Conclusion

In a nutshell.

  • Thinking outside the box is thinking for alternate solutions.
  • Thinking outside the box can really give you a brand new way to do certain tasks.
  • Reading good books is helpful in order to search for new ideas and remaining happy and optimist.
  • You can improve your any skill, business, or a habit just by improving it 1% consistently. Don’t give up. Make improvement your consistent goal. It is the process which will never end and will never disappoint.

Originally published at whrill.com on October 17, 2015.

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