10 Alternatives To Thinking Outside The Box

I am sick and tired of people saying that it is time to think outside the damn box. So, instead of fussing about it, I came up with ten alternatives. Here they are:

1. Step on the box. And move to a higher level. Use the box to get to where you really want to go…

2. Paint the box. Give it a new look. Sometimes the box just needs a fresh, new feel. Nothing has really changed internally, but doesn’t a freshly-painted house look brand new?

3. Poke the box. [h/t Seth] Just read the book. Right now.

4. Crush the box. Flatten the old, tired way. Start fresh. A flat box serves a purpose too. Plus, you can probably rebuild it if you wanted – or needed to.

5. Shred the box. Sometimes you’ve just got to begin again. And complete destruction is the only course. Damn the torpedos. (But don’t worry, if all else fails, someone will construct another box.

6. Hack the box. Sometimes boxes can be used for something other than storing stuff. Repurpose. Retool. Innovate. Open your mind to new possibilities. Come on, don’t be afraid. The people you are worried about aren’t really paying attention. Do it.

7. Rewire the box. Sometimes the box works quite well, and just needs to be rewired. This brings things (ideas) up to code, gives you a fresh start, and gives you confidence to move forward.

8. Deliver the box. Sometimes, you need different opinions, a different viewpoint, and fresh look. Give the box to someone else. Maybe they will do something that matters with it.

9. Bury the box. Sometimes, you just need to let it go. Put it away. Forget about it. Bury it. Move on. Because someday, someone will unbury it, and find wonder in the box.

10. Kick the box. When I was a kid, I loved taking boxes and simply destroying them. Kicking them, crushing them, clubbing them with sticks. I guess it was therapeutic to vent some energy. Sometimes, we just need to do this to begin again, to feel better, and feel alive. So go. Kick it, now. In the end, it is still a box. But you are different.

What are your other ideas? Please share!


[join my free intrepid newsletter]
[subscribe to the blog feed]
[subscribe to my podcast via iTunes]

[cartoon by hugh macleod]

  • http://www.facebook.com/theNetworkingMotivator Beth Bridges

    My friend Robert Mano prefers “Thinking Beyond the Obvious” … that’s the title of his book of course! http://is.gd/ooY5VA  He might suggest that you find a bigger box or move to a different part of the box, but yes, the phrase is definitely over used.

  • Todd Schnick

    I will track down that book. and yes, there are countless things we can do
    with boxes. my fav is still beating them with sticks…

  • http://graphnickdesign.com Nicholas Thane Haroldsen

    Before you can destroy the box, you must seek to understand the box. Only then can you escape the box. Otherwise, you may just be duplicating the same old box.

  • Todd Schnick

    i like it!

  • http://twitter.com/KatTansey Kat Tansey

    Love the box. The box isn’t your enemy. It’s just a box. “We have met the enemy and it is us.” Pogo

  • Todd Schnick

    Love your comment. It is just a box… Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://twitter.com/LincDK Lincoln De Kalb

    Sit in the box. All too often we a busy analysing the outside and not looking at it from the inside. 

  • Todd Schnick

    Love it. And so obvious…

  • Michelle Mayer

    Boxes burn well in bonfires.    Be the one to create the next “box”, every leader needs followers, it’s much more fun to set the pace and watch others scramble :)

  • Todd Schnick

    burn baby burn! create a new box. yes!

  • http://www.globalbusiness101.com/ Preston Odenbrett

    God is bigger then a box that some people put him in.

  • Pingback: Square Wheel | Andresen SF