So often we hear people talking of ‘thinking outside the box’ for it is a fairly popular saying. Believe it or not, people thinking outside the box are not popular at all. We talk so much about some things, but that is all we do, just talk. Look at exercising for instance, so many people talk about the benefits of exercise, yet the only thing being exercised are their lips. Their talk is without action.
To think outside the box is to think widely, it involves thinking of the impossible, or the almost impossible. To think outside the box means that you think of things that others may not necessarily be thinking about; like thinking of creative ways to do things. In a nutshell, you can say that thinking outside of the box is to think big. I believe that university students and graduates should not only think about having a degree in hand so as to apply for a job. University students should start thinking of creative jobs for themselves and for others. Just last week I was watching a documentary on a science fiction station when some young people actually made faces at the idea of watching a documentary. Documentaries might not be much fun but they are actually educational and inspirational. I watched in awe as a new type of car was being introduced. The car did not need to have a human driver around the steering wheel. You got that right! You would just sit in the car and be chauffeured to your destination, just like that. Using computers to commute - that my friends is thinking outside the box.
Whether this invention takes off or not, whether it becomes popular all over the world or not, is really not what I am interested in. What arrested my attention is the fact that a new day has dawned. People are thinking big. If you are really serious about making a valuable contribution to society, you’ve got to believe in your abilities and more so, you’ve got to believe in the God who created you.
- When Thomas Edison invented the light-bulb in 1879 he was thinking outside the box.
- When Alexander Bell invented the telephone in 1875 he was thinking outside the box.
- When Samuel Morse’s demo of the electric telegraph popularized the machine, in 1838; he was thinking outside the box.
- Today, one can truly say when Glen Mills took on Usain Bolt and trained him to outrun others, Mills was thinking outside the box.
On a note of counsel, let me admonish you, as we approach the close of a new year - if you have not already done so, I implore you to put on your thinking cap and start thinking. Think about something worthwhile. You may help to heal the world or make a big difference in your community if you take the time to think outside the box.
Instructor , Department of Behavioral Sciences
Northern Caribbean University