THINKING OUT-OF-THE-BOX IS SUCH A CLICHÉ.
Many of us shy away from disruption because we are taught to believe that disturbing a working mechanism will only cause it to falter. But that is not always the case, disruption allows for a positive outcome when we allow ourselves to accept what we’ve been dealt and to approach it from a different angle.
This approach is often referred to as thinking outside-of-the-box, which when broken down to its core means thinking creatively and freely. In relation to business, this way of thinking is crucial for attracting your audience and staying relevant in your target market.
But flipping the switch between what you have been conditioned to think and derailing your train of thought so that it can arrive at a new destination requires you to first consider what is it that makes you think. According to sciencedaily.com, when googling “what triggers us to think?”, this is the answer that was given:
Differences in the physical connections of the brain are at the root of what make people think and behave differently from one another. Researchers reporting in the February 6 issue of the Cell Press journal Neuron, shed new light on the details of this phenomenon, mapping the exact brain regions where individual differences occur. Their findings reveal that individuals’ brain connectivity varies more in areas that relate to integrating information than in areas for the initial perception of the world.
Information vs. Perception
We are triggered by curiosity, the answers we seek jump between our information and our perception. And as stated above our perception is influenced by the information that we have. Thereby, helping us to either think IN or OUT of the box (the box being the small space of what is norm vs. what leads us to think creatively, freely and off the beaten path).
WHERE TO START:
The challenge arises when our intuition is in conflict with what we know. We always see what we want to see, through what we know. And what we know, is what we’ve been taught or experienced and/or what we’ve been conditioned to believe.
The easiest terminology would be to simply flip the switch, take what you know and challenge it. Ask more questions, don’t just accept what you’ve been told because someone said so.
To change your mindset you need to heighten listening to your intuition- even if it seems difficult. Use what you know, challenge the status quo (you need to define what this is) and then use your curiosity to join the dots by challenging your status of information vs your level of perception. You can only broaden your perception by elevating your knowledge, so learn something new, allow yourself to be curious.
ADVANTAGES OF FORWARD-THINKING:
Forward-thinking has the ability to turn something negative into something positive. This is accomplished by us actively creating a thought process that will assist us in thinking out-of-the-box.
Disruption opens a pathway for people to think differently and allows us to use our imagination, to redefine the industries we work in and the world we live in. Society, as a result, benefits from these different thoughts (or innovations) that will inevitably improve our efficiency and ease of our daily lives, making us better. It
Provides unthought-of Solutions
Disruption can help us solve issues where our leaders haven’t been able to make the necessary decisions.
Improves Economic Growth
Although it can lead to job loss, it also allows workers to enter into new types of roles that they would never have considered had the opportunity not present itself.
HOW TO APPLY FORWARD-THINKING:
The world has been in a blatant and exorbitant OUTCRY about our planet for YEARS, and even more so these past few months with Greta Thunberg on tour.
With things like “Stop the emissions”, “Stop the pollution”, “Stop the use of plastic”, “Stop the use of fossil fuels”, stop stop stop!
And the answers were always “NOT POSSIBLE!” — “The repercussions would be fatal for the economy”…
Yet, along comes the COVID-19 virus and makes the impossible — possible. China’s lockdown has dissipated all pollution, markets have crashed and politicians are digging into the ‘emergency funds’ so as to finally serve the nation without providing profits to the politicians. Everyone’s ‘worst nightmares’ have happened, but the world is still turning.
What was deemed impossible, is in fact possible- it just needed a nudge. Yes, understandably ‘at what cost’, but it just goes to show that it’s not that it CANNOT be done, but that many didn’t WANT it done (read that again).
In order to truly understand how leaning into a different mindset can help us achieve more, I will use Covid-19 as a point of reference (a current topic 1st Quarter 2020).)
In 2015, the extraordinary Bill Gates IMO, already ‘predicted’ an epidemic (virus) would be coming soon and that we as a world weren’t ready for it. A Hollywood movie with A-List actors was released in 2011 around the COVID-19 virus, albeit a little exaggerated it shows that the possibility of an outbreak was in some ways always present- but no one wanted to really listen.
Using the Covid-19 analogy, let’s break down how we could initiate forward-thinking:
Information: There is a deadly virus currently killing off the population worldwide. It started in Asia as a repercussion of food consumption when a bat transmitted a flu. As this is the first time it has been transmitted from an animal to a human it is considered deadly.
Intuition: Despite alarming indicators, we still believe that all will be well.
Curiosity: What is so deadly about this virus? Is it a snakebite where you die within seconds? Or how does it work? When people are being killed off, why is there no vaccination or something similar for this?
Perception: We’re a first-world country, it won’t affect us. We’re protected.
Status Quo: Is this virus good for something, what is it trying to tell us that we weren’t listening to before?
“IT ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL IT’S DONE.”
(Apparently) a quote from my favourite person Nelson Mandela.
Mother Earth hasn’t been able to breathe for the longest time. And it’s interesting that the epidemic that has surfaced is mirrored within us. The virus attacks our LUNGS (respiratory system) — our BREATHING tool.
Is Mother Earth giving herself and us the space to finally BREATHE and EXHALE?
Not only is the epidemic challenging us to take a step back and reflect on what we’re doing, but it’s also forcing us to slow down and reflect.
As the world stepped into a crisis we have also been able to evaluate the ways in which our leaders react. For so long we’ve been conditioned to believe that the politicians, oil lords and pharma industries rule our world and supply our demands. The power is not in the hands of who we believe it to be. The power lies with us, the consumer, we’ve just been conditioned to believe that it doesn’t. And now that we’re slowing down and have time to reflect, we have the opportunity to rectify this way of thinking.
“POWER CONCEDES NOTHING WITHOUT A DEMAND. IT NEVER DID AND IT NEVER WILL.”
We are allowed to make educated choices on who we want as our leaders. There isn’t one or the other. If the candidates don’t appeal, ask for different candidates. Leaders can be compassionate and lead with construct and discipline — there doesn’t have to be a ‘one-or-the-other’, just look at Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister.
Social Media Influencers and business owners have been stocking up with content, offering assistance in how you can calm your anxiety, prepare to spend time with family (young children), how to explain the situation to your children, how to breathe.
I thoroughly enjoyed this brilliant TEDx talk by Alannah Shaikh about Epidemics that occur on a regular interval and how we as a nation can control this through our consumption.
EPIDEMICS AND RECESSIONS WON’T GO AWAY.
There will always be some kind of disruption in the world (and within us). It’s what helps us to reset. That’s not to say that the disruption is pleasant or easy. Oftentimes it isn’t. And what we see a lot of is that history ALWAYS repeats itself but in another form. We never know when disruption will happen, only that it will happen and it will affect many on a micro-and macro-level.
Micro-level: Your personal growth and development.
Macro-level: Your world around you in conjunction with the environment. When we exhaust our capacities, it’s only natural that something needs to give
ACCEPT THE UNEASE FOR WHAT IT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE:
By entertaining your curious thoughts, which would include reading about industries that aren’t necessarily your field of expertise or partaking in a workshop that sparks curiosity but not necessarily any talents or gifts. Your trail of curiosity will lead you to paths and journeys that teach you new information and help you to see moments or problems in new ways.
Remember that where you’re led may not be your core interest, but by being curious as to WHY it has come about, you’ll learn so much about the how.
For example, I have no interest in Science on a whole or medicine or viruses such as COVID-19, however, my curiosity got me asking questions which led me to this article to help me think out-of-the-box on how humans are mirroring Mother Earth (or vice versa), and in turn how Leadership is being challenged on a greater scale on a personal and business level.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
The question, however, does remain to be asked (curious). Do we initiate the next epidemics by negligence because it‘s not comfortable living or do we make conscious and innovative decisions (thinking out-of-the-box) to find solutions that will advance the human race forward without harming our environment?
I would love to know how you’re thinking out-of-the-box and leaning into the unease to see the positive from the negative- share with me below.