Creativity Knows No Bounds, So Don’t Box It Up

Jay Billups

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Creative Notes from the Editor

Our vision here is to inspire people to embrace their creativity. It is important to understand that creativity is a process and not the end product or result.

Many people instantly think that they are not creative and dismiss this at hand. However, the creative process is something that everyone does, every day, without even thinking about it. It is simply coming up with a solution to a problem or a challenge that we face. Whether you work from home or are in corporate, whether you are an artist or an entrepreneur, or anything in between you solve problems every day. Why is it that some of us have the ability to solve larger and more complex problems than others? Why are some able to face more daunting challenges than most?

Remember that phrase, “think outside the box?” You probably hate it, but it is the key. So what does it mean? The box is the boundary, the rules, the criteria, the requirements. The box is a limiting factor and it does exist in most environments. So when we are asked to think outside of the box it is very difficult to do because we are always thinking about the box. The box hedges our thoughts, we think “well I could do this, but that’s against the rules.” A thought outside the box increases the risk of disapproval and rejection so we avoid it, consciously and subconsciously.

How do you get around this? Don’t think about the box! When solving a problem or facing a challenge let your mind roam free and be open to all possibilities – don’t think inside, don’t think outside … just think, imagine, and contemplate. You may argue that, if you come up with a solution that isn’t allowed, you’ve wasted your time. Not at all! This is the perfect time to question the boundaries and the rules. Have you ever been in a meeting and no one knows why a directive or limitation exists? Did you know it is unlawful to lend your vacuum to your next-door neighbor in Denver? Yep, explain that one.

If you do not allow your mind to wander outside of the box the restrictions will never be questioned and may always exist for no good reason, other than “it’s always been that way.”

Next time you are faced with a problem or challenge, individually or as a group, provide an environment that allows for all ideas to bounce around freely. Don’t discuss or focus on the limitations. Think of the possibilities, not the box! It’s better to have to trim ideas from a solution and stuff the box full instead of having a solution that rattles around inside the box like a disappointing gift.

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