think outside the box?

There is a catchphrase which is quoted continually. It is important to think outside the box. Its interesting and I have always prided myself on having this ability but I think on further reflection, it may not be the way to go. Perhaps, we have forgotten how to think inside the box and given that most of us live inside a box of sorts, wouldn't that be an important skill to have. I started this on-line writing project at 100 words. You have to write 100 words (no less, no more) every day for one month. After a month they will be displayed on-line. So, in the first week of January you all will be able to read the results of this little experiment with myself and my writing. I have been faithful in my writing every day 100 words and posting them to the site. I am quite happy with what I have been writing in the constraint of 100 words. I have been writing inside the confines of a box and the idea is that one learns to be creative within those confines. Under the tyranny of rules, creativity, I believe, can explode into something wonderful. You can be the judge of that I suppose once my month of 100 words a day goes live.

This is true of my worklife as well - strategic directions and thinking strategically are often done inside of a confined box and the trick is to look around at your limitations and find ways of doing things in new and innovative ways ... ways of achieving more by doing less ... within the confines of a boundary there a multitude of actions one can take. Thinking strategically and acting in a strategic way is discovering those actions which will produce the greatest results.

Proust noted that poets often produced their best works under the tyranny of rhyme and that is the idea behind the 100 word project set forth by Jeff Koyen. It is an interesting idea and I think that thinking outside the box lets us look beyond the way things are done by incorporating new technologies and ideas into our existing schemata. Equally as important is the idea of thinking inside the box and looking at our existing schemata and finding new and interesting ways of working within those boundaries. Sometimes it is feasible to add new elements and sometimes it makes more sense to work differently with what you already have. Either way, I think that in some of the greatest creativity of this world has happened in confined spaces if you will, in the midst of tyranny when self-expression is limited, a mass of artistic endeavours have been produced and creativity en masse has exploded.

I feel incredibly lucky to live in a place and age where I have been given the opportunity to think outside of the box and to incorporate new learnings and technology into my world. I also feel that if I look over my life at the times where I was incredibly confined in terms of time and money and so forth that I was also incredibly prolific in my endeavours. I somehow managed to produce a lot with very little time and resource. I am thinking here of the period in my life when I was working full time, going to school full time and writing and producing a play.

Today, with these ideas floating through the flotsam of my headspace, I am excited and my brain cells are snapping in strange rhythms with a life of their own. Anyway, it is not a completely formed idea but was running through my head and so thought I would jot it down in some coherent/incoherent way ... have a great weekend everyone!