Thinking Without the Box

Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box!

Deepak Chopra


My little son loves to draw and is really skilled as well. He meticulously draws fine details of each and every observation he makes for various objects and things around him. He painstakingly drew a standing smiling crocodile. I was amused at this beautiful creation and at the same time I tried to reason with him that crocodiles cannot stand, have you ever seen a crocodile stand? Puff came a quick reply “it does, look in my drawing it is standing!” and there he taught me the most important Zen of thinking without a box!


I never made any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking

Albert Einstein


What is this thinking outside the box mentality anyway? What is the box and who created it? I pondered over it for some time and figured that the various belief systems that humans have garnered over centuries make the rudiments of this so called ‘box’. Time and again we hear the adage “Think outside the box”, and then someone more creative paraphrased it “Think inside the box as everyone is busy thinking outside”. But I’d rather say “let’s think without a box!” Let’s just forget that there is a box.


If you can’t solve a problem, it’s because you’re playing by the rules


And what does it mean to think without a box? Simply put, look at a problem from a neutral perspective, apply the principle of thin-slicing and take charge. No, here we are not trying to reinvent the wheel but all we are doing is avoiding falling in the abyss of established theories that influence out thought system. Stop fearing the unknown and seek your own truth! Above all use your imagination. Greatest of discoveries have been made when people attempted the unfamiliar. Looking at the current trend of the start-ups ruling the emerging business markets, the ones who thought different, became brands in their own right. In this vast space where everything co-exists to make the Cosmos intelligent, having a boxed thinking can only lead to a suffocative existence.


Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere

Albert Einstein


Here is a customary short story that explains the basic human nature that leads to a breed of followers and not seekers:

One day Mara, the Evil One, was travelling through the villages of India with his attendants. he saw a man doing walking meditation whose face was lit up on wonder. The man had just discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara’s attendant asked what that was and Mara replied, “A piece of truth.”

“Doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece of truth, O Evil One?” his attendant asked. “No,” Mara replied. “Right after this, they usually make a belief out of it.”


At first they’ll ask why you are doing it, and then later they’ll ask how you did it!


As they say, when a student is ready a teacher appears. So I must thank my 4 year old for teaching me this valuable lesson in his innocent and subtle way. Reality is what I make of it and not what has been written about or pre-decided. Forget about the box, look for the magic that weaves the foundation of something great and miraclous. As Christopher Moore puts it aptly “Children see magic, because they look for it!







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