Learning British UK Accent (RP): Jump Start Your Creativity: 10 Steps to Thinking Outside the Box

Jump Start Your Creativity: 10 Steps to Thinking Outside the Box

How to Develop a British Accent if You Are American - wikiHow
Thinking outside of the box can get you places

Thinking outside of the box can get you places
No doubt you've heard the term to "think outside the box". Perhaps you've wondered what that meant in actual fact, or you know what it means but you're so firmly "inside the box" that you don't even notice that you're in the box. This article will attempt to show you some ways to do to escape the box and do some creative new thinking.


  1. Be prepared for a big change. To re-educate yourself and the way you think is almost a "lifestyle" change. Basically, you're re-inventing the wheel and you are the wheel. Indications that it might be time to change your way of thinking include:
    • You're in a rut, you know you're in a rut, and no matter what you try, you fall back into the rut.
    • You can't come up with a solution to a nagging problem. Finally, someone else does and the answer was an incredibly obvious one; it happens a lot.
  2. Learn the terms. If you're familiar with the terms, you'll be in a great position to do some research into out-of-the-box thinking. Some of the terminology for modes of "thinking outside of the box" are:
  3. Understand that, for a given problem, some people tend to come up with the more "creative" solutions. The inability to do so does not reflect a person's intelligence.[1] What it does indicate is that people with such solutions are the ones who are more willing, or need, to push themselves out of their comfort zone to get the answers they seek. The principal characteristics for those who think outside of the box are usually:
    • A willingness to take new perspectives toward day-to-day work.
    • Capable of thinking differently with an open mind, think about the substance of issues, and be receptive to doing things differently.
    • Focused on the value of finding new ideas and acting on them.
    • Ready to strive to create value in newer ways.
    • Capable of listening to, supporting, nurturing and respecting others when they come up with new ideas.[1]
      • The driving force behind a lot of people who consistently think outside of the box is frustration. They don't feel that "enough" is being done, and that the "normal" way of thinking just isn't getting it done.
  4. Learn what inhibits your ability to change.[2] The following characteristics lessen your ability to make a positive change in your thinking methods:
    • Negative attitude.
    • Fear of failure, perfectionism.
    • Executive stress, or other stress.
    • Following rules, hidebound to black and white thinking (not flexible, unable to perceive the value in gray areas).
    • Making assumptions – about others, about the world, about the expectations you feel weighing on you, about your own abilities.
    • Over-reliance on logic, along with assuming you have an accurate grasp of what is logical.
  5. It's not just a box...

    It's not just a box...
    Challenge assumptions. Just because it has always been that way, doesn't mean that it has to continue to be that way. In fact, by expecting things to never change, you're setting yourself up for a lot of pain and unhappiness when things – and people – do change around you, without taking you along. Ways to challenge assumptions include:
    • Ask questions. Don't ignore your questions; give them free rein.
    • Stop jumping to hasty conclusions. Haste makes waste and can leave you in hot water. Reflect over things until the better answer arrives.
    • Look at something a different way, literally. Perhaps you've been hammering out a new design for something at work. You've been looking at this design for weeks, always in the same position. Try shifting it. Turn the design upside down, or take it out into the sunshine under the trees, or project it into the ceiling and have all of your co-workers lie in the floor to observe it. You'll be amazed at what a position change can do for assumptions and perspective.
  6. Stop pushing that rock uphill

    Stop pushing that rock uphill
    Break free of dull routine. Doing the same thing, day in and day out, will dull even the smartest person's mind. Find ways of minimizing routine in your life, while still embracing ritual – the two approaches are very different in result. Ritual is about daily or regular activities that center you, keep you well (such as exercise or yoga), and give you a sense of place and identity. Routine is about the things that cause you to fall into a rut, respond without thinking, and that often feel imposed upon you from elsewhere.
    • Change it up, occasionally. Do things differently. Instead of photocopying all the documents first thing in the morning, email them around to everyone and tell them the copier's broken. Next morning, email everything again, telling everyone how well yesterday went and that you've decided to do it like this from now on.
    • Change your appearance and clothes. Many a rut is given a swift kick when you treat yourself to a new look. It's a start, and a really fun one at that.
    • Walk a different way to work, catch a bus instead of driving, bring your lunch in instead of eating out (or vice versa), go home early for a change.
  7. Brainstorm. Brainstorming can do amazing things to help you think outside-the-box. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
    • Think of vague keywords like "coffee" and follow whatever this leads to next in your mind, and take it as far as you can go; this can lead to interesting ideas. For example: "Coffee" -> "Milk" -> "Spilled" -> "Unspillable milk and coffee container".
    • Do brain teasers, puzzles, psychometric tests, etc., and challenge your brain to new ways of doing and seeing things.
    • If you hated math, English or science, try it again; this time make yourself do it well. Force your mind to think down different pathways.
    • Learn a new language, a new way of keeping inventory, a new way to be a great boss or lover.
    • Write poems. Poems can spark your creative thinking.
    • Visualize work or home solutions through drawing pictures rather than writing things down.
  8. Think laterally. It can be really beneficial to learn about how people do it in other walks of life. Whether you're a CEO, an engineer, a stay-at-home mom, or a teacher, there are ways of thinking laterally that can benefit what you're doing.
    • Read about processes and solutions in industries different from the one you're working in. Chances are there are some amazing answers for you to uncover and apply to your situation.
    • The same goes for cross-disciplinary studies. Instead of staying within your own expertise, branch out and investigate what other disciplines are doing in areas or topics that interest you. There may be some surprising connections worth uncovering and adapting.
    • Sit down and talk with others who know nothing about what you're doing but are willing listeners. Explain your situation and challenges and ask for their thoughts on solutions.
  9. Bring your child to work. There is nothing quite so re-energizing as the fresh, unwearied viewpoint of a child. It's not that your child is cleverer than you; it's just that your child is less worn down, more open to speaking their mind in a forthright manner, and usually unafraid to use what creativity they possess. Why not give your child a look at the situation or problem before you? Ask them what they'd do. And listen to their answer very carefully; take it to heart and use the freshness of perspective they bring to your thinking to help re-energize your outlook.
  10. Regular vacations drive off boxed-in thinking

    Regular vacations drive off boxed-in thinking
    Take your vacations. They're not given to you for collecting and wearing around your neck like a martyr's cross. They're given to you so that you can go away and refresh your thinking, your body, your mind, your soul. The refreshed you is worth infinitely more to the company than the worn-out and irritable, frazzled, in-a-rut you. So if you must sell your soul to the company, at least see vacations as benefiting the company as much as you.



  • Explore faiths beyond your own. Try to find the similarities and connections. And aim to accept each for what it is.
  • Read something that isn't your usual genre. For example, if you think you hate crime fiction, why not try reading one? You might be pleasantly surprised; even if not, you've challenged your thinking processes. Be sure to read to the end!
  • Read biographies to see how other people overcame ruts in their lives. Adapt their thinking solutions to your current situation.


  • Learning to change your style of thinking is not an easy process, or a quick one. Be patient. Enjoy the journey.

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