The box. Recent articles have suggested the box is no longer relevant, it’s passé, oId school, no longer a factor. It has lost some if its impact, but the box is still here. You and I are often reminded to think outside that box. What happens when you think outside the box? Here’s my theory.
We cannot exist outside our box. The box is our “safe” place. We can get outside the box for short periods of time, but it is like trying to exist underwater without a source of air, or in outer space without a spacesuit.
The good news is we don’t have to always retreat back into our box. “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson. When we are outside of the box, the box will grow until we are back inside the box without having moved. We move outside the box, the box expands, we move again and again the box expands.
What does happen? All too often, while we are expanding, the world around us remains static. Our box is growing and the boxes around us may not be. Imagine this: your box has grown to the point where it is now bigger that your manager’s box. What is the result?
Perhaps you work in a very supportive environment, and your new, large box attracts the kind of attention you’ve been seeking for a long time. Management makes room for you and your expanded way of thinking and your career is on the upswing. “As soon as you open your mind to doing things differently, the doors of opportunity practically fly off their hinges.” ― Jay Abraham, The Sticking Point Solution: 9 Ways to Move Your Business from Stagnation to Stunning Growth In Tough Economic Times
On the other hand, maybe you have a supervisor who is challenged by your out of the box thinking. Barriers appear, conflict ensues, and work becomes a challenge in a whole new way. There seems to be someone trying to force you back into the old, small box. It is frustrating. It hurts. After all, aren’t they the ones who wanted me to expand?
What do you think? Has this ever happened to you? To someone you know? Have you been the boss trying to put someone back after the box has expanded? What was the result?