September 06, 2011

Outside of the box

There is a lot of discussion in the world today about getting outside of the box. About thinking a different way, seeing things from a different perspective, and understanding a broader picture. Truly some of the greatest solutions to your most difficult and challenging problems are discovered when you look outside of the box.

However, once you have spent some time discovering the world outside of your box, it is equally important to remember to get back into the box. It is when you return to the box that you are really able to create a great solution to your problem.

Going outside of the box to get ideas and inspiration from others, to learn from their failures and successes, and to see things as they see them is a great practice to get into. There is so much wonderful beauty and creativity and inspiration to be found outside of the box. Brilliant minds, crazy ideas that have been discounted, failed attempts to revolutionize an industry or even the world. All of this is found outside of the box.

Yet, if all you do is hang around outside the box learning and discovering but never creating, you are missing the point of the exercise completely. And worse, if you stay outside the box and attempt to create, not including a piece of yourself in the algorithm, you aren't really doing anything new or remarkable at all. You are merely copying what you found.

The real value that you hope to achieve by climbing outside of the box is gained from soaking up all of the experiences, ideas, and influences found at the edges of the world outside of the box. The best ideas, and the worst ideas. The most creative and the most common. The safest and the riskiest. Once the gathering is complete though, it is time to return to the box. Your box.

Getting back into your box allows you take the experiences and observations that you encounter while outside of the box and mash them up with your own personal insights and ideas and experiences. Your own vision and mission. Your own pain and failures. Getting back into the box, allows you to create something that no one else in this world can, because no one else is like you.

Getting back into the box is necessary to produce the art that you are responsible for creating. The art and work that we are desperately waiting for.

Don't stop looking for inspiration, but likewise, don't stop creating from your own perspective. Your voice is needed in the conversation, so bring it.

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