Thinking In and Out of the Box

The current buzz phrase among business and creative types is, "Thinking out of the box." This means that you think in non-orthodox, non-traditional ways that lead you to new and creative conclusions. This is a powerful tool, as far as it goes, because it allows you to use your entire creative mind without limiting yourself to the way things have always been done. However, while you're thinking in the new "out of the box" way, don't forget that there are some pretty great concepts in that old box. Traditional thinking at one time was someone's creative "out of the box" thinking. Because it was successful, that thought became traditional or "in the box."

Recently, I heard about a lady who was interested in bringing her kitchen into the computer age. She bought a computer program for storing all of her recipes. Then she took her old, laminated recipe cards out of her old wooden recipe box. She went to the computer in her home office and spent many hours entering all of her recipes into her personal computer. After completing the monumental task, she was ready to start cooking with her new 21st century recipe system.

She selected a dish she wanted to prepare, and her computer instantly retrieved the recipe and displayed it on the screen. She went into the kitchen and began cooking. Very quickly she realized that she was wasting all of her time running back and forth between the kitchen and her computer down the hall in her home office. Her solution to this problem was to print the recipe on a piece of computer paper so she could bring the recipe into the kitchen. Before long, as often happens in an active kitchen, the countertop became a mess and the computer printout containing her recipe became

soaked, stained, and illegible.

In utter frustration, she said, "It would be great if I had all of my recipes printed out on waterproof, stain proof cards." If you're following the progression, you will realize her new wish looks an awful lot like where she started-with laminated recipe cards in a wooden box.

Don't think about whether it's a new idea or an old idea. Don't worry about whether it is "in or out of the box." Remove the box and implement the best idea.

Today's the day!


Jim Stovall has been a national champion Olympic weightlifter, the President of the Emmy Award-winning Narrative Television Network, and a highly sought after author and platform speaker. He is the author of the best selling book, The Ultimate Gift, which is now a major motion picture starring James Garner and Abigail Breslin. Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes magazine, says, “Jim Stovall is one of the most extraordinary men of our era.” For his work in making television acc...

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