Getting Out of the Box

Many people set low ceilings on their expectations and capabilities. In the process, they place themselves in a "box." Alexander Whortley took that a step further and literally lived in a box. It was a mini-trailer, three feet wide, four feet long, and five feet high. He lived there until he died at the age of eighty. His box was made of wood, had a metal roof, and it housed him and all his meager belongings. Regardless of where he worked, Whortley chose to spend his life in that cramped space, even though larger, more comfortable quarters were always available.

Few of us live in a "box." However, too many of us have a tendency to "box" ourselves in and continue to do things one way because we've "always done it this way." In many cases, time and experience have proven that "this way" is the best way. However, I challenge you to periodically take a long walk or quietly sit and think about the way you do things. Ask yourself if there might not be a better way. Could your procedures be simplified? Are they necessary at all? Could they be done more cheaply or efficiently? Could your product be longer? Shorter? A different shape? Another fabric? Another color? Sometimes you can come up with simple ideas that make a big difference. Incidentally, one advantage of a continual personal-growth-and-education way of life is that the broader and deeper your knowledge base, the more creative your problem-solving approach to life.

Simple example: For years men's coats had an inside pocket only on the right where pens and other items were kept. One day somebody had a thought: Since most men are right-handed, why not put a pocket on the inside left so that they could reach in, extract the pen with their right hand, and begin writing? Not monumental, but it saves a second or two and it's sold lots of suits. Think about it and I'll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!


A talented author and speaker, Zig Ziglar has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation. Since 1970, he has traveled over five million miles across the world delivering powerful life improvement messages, cultivating the energy of change. Since 1970, an extensive array of Ziglar audio, video, books, and training manuals have been utilized by small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. Government agencies, churches, school districts, prisons, and non-profit associations...

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