May 9, 2007
my career, I've found that 'thinking outside the box' works better
if I know what's 'inside the box'..."
American composer and arranger David Grusin
from where we stand, the grass on the other side of that fence
actually does look greener; lush and inviting. A glance downward
to our own lawn and we quickly see the flaws and crabgrass.
sometimes, on rare occasions, from where we view it, the glass
in another's hand actually does look more full; ours is half empty
and slowly draining.
sometimes, every now and then, we just have to remind ourselves
and be thankful that we have a yard and a glass at all.
peace. An alternative to the massive use of crude oil. A more
environmental friendly wrapping paper. An even more democratic
and participatory form of corporate leadership. A more palatable
alternative to bread with crust. Just a few of the many monumental
and trivial matters in this life that seem to call for us to really
look "outside the box."
was not able to ascertain when the expression "out of the
box" first emerged in the English language, but in a very
short time it became a mainstay to our everyday conversation.
Defined, the expression "thinking outside the box" simply
means thinking and creativity that is beyond the conventional
and every-day. We use the expression when we are trying to come
up with a fresh and creative approach to today's ongoing dilemma
address those situations, here are two things I believe: (1) Today's
dilemmas are caused by yesterday's creative solutions and tomorrow's
challenges were already being birthed in today's innovative approaches.
(2) We are often all too quick to dismiss what's "in the
box" as shortsighted and flawed, when, as David Grusin alludes,
we're not even aware of what is presently "in the box."
example, business world remains anxious to develop a revoluntionary
approach to their marketing so as to squeeze out just a little
higher quarterly that they forget to respect and listen to the
very "consumer and employee base" (people like you and
I) to which they are marketing. The search for that golden revoluntionary
approach occurs just outside the box, while all the while respect
and genuineness are nestled just inside that box. Sometimes, all
that we need is already nestled in one small corner of that very
box. It was there all the time.
come to believe that most of us are not "trapped" inside
a box of our own thinking and practices and creativity; rather,
we have not found an effective means to open that box wide and
peruse all of its contents.
friend, I believe in a Creator that gave each of us all that we
would need to solve and resolve the issues of today and tomorrow,
including the powerful gift of prayer. Most of us see our box,
our creative pool, as only knee-deep. When, in reality, it is
a very deep pool that we each need to dive into and immerse ourselves
not, for one moment, allow anyone to tell you that you are "not
that creative" or that you "need to think outside of
the box." That box, that creativity, is your treasure and
it's meant to be spent.
envy the lawn across the fence or the glass in another's hand,
my friend, because your lawn is showing serious signs of growth.
And don't look now, but that glass in your hand is overflowing.