Lateral Thinking Outside the Box of Chocolates
We all get stuck at times. Even the best of us are stymied, unable to come up with an answer, and just essentially mentally blocked occasionally. Sometimes it seems the harder you try to figure out a ...
We all get stuck at times. Even the best of us are stymied, unable to come up with an answer, and just essentially mentally blocked occasionally. Sometimes it seems the harder you try to figure out a problem, the more elusive the answer becomes. The harder you try to write a good story, the further away the plot goes. Do you throw your hands up in the air in frustration? Do you declare yourself stupid? Do you relinquish the task to someone else wishing you were better at “thinking outside of the box”?
Well, here’s the good news. You can be just as good at “thinking outside the box” as the next guy. It isn’t related to intelligence, although it is often thought of as “smart” thinking. It is more closely related to creative and novel thinking; thinking outside of what we consider to be the “norm”. It requires you to leave behind frustration, anger, stress, fear and control.
Not so easily done when you’re feeling stuck, right? It takes patience and practice… but, you can become a better “out of the box” thinker. Here are some exercises to try now and the next time you are feeling blocked.Challenge your assumptions:
First, make the decision that everything you have not tried yet, may be right. Nothing is wrong until you prove it. Don’t rule out what you usually assume is wrong. Look at the opposite choice. Turn the question upside down and inside out. Write it down, look at it with new eyes. What was before, may not be the same this time. Make sure. Forget what you think you know.Become a 2 year old:
Relinquish control and ask why? Why? Why? Don’t judge yourself or worry about not knowing. Find out why… from every source you can. Get out of your logical mind and ask why even if you think you know.Find inspiration in others:
Discover what others are doing, take in a new artist’s work, listen to a new piece of music. Take a break from what you are doing and allow yourself to venture to a creative place you haven’t experienced yet. Take your mind off of your problem, your project, your block for a little while and change your atmosphere. Go to a park, go to a museum. If you can’t leave your chair… go to an artist community online. The website canvas and pen is a great place to go for creative motivation and inspiration.Shake up your schedule:
If you do the same thing everyday… at the same time… in the same place… change it up! Flip flop your schedule; write in the middle of the night if you’re a morning writer. Go to the office when no one else is there if you can.Set a date with your brain:
Write it in your journal if you have to. Set a date with your brain once a week. Just you and your brain… no radio, no TV, no noise, nobody else. You, silence, and whatever your brain brings to the table. You’ve got to get the noise out… quiet your mind. Then just sit with it and see what it has to say. 10 minutes works… 30 minutes is better.
All of these exercises are aimed at getting you out of your lateral/logical mind patterns. Consider it an adventure… your life from a new perspective. Keep this list handy, and next time you’re feeling blocked, leave the stress and the frustration in the box and don’t be afraid to step on out!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I have been a professional artist and artist coach for 15 years. I have established a website for the creative community. Come check out the free articles, stories and online coaching service for creative and personal development.www.creative-personal-development.comEveryone is creative - it is you who creates your life!