In many ways, we are what we think. That is to say, we are literally trapped by the figurative box of our thoughts.
To help you think outside the box, here are some ideas.
- To change who you are, first, change how you think. This is easier said than done. To make a start, try seeking out new environments, people or experiences that are very different from those you’re accustomed too.
- Avoid comfort zones – they are the petri dish of stale thinking.
- Much of your life will be defined by the stories you tell yourself. Pay close attention to this narrator – he’ll be the arbitrator of many untruths, the creator of toxic thinking and the undertaker of your dreams. If you’re unhappy with your story, change your narrative.
- Almost everything is a myth that we collectively tell ourselves and believe. Poke these myths and you’ll see that many of the rules we follow are in fact malleable. To bend reality in your favour be a myth creator or buster, don’t be a myth follower.
- Be suspicious of conformity. If the majority of people are doing something they are either very right or very wrong. The trick is figuring out which and deciding to zig when every one else zags.
- There are things you know, things you don’t know and things you don’t know you don’t know. The latter is everyone’s biggest blind spot. To help uncover these blindspots try to always question assumptions. Take or seek out contrarian viewpoints. If you have a strong opinion then have the courage to frequently challenge it.
- Seek rationality and logic. Avoid mysticism, superstition and conjecture.
- Always keep an open mind but maintain a healthy dose of scepticism. The stronger you hold a belief the greater the burden of evidence. Never be too certain.
- Good ideas should always win out. For this to happen you need to allow ideas to collide, be honest and be willing to change your mind.
- One of the worst things you can tell yourself is, ‘I can’t’. You’ve lost even before you’ve begun. Always add yet.
- The way you frame questions about problems defines the solutions. If you want bigger and better solutions, make sure you frame your questions carefully.
- Many things in life will be out of your control. One thing that will always be under your control is your attitude. Choose to have a positive attitude (see thoughts on Cards).
- Fear is the ball and chain that keeps most of us locked inside our self-imposed invisible boxes. Have the courage to take action and step outside, you’ll be amazed by the vast expanse of the possible.