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What Kind of Thinker are You?

Thinkingbox1-300x240I have made it a life quest to seek out and hang out with people who think outside the box.

As a child I realised that the basic moves I was taught in chess would not get me to be the winner because the person opposite had also been taught the same basic moves. So it would be stalemate if we played to same game over and over again.

In my scientific training I was trained to look at all the angles and looks for the angles that were not obvious. Only by persistent observation and design does anyone discover anything.

There are basically two kinds of thinkers when it comes to problem solving: those who think inside the box and those who think outside the box. You are not dependent upon your nature. In other words you are not born that way. You have been trained to think or how you have trained yourself to think.

As a child, for a long time I was in a school run by a military-trained man. Everything he did and had others do was by routine. The same thing was done again and again.

It required very little use of the intellect to comply with a whole host of rules and regulations. It taught me to be disciplined, dogged and persistent but not to use my mind.

As a leader he failed to inspire. His intention was to produce little robots and that is what he did but they were generally not children who could think for themselves and be problem solvers.

If you train a child to only follow the rules, that is what they will do for the rest of their lives. They will be inside the box thinkers. Their problem solving skills will be very limited because they will select answers to problems from preset formats with which they are familiar or which are laid down for them to follow.

They become book keepers, ticket collectors, low to mid-level bureaucrats, all of whom are people who follow rules and regulations to the nth degree. Excuse the over generalisation, but you get the idea.

People who only think inside the box have enormous trouble in trying to deal with problems they are not familiar with for which they do not have preset answers.

Their solution sources are preset and formatted, and when there is no equivalent they are unable to cope. They panic, become defensive and shut down.

I quickly learnt as child there were people who thought outside the box.

They were creative in their problem solving. Sometimes they ignored the rules and regulations and began from scratch in the way they approached solving problems.

They were artists, designers, scientists and even a doctor who was not prepared to accept an often inflexible, unproductive status quo.

They were risk takers and problem solvers. They thought outside the box creatively.

So which kind of thinker are you? Are you someone who thinks inside the box and does not take any risks?

Maybe you already are someone who is thinking outside the box in a creative fashion in one area of your life and now you are prepared to take risks with your problem solving skills.

 

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