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Why you should think outside of the little box

Doing things the way they’ve ‘always been done’ is a very good principle to follow especially when you’re following something that’s already established and proven to work for many years. There are good reasons to rely on and follow these things, but we often forget that although these things are really working and are making good results, they can always be improved or reinvented.

I’m not trying to say that we should always try to change things up or reinvent something just for the sake of doing so. What I’m trying to say is that, whenever possible, let’s try to think out of the box because there might be some areas where we can truly improve to better carry out a process or task within the system that’s already in place.

Factors like time and technology makes this all the more agreeable as we all need to go with what’s happening in the present times. Some old ways of doing things might just be unable to keep up with the influx of technological breakthroughs. Not reinventing would be stupidity and stubbornness. We might not realize it, but we could be inside a really small box.

Is there something wrong with the box?

This question is actually a relative one. Some people don’t see anything wrong with working and thinking inside a box. Some even argue that technology and other features of our modern world should be considered harmful to society rather than things that can foster progressive evolution. Then we have others who think that thinking inside the box definitely makes them confined and unable to really express themselves as they would like to. Most growth is brought on by adversity and change. If all we ever did was allow a chosen few to dictate the way things should be, we quite possibly would still be living in the Dinosaur era.

Rules are should not be broken, but they can sure be bent. Boxes are comfortable things to be in, but they sure limit ideas.

Then again, I don’t think this is the right question to ask, whether the box is a god or bad thing. The question should be why would you want to step out of the box?

It’s a koi’s world.

You can see a lot of things that resemble the box. Take for example, the aquarium or a pond. I’ve been a fish hobbyist for many years and I’ve taken care of a variety of fish. Like any other living thing, fish grow to a certain extent as they reach maturity. I’ve been able to take care of Koi and was happy about it for sometime. Before I went on to purchase my first koi, I asked the dealer about the full measurement of an adult koi. He told me that with proper feeding and the right water conditions, koi should grow up to a meter long or a little over that.

So I went on to get my first koi and took care of it for many months. After sometime, I measured my koi and found that it reached a length of about 15 inches. I was excited about the achievement that I had. I was so happy that I had to share this with my friends who were also taking care of koi in their house. I went to his house and found a pond with lots of koi—large koi. I asked him how long he had been caring for his koi. I found out that he started to take care of his koi just about the same time I did to mine. And like me, he purchased it when it was just a few inches long.

I was shocked. Everything was fine, the water conditions, the feeding and all other aspects. Then he asked me how big my pond was. I told him it was just a small pond, just enough to make a koi “happy”. Then he pointed it out the obvious. His pond was like half of a swimming pool and four feet deep. Mine was just a few inches deep. That could be the only factor that made all the difference. My koi was relatively smaller because my pond was smaller. Then I made a quick research and found out that fish grow relative to their living spaces be it an aquarium or a pond. Some spaces make them reach their full adult sizes while others stunt them.

Don’t be just a big fat fish in a tiny little pond. Look beyond.

Get out to grow and reach your full potential.

Happy doesn’t really mean you’re reaching your full potential. If anything, it could just mean that you’re settling. We’re not fish or any other creature but I guess the principle still holds true. If you stay where you are right now, you may say that you are truly happy, but can you say that you’re at your happiest? Do you think that nothing can top what you’re feeling now? Are you reaching your full potential? Are you living the great life, or just living the good life?

When you go out of the box, you are opening yourself up to inconveniences and and other discomforts, but you are opening yourself up to growth too. You are opening yourself to opportunities that you can never have if you’re in your little box. Just take a look at where you are right now. Be honest.

Let’s settle this.

I’m not asking you to always break the flow or get out of the box even if you have no other reason to do it. The most important thing that should be the deciding factor is the sense of growth. Are you growing where you are right now? If you can honestly say that you are, then you are where you should be. You might be in a box, but it could be a really big box and you just need to grow inside it.

But if you can honestly tell yourself that your growth is stunted and you feel that you’re always held back, then maybe it’s time for you to consider looking for a much bigger pond, a higher mountain. Then grow to reach your full adult size.

I look forward to your growth. You can do it.

Your thoughts

What about you? What other things do you like to add? Do you feel like you need to get out of the box right now? Or are you cool where you are?

Let us all know in the comments!

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About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →