After taking a great deal of time to decide what to write about, it hit me, why not blog about ways of expanding your mind: simple steps to thinking outside the box. I feel this blog is definitely applicable to users of the PRC, but in many ways it can be used in the fast moving world of creative thinking. What do designers, engineers, creatives, and futurists do to help themselves think outside the box? Here are a variety of techniques:
First, exercising! Research shows that aerobic exercise helps to unlock our creative potential, so go for a walk or run. Work up a sweat instead of consciously working on your problem and your brain will make the missing connection.
Secondly sleep, sleep, sleep! You’re probably thinking that college permits the exact opposite. Well time management will just have to be another blog entry. Studies show that the way our neurotransmitters behave during dreaming sleep helps our brain make new connections- rack up those REM cycles!
Third, think like a kid! Kids will sometimes throw up some pretty left-field answers to standard questions. If you could reformulate your problem so that a kid could understand it, you might see a different way around it.
Fourth, brainstorm or free- write to find new ideas or links between old ideas. The first ideas we tend to think of are usually the obvious, clichéd ones, so for the innovative solutions, we have to push on through.
Fifth, shack your mind out of its established grooves. Get a hobby and hopefully you might kick-start a mental revolution. Try pottery, knitting, orienteering- or join a book group, a film group, a debating society! Attempt anything that will push your mind in a new direction.
Critics out! When you’ve got a new idea, or you’re setting out on an untested path, it’s easy to be discouraged and give in to negative thoughts. But there is no change without risk, so you’ve got to learn to plough on regardless. Idea generating does not stop in this life. Don’t be discouraged or hesitant to think outside the box. All I ask is for you to take these steps into consideration, and who knows you may knit up your best idea yet!