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Chinedu Ozulumba: Before You Think Outside the Box, Think Inside It



If you’ve never ventured outside the box, you will probably not be creative. But if you never get inside the box, you’ll probably be stupid. – Christopher Peterson

I know you’re familiar with the cliché…

I’m certain you’ve used it tirelessly, well possibly on your team.

This cliché was adopted from the nine-dot puzzle where you’ll have to connect all the nine dots with four straight lines or a fewer without lifting the pen and tracing the same line more than once.

Certainly, ‘thinking outside the box’ connotes thinking differently and unconventionally.

You won’t also be mistaken by attributing breathtaking innovations we see today from this same cliché, at least someone thought to create the coffee dispenser. In 1908, Mellita Bentz invented the first coffee maker.  He must have considered how the old coffee pot worked and decided it would be better to see it improved.

Today companies like Keurig have improved on the coffee maker by adding a timer to save time and to also brew a variety of coffee as customers would prefer.

The “think outside the box” paradigm has overtaken the sphere of business, politics, technology, science and arts, it’s virtually used in driving new ideas.

But I think most users of this cliché have rather misunderstood its use, that they neglect the fundamental way of doing things.

The point is – There is an already existing box, why not check its contents first?

We just believe that ideas should come through unconventional or mystical means. Unfortunately this saying is rather overhyped as most users ignorantly forget the basics.

“Looking inside the box is the place to start before considering what’s off the box”.

Knowing what works is a guide to knowing what won’t work.

Acknowledging that gravity exist is in its proper perspective and would be a reasonable parameter for designing the next drone.

Writing off conventionality is just being unreasonable and dumb without acknowledging what works in the first place.

Understudying the new generation of IPhones, You’ll agree they were a chip of the old block. Tim Cook perhaps wouldn’t need to reinvent the entire operating system for the next IPhone.

I’ve never worked for Apple but I expect an upgrade in its previous version’s operating system, improved bodily design and a few extras to the new version.

It’s no use torturing oneself for the next breakthrough idea, look within, see your environment in a healthy perspective, brilliant Ideas would literally whisper its genuineness to you.

Know what works first before reaching for the unknown.

If you found this post helpful, kindly leave a comment and one more thing; spread the word.

Chinedu Ozulumba is a portfolio risk manager and content writer. He’s the founder of Aspire by Force Blog; For Aspiring Entrepreneurs & Business Owners. He believes desired results are born out of creative thinking. Visit for more resources.

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