Think out of the box, or in other words let your imagination run wild

This post is also available in: Dutch

How do people do that, think “out of the box”. And can you too? Yes of course you can, you can just learn it.

Few people think outside the box. Even fewer people think as if there is no box at all. These people are not held back by what others think. They stay true to themselves and can come up with new groundbreaking things or come up with remarkable solutions that others cannot think of with a youthful casualness. What distinguishes them from others is that they are always curious. They have an enthusiasm and let their imaginations run wild when a solution needs to be found.

They do not allow themselves to be stopped by obstructive thoughts. They think beyond the norm. They also often ask “why”. “Why do we always do it like this”. Even though they often experience disappointment in their environment because not everyone understands them or wants to go along with their sometimes special thoughts. It doesn’t stop them from forming their own image. And although they may be tempted to crawl back into the box, they will remain true to themselves.


Most people like the comfort of sticking to the thought of “this is how we always do it”, and best practices (even if they were invented somewhere). Most of us keep walking more or less on the beaten track.

Do you also want to think more as if there are no limits?

If you want to learn to think out of the box, you must first know what your box is. What are your frameworks, your boundaries and why do you actually have them. Ask yourself more often why you always do things in a certain way. And following that, what do you have to do to get rid of those boxes and thoughts, to get more room to think differently.

To give a simple example. At Christmas, as a combined family with many children and partners, we always had the problem of finding an evening that everyone could join for a Christmas dinner. I can tell you an impossible task that resulted in a lot of frustration. There were always other parents who claimed an evening over Christmas because they always did it that way. Apparently, great value is attached to these Christmas evenings. After some brainstorming, we decided that things could be done differently and we introduced Christmas brunch for our family. Just around noon, have a nice lunch together, not too heavy, so that everyone can travel on to the other Christmas dinners afterwards. It turned out to be a great solution for us. And it is not getting late, which is also nice for the grandchildren who are now there. So we all have an afternoon together and we have no Christmas stress. We have the evening wonderful to ourselves to chat, relax a bit and tidy up.

We have simply looked at the Christmas dinner problem from a new angle and actually it is a much better solution for us than if we would have clung to a Christmas Eve.

So keep thinking broadly, and don’t limit yourself, think anything is possible. You will come up with original and innovative ideas. It is also important that you encounter ideas. It is not the intention to search frenetically for ideas the more freely you think, the more beautiful solutions you will encounter.

Another way is to daydream. Shut down your computer, put your phone away, don’t be distracted by anything and let your thoughts run free. Dream away with the thoughts of what you could change. The thought cannot be crazy enough. There is a good chance that all kinds of solutions will emerge.

Also make the problem you have as simple as possible. Make it so simple that you can explain it to a 6 year old, so to speak.

What is also important is to learn new things. If you want to be able to think “out of the box”, you need a broad knowledge. You will have to set yourself the goal of developing yourself in all kinds of areas and thus gaining a broad view of different things.

You can do more than you think and if you realize that enough, you will certainly get surprising results. Practice this fully and do not be afraid that no one likes your ideas and that you will get resistance. In fact, it doesn’t matter at all. Stay true to yourself and find the child in you. Feel how refreshing that is.


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