Occasionally, we get so caught up in our daily routine of going through our comfortable motions of life as we’ve established them that to shift gears suddenly and do something totally different, or think about something from a completely different cognitive perspective than our own can surprisingly be quite a challenge. It is not that we are selfish or rigid in our beliefs, it is simply that by human nature we develop habits. And while these habits allow us to proceed with our lives in a fairly organized and functionally healthy manner, it is good exercise for everyone to practice moving outside of their own thinking mind from time to time.
Getting out of your own way, logic thinking, process thinking and cognitive perspectives that allow for pondering outside of your thinking mind all serve to describe the practice of forcing yourself to approach situations or ideas from perspectives you may not have ordinarily ever considered. This act is also referred to sometimes as thinking outside of the box. Not only is the regular habit of undertaking this challenge important to help strengthen your relationships with other people, but it also can be an excellent tool to help you succeed in your traditional or freelance career. Thinking outside the box is a challenging way to play with the abstract parts of your thinking mind. It leads to creativity, inspiration and very often an explosion of ideas for writing or artwork.
If you tend to be a practical thinker and often find abstract or more creative and less defined language and artwork difficult to follow or understand, I would encourage these thinking outside of the box and thinking mind exercises even more. And for those who are not lacking in any sort of abstractness, well, then you are already prepared for this creative thinking fun.
Use the following ideas as starter points to help you get out of your own thinking mind and view things from new perspectives. Adapt them as you so desire to suit your own needs and enjoyment:
Introduce Yourself to the World of Magic
This task can be performed by either witnessing a live magician’s on stage event (in person or on the TV) or you may opt for the less extravagant, do it yourself version and walk your thinking mind through it with a book. As thrilling as watching a live performance may be, I recommend the book as the one most effective, as you have the opportunity to go back over things again and again.
Before you start the task, you will need to obtain a book, or otherwise a kit that might come in a box complete with various props, full of magic tricks that you are unfamiliar with. The goal will be to explore the book and teach yourself to perform the magic tricks. Try to challenge yourself by attempting to solve the puzzle, or magical secret illusion before reading the directions on how it worked. This may even work best if you had a partner and each of you took turns being the performer and the exposing agent of the illusions.
So this thinking outside the box and thinking mind exercise is pretty self explanatory and depending on your ambition can be either a cinch to figure out or something that takes some extra work. Perhaps you should start easy and if you enjoy the activity and wish to advance to harder material later, you can get a book that requires a higher skill level.
IQ Test Nostalgia- Ability to Abstract Exercise
Administrators of IQ tests and Psychological examinations often have a few phrases they dictate to their clients with instructions to explain what the statement means to them. There is never a right or wrong answer, but some are more typical and easy to grasp than others. Basically these challenges are an attempt to measure the client’s ability to abstract ideas and well, think outside the box, or beyond their typical thinking mind, really. It can be a fun exercise but some of the statements are indeed challenging.
So for this exercise, try to challenge yourself. Go down this brief list of these common sayings, many of which you have probably heard before, and describe in a brief paragraph or a couple sentences what message they are trying to get across. Or rather, what the moral of the story may be. To make it even more fun, and really stretch your brain a bit, challenge yourself to make a list of ten different scenarios for each statement that describe the potential meanings of each.
Here they are:
1) PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES SHOULDN’T THROW STONES
2) THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE
3) YOU CAN LEAD A HORSE TO WATER BUT YOU CANT MAKE HIM DRINK
4) ESKIMOES SHOULD NOT WEAR HATS.
Good luck! Have fun with these few exercises and I guarantee that when you are done you’ll have learned something about yourself that makes you happy to be you.