I work with a lot of creative people. Fascinating artists, designers, people who can take anything and make a snapshot-inducing experience that bends your mind with inspiration and wonder. It’s with birds of my own feather where I’ve come to reject the box of standard thinking, the box of non-creativity.
People talk about thinking outside the box when it comes to creativity. Do you know what’s wrong with boxes? They’re ugly. They have an unnatural shape: a square. Do you see anything else in creation that’s perfectly square that isn’t man-made?
And yet, we often limit creativity to carefully drawn lines of predictability. Why do we have a “box” of creative boundaries in the first place? Is it convenience? Laziness? Fear that what we might create at first isn’t very good, so why bother trying?
As Einstein said, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Out-of-the-box thinking needs to be less about forcing creativity without changing our lethargy towards thinking and creativity. We lack inspiration to be creative because we’ve desensitized ourselves to our Creator’s all-present creative work.
I don’t like being in the box of non-creativity. It’s dark inside the box. It’s controlled and limiting and not conducive to imitating our Creator through mini-creations in replication through worship. My most creative moments in life have come when I push past the expected, the convenient, the previously published, and create a mashup of ideas that are unexpected to me.
When we say, “Let’s think outside the box,” it needs to be a call to shake off the uninspiring, the everyday ho-humness of our routines we lock ourselves into for the sake of convenience. Artists and musicians and teachers and craftsmen have told me story after story about their most creative moments. Do you know what the common theme was in their most creative moments? “I tried something creative I’d never done before…”
Get outside the box. Remind yourself why your creativity deserves to be outside the status quo of non-creativity. Don’t ever settle for the convenient way of thinking.
And then, just burn the box.