How to Think Outside the Box: 10 Stages of the Box

Posted in Random Things

The Mysterious BoxDo you need to know how to think outside the box? As online marketers and entrepreneurs, it's very important that we manage to differentiate ourselves, not only in terms of the way we present ourselves, but also in the way we approach problems and deliver solutions to those problems. It may be just that you are trying to think of a new way to market your products in order to earn a better income online, or you may be wanting to establish yourself as a solid and recognizable top-of-mind brand in the market.

In a sense, you need to instill in yourself a bit of creativity. Many people will tell you to start thinking outside the box, but before you can reach that transitional stage, it might be worth your time to make sure that you have done all you could do within the box first. This article on 10 Stages of the Box identifies ten key areas that you should be considering along your daily journey…



The box may represent many different things for many different people, but in general the box might represent the background, culture, experiences, people and environment that have helped to shape the way we think. This might be the paradigm in which we see the world. Sometimes that box can help us, sometimes it can hinder us. But without a doubt, most of us are not using the box to its full potential.

01. Thinking inside the box

All the thinking begins first inside the box. It is from the inside of the box that we often seek to expand our thoughts to go out from the box, that we often imagine that things outside the box are so much more rich, powerful and comprehensive.

But regardless of who or what you've heard from about thinking outside the box, everything starts from within.

Sometimes we don't even need for our thoughts to go out of the box, though it may be beneficial. It is first important that you understand the thoughts contained within the box, and it might be such that improving what is already inside the box is all you need.


01a. The size of the box

How big is your box?

How much have you learned over the past few years of constantly moving and working every day? How many new experiences have you have you found throughout your life's journey? Or are you wandering without an aim or goal? Is your mind in a constant state of stagnancy?

The things we have been through, the things we have learned, all contribute to the size of our box.

Are you expanding the size of your box? Are you constantly learning, growing, and improving your knowledge character as a person?

If your box is big enough, you may find that don't even need to think outside the box. Everything to solve your problems or issues is already within.

Thinking and going outside the box often takes a lot of effort and for some people it can be taxing… Expanding the size of your box can often reduce the need for going outside the box… Because everything that would have been outside is now already inside the box.


01b. Contents of the box

It is always important to make sure that the box is filled with clean, positive and helpful material. Ensure that the contents of the box are well-kept.

Fill your mind with good things, avoid those that are bad and filthy.

Keep the mind open, yet be careful what goes in.


02. Thinking throughout the box

Which part of the box are you keeping your thinking in? Are you limiting your thought process to just one small corner of the box? Or are you just stuck in the middle of the box?

Your box may be a very large place, or it may be a really small one. Regardless, you will need to think throughout the box.

Thoroughly comb your box for every item that's inside, don't let it sit uselessly and go to waste.

Use the space within the box to the fullest, and you might find that you don't really need to go outside…


03. Thinking outside the box

When all is said and done, when the inside of the box is still lacking with regards to the solutions that we may need, people often tell you to think outside the box.

In such a state, you are often bringing yourself to a level of thought that you don't normally attain. You are thinking creatively in ways that you normally do not think.

If you are a really creative person, and the size of your box is really large, perhaps it is normal for you to constantly come up with creative solutions while you are still inside the box.

But the creativity that exists outside the box is often much larger… Which area outside the box will your thoughts explore?


04. Thinking above the box

You are now outside the box, thinking out of the box as most people would say. But which area outside the box are you in?

You might be thinking above the box, looking at the box from above with the view of a bird's eye.

Sometimes it's important that you zoom out of the work you are doing and seeing the big picture. It is often that we are stuck at our computers or desks, and so deeply immersed in the work that we often forget where we are.

Take some time out to zoom yourself out, go far above the box, and look at the whole picture and the context of your situation.


05. Thinking beneath the box

Another area outside the box that many people do not consider thinking through is the area beneath the box.

You are thinking thoughts far beneath the box, looking at the box that is high above you, looking at your situation from the place where few people stand.

Where is your box resting, and what is it resting on? It might be on a beautiful table, it might be on solid ground, it might be on a shaky surface, it might be floating on thin air…

What are the items that make up the surface holding up your box?


06. Thinking around the box

You circle around the box and look at the box from every angle. You assess the look of the box, the shape of the box, and the items that hold the box together.

From an outsider's standpoint, you can clearly see things about the box that you have never seen before.


07. Thinking beyond the box

After you get tired thinking merely from the space that lies around the box, you turn your eyes away and you look far away into the distance, far beyond the box you currently have with the box behind you.

What do you see?

Perhaps you might see the environment that surrounds the box, that lies in faraway fields far beyond where your box currently is. All the mountains, all the plains, all the valleys, rivers and streams come together in one place in the land where you box is currently sitting.

The world is a much bigger place than you might have thought. Your problems, your situation, and your box is much smaller than you thought.

Your mind expands, and you then truly begin to understand the size of your box…


08. Thinking through the box

Your thoughts from outside the box penetrate through the box itself, combining with the things inside the box.

Relate the things that are outside the box with the things that are inside the box.

How has thinking outside the box helped you to solve the problem within the box, and how can the same principle be used to solve other your issues?

What are the commonalities of the thinking outside the box with the thinking inside the box and how do their intersect.


09. Thinking with the Box

When you arrive at your final conclusion, you probably realize that your box is just a small one compared to the large environment around it. There is so much creativity in combining the thoughts outside the box with the thoughts inside the box…

As a result, perhaps you should start thinking together with the box. The people around you who have shaped how you think, how you see the world, and who work together with you, might be able to give you some good ideas on how to approach your new project.

The people who have helped to make up your box also have boxes of your own that you can share in and put together with your own.


10. Thinking about the Box

And when all is said and done, when you have finished your work, and all the tasks that lay before you…

You stop and think a while, and this time, instead of thinking inside the box or outside the box, you start to think deeply about the box itself…

And from that you realize the 10 stages of the box…


Allen Walker