The Innocent Mind: Always Thinking Out-of-the-Box

What's this? A Strawberry Spider?

Most people have a difficulty thinking out-of-the-box when trying to solve problems or just coming up with fresh ideas.  I, like most people, have difficulty doing this because of ideas, concepts, principles, and philosophies which have been ingrained in my way of thinking over my lifetime.  How can we get over this limitation?  The answer is quite simple.  Look to the young.

The young I refer to are those children who can communicate ideas verbally, but are still too young to be affected by prejudices and biases.  They can be anywhere from 2 to 4 years of age.  If you pay attention to them, you will see what I mean.

Here’s an example.  My grandson is 3 years old.  He is starting to doodle.  Most recently he drew what looked to be in the shape of a strawberry with lines coming out of it.  His mom asked what it was.  He said “strawberry spider”.  I’ve never heard of a strawberry spider, but it does look like one if I ever saw one–this from a kid who is still too young to have any bias in thinking.

One of the things he seems to do very well is to combine ideas or things that don’t seem to have any connection.  We as adults think there are no connections, but kids don’t know any better, and as such aren’t restricted in anyway to make any connections.

So the next time you are in need of some out-of-the box thinking or ideas, check with a kid who is too young to be affected by adult prejudices or biases.


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