#ThinkingOutsideTheBox #task #process #PaperAirplane
Some kids in a class are asked to each make a paper airplane.
After each made his or her airplane, they would compete to see which one flew the farthest.
One kid waited forever, then, at contest time, never made his plane.
Instead, he took his piece of paper, crumpled it in a ball and threw it. It went farther than any of his classmates’ planes.
This story is the premise for the book, “Paper Airplane: A Lesson in Flying Outside the Box,” by Michael McMillan.
If you were the teacher in the class, would you applaud the crumpled-ball boy for thinking outside the box? After all, school is based on rules, process etc. In school, one learns to follow a process, perhaps to the letter, even if his or her results might be better going a different route.
“Maps (or processes) simply explain the territory you’ve yet to explore,” McMillan writes. “They are based on information and understanding gained by earlier travelers. (But), they can also be detrimental to creative thinking. If you follow them too closely, you can miss information not yet seen or understood by the map’s creator,” he writes.
The boy’s crumpled ball, in McMillan’s mind, was seen as a “breakthrough idea,” or “paradigm shifter.”
Certainly, when we send children to school, we expect them to follow the rules, obey the teachers and not misbehave.
We have also seen school settings in which children were allowed to “express themselves” in ways they see fit. We sometimes look upon those settings as unruly.
But what if children were taught to think of ways, on their own, to solve problems, while, at the same time, not hurting others or interfering with others? How can we discover “breakthrough” thinkers, or paradigm shifters at a young age? How will they show themselves in a forum governed strictly by rules and process?
Perhaps it depends on the teacher – how he or she was trained, what the school administration encourages, or discourages, etc.
We’ve all, at one time or another, have been told that following the rules was the best course of action. There was security in following the rules. You were less likely to get in trouble. You will get what you need in life by following the rules.
Yet, so many brilliant people have made their mark by NOT following the rules. In fact, all, or nearly all, of us may have to, at some turning point in life, be put in a position to think outside the box. Our following of the rules did not pay off. What we thought was safe has been suddenly taken away. We get kicked in the teeth for being good boys and girls, and following the rules.
If you are in that position, there are many different ways to get out of it. But, you HAVE to be willing to think outside the box. To check out one of the best ways out, message me.
With less and less security looming for most of us, it will likely become necessary to think of different ways, from what we know, to live, and to make a living. Instead of getting angry about what has happened, crumple up a piece of paper and throw it as far as you can. Then, go about thinking about which Plan B is going to help you the most.