Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Box: Out or In?

Are you an "in the box" kind of person or do you think "out of the box?"

I am intrigued by
out of the box thinking, mostly because I am a out of the box wannabe.

I am definitely NOT an
in the box kind of girl - limitations and boundaries make me feel claustrophobic. However, I am sure that I am hindered by everyday, ordinary routines and structures, which make it easy to stay in the box, never venturing out into that realm of the exciting and creative unknown.

Lately, I read Randy Pausch's book The Last Lecture. Have you seen his last lecture? As he was suffering with terminal cancer, this inspirational and crazy intelligent man, gave his last lecture to his students at Carnegie Mellon. You can see it here.

I brought plenty away from his book, which is based on the lecture.

One thing that I'm trying to apply a little more liberally in my life and especially with my children is out of the box thinking.

Routine is great.
Kids thrive on it.

But what is wrong with once in awhile...

Doing things differently.

Trying something new.

Being a nonconformist.

Encouraging innovation to solve problems.
Stepping out of that comfort zone.
Thinking out of the box.

Maybe making mistakes,

but then lea
rning from them.
Thinking big!

Challenging the norm.
Creating new pathways.

Marching forth with creativity.


In my mind, these are all qualities of leaders. I know there's the big debate about leaders: are they born or made? But if there is any little way I can help my kids learn to think out of the box, well, I'm going to try it.

The kids wanted to paint the fort. With permanent paint. Ok... I must mentally let go of my
home looking perfect for the sake of creativity and plain old childhood memories.

(One chapter of The Last Lecture describes when Randy's parents allowed him to paint on the walls of his bedroom - pictures of whatever he wanted - in his case that was algebraic equations, but anyway, it inspired me!)

Go for it! I told the kids.
Luke says he wants to take a bath in the sink. Our kitchen sink. Well, it's big enough. Why not? Sorry you germophobes out there. The thought of a boy's bottom in the kitchen sink probably makes you want to scream, but hey, I'm thinking out of the box here! Give me a break. And he's going to outgrow that sink real soon. There won't be baths in the sink much longer. Better be out of the box while we still can.So, tell me! Do you think in the box or out of the box? I'd love to hear some of your best out of the box mom moves. I'm still developing mine... so maybe I can think OUT OF THE BOX and use your moves on my own family!

4 Wonderful Responses:

momof4kr said...

I'll have to say...I think I'm 70/30 in the box kind of girl...depends on the day, depends on my hormone levels (ha!), depends on my audience. :)

I LOVE the idea though! And, I would venture to say that I probably need to get out of the box WAY more than I do.

Kathleen said...

That picture of your boy in the sink is hysterical! I bet he thinks you're the coolest mom!!

I am SO like you--such a wannabe. I think the problem is the Control Freak part of me--it chokes the Out of the Box Thinking. Let's encourage each other to think outside the box more often. Looks like you have a fabulous start!

Shannon said...

The Sink: Out or In? : ) How often didn't we give out babies baths in the kitchen sink - atleast I did- and I am sure they peed in it every time. Luke looks like he's having a great time.
I like being out of the box in some things, but definetely in it for others. Good to get a new perspective every now and then - thanks for the post!

Baloney said...

The germophobe inside me is screaming!!
You'd think after all the poop I deal with around here I would be a little less squeamish.
I loved your post. I'm a little of both. Mostly in the box but I'm definitely independent in my thinking - if that makes sense.
My Michael is all the way out of the box, though, and I love that about him. It's one of the ways I learn from him on a regular basis. I love the way his mind works. I love the way our conventions don't grab hold of him and take him captive.