The Sunday Mail
CHANGE happens when you change your perception and rebel against your limiting boxes.
The essential fraction of change is achieving greater creativity and awareness through a change in perception.
Many people keep saying, to solve your problems: “You must think out of your box.” The only problem is that there will always be a box somewhere. The box may be concepts you have learnt, stereotypes, judgements, prejudices, structures, opinions, models, paradigms, patterns, beliefs, ideas, frameworks or ideologies.
If you are unhappy with the results you are getting, challenge and change your boxes and think in new boxes.
Break free from narrow thinking and stifling mental boxes. Choose to enlarge your boxes or to change them altogether. You do not afford to be trapped in the prison of your making. Choose the path of growth and progress. If you do not change your thinking boxes, you will keep recreating your current problems and increasing your frustration.
The Fosbury Flop
I have always wished I could be an athlete. I tried very hard but was never outstanding.
Those who love high jump know that the best way to clear higher bars is to throw their hearts over the bar, and the body follows. Once you look at the bar, and your mind cannot jump over it, you can be sure that your body will drop that bar.
Whatever you dare to be, you have to go there in your mind first. Faith moves mountains and manifests great things. Let your mind dwell on possibilities and on what you really want. You cannot allow negativity to breed in your mind and then expect success.
Whatever your mind dwells on must in time be your reality. To change your experience of life, change your thinking. You cannot breed bitterness, brood on revenge, dwell on hate, muse on evil and expect health, wealth and progress. Until your mental boxes change, your life will remain boxed and limited.
At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, a 21-year-old athlete called Richard Douglas Fosbury shocked the judges and the 80 000 spectators by adopting a new high back-first high jump style and snatching a gold medal. His style was so different and defied all jumping logic then. It was a totally new box.
His techniques sparked a revolution and set new standards. Until then, the scissors method was the cutting edge technique favoured by jumpers. Fosbury’s approach looked silly, clumsy and even dangerous.
Such is the power of new ideas, they threaten the old order and unsettle boxed minds. Never let other people’s opinions stop you from dreaming new possibilities and doing the presumably impossible.
Never let other people’s boxes box your imagination, shackle your efforts and snuff out your enthusiasm.
Where did Dick Fosbury find his new jumping box?
Fosbury felt he wasn’t good enough. To do well, he had to do things differently. Trying to navigate the future while wearing old boxes is stifling. Fosbury knew this. This forced him to experiment and challenge conventional jumping methods.
He kept trying and refining his technique. With each iteration, he cleared higher bars.
Unless you try what you have never done before, you may never grow beyond your last ascent. If you try to fit in other people’s crowded boxes, you will just suffocate and never accomplish anything.
Once you get hold of an idea, keep refining it. Ideas rarely come in refined form.
When Fosbury got to the 1968 Olympics, he was confident. He did the unthinkable, using an unthinkable technique and got unthinkable results.
Some ridiculed him, but others cheered.
You will never grow or do anything outstanding if you are waiting for everyone’s approval. History is made; it does not just appear. Today, any serious high jumper trying any other method would be seen as ridiculous.
Never despair because someone does not understand you, it is simply that you have different reference boxes. Believe in your boxes, if they serve you and allow you to produce results. Break the shells that are imprisoning your potential and dare to do things differently.
If you do not get tired of fruitlessness, you will never think differently. There are more possibilities than impossibilities. Creativity is not limited by geography. Potential is not limited by history. All limits are self-imposed.
Stop using excuses as hiding boxes.
Audit your boxes
There are many boxes that limit thinking and kill creativity. Refuse to accelerate with your handbrake on.
What is holding you back could be your mindset, beliefs, prejudices, experience, excuses or exposure.
Diligently check your beliefs and sources. Refuse to be seized with disempowering beliefs. Refuse to see yourself as a helpless victim. Instead of being obsessed with beliefs that weaken you, deliberately choose beliefs that empower and give you energy.
You cannot just lie still in a wet blanket and expect to be warm. Check where you picked up the negativity bug. Audit who has been feeding your mind with disillusionment, negativity and hopelessness.
Refuse to let untrusted and corrupt sources programme your thinking and close your mind in dark and dingy boxes. If you do not like the boxes you are thinking in, change them. Be mindful and aware. Be bold and courageous enough to change your mental path.
Better than you think
It is easy to think that other people are better than you are, more talented, better endowed and more intelligent. Do not depreciate yourself or look down on what you have. Believe in your own abilities, talents and capacity.
Never confuse humility and stupidity. Self-belief breeds confidence and this allows you to access your talents and capacity. When your spirit is defeated, everything that comes your way will defeat you.
Challenge the things that other people say you cannot do. Refuse to box and envelope yourself in other people’s negative opinions and misguided suggestions. Refuse to let other people’s roofs become the limit of your potential. Other people’s failures should never be your evidence that what you are attempting is impossible.
What other people will not do, does not mean you cannot do. Do not take other people’s impossibilities and shortcomings as gospel chapters. You are unique, different and inspired. There is none that came before and none coming after that will be exactly like you. You have a unique fingerprint and special place on Earth.
Let the gifts in you blossom and bless the world with your difference, thoughts and gifts.
Bigger and better
The tragedy in life is not that people attempt great things and fail. Never be threatened by the size of your challenges because size is an opinion. Refuse to box yourself in small things and think that that is all that there is in the world. The world will not stop moving because you are caged in your limiting boxes.
To think bigger take on bigger problems, articulate better futures and demand more from life. For a soldier to die without having fired his weapon is a waste. For you, to die without unleashing your talents and potential is to curse your ancestry. Refuse to allow problems to cow you into despair and helpless submission.
Think bigger than your problems and dream beyond your present. Never let what you are experiencing today close out all the possibilities in your life. Never see suicide or death as an easy solution. You cannot let your pride of the past eat out your future. Your second coming will be more powerful that your past showing, if you so choose.
Never jump to conclusions. Keep asking questions. Ask questions that make you uncomfortable with your current reality and with mediocrity. Questions must be carried the way women value and carry their handbags.
Carry your questions with you and keep asking them, refining them and learning through them. Allow the questions to nag and tag at you. Never be satisfied with the first answer and knee jerk responses. Never be content with conventional wisdom. Never relax at the shallow end of the pool of life. Keep asking questions that challenge your reality. Your questions will lead you to the door of learning and river of possibilities.
The better your questions, the more they pierce holes in your limiting boxes.
Good questions make you doubt wisely and think creatively. Good doubt is the key to creativity. Doubt your limitations, models and constructs. Doubt your doubts. Doubt what you see and what has been established as fact.
Doubt your competition and the structure of the market. Knock the legs off what other people have concluded as best, invincible and unchangeable. Many opinions are passed as facts when they are just opinions.
Refuse to let other people’s opinions be your facts. Creativity comes when you are willing to do the unconventional. You will never make history by watching other people’s footprints.
When you hit a brick wall refuse to turn back, expire and retire.
Ask your wall some serious questions that threaten its foundations. Face your wall and exercise your mind and spirit. If you cannot change the wall, change yourself. Many times as you change, the way you see the wall also changes. How you think determines what you see.
The frame of your thoughts determines the focus of your thinking. Work on your mind, stretch it and determine what you feed it with.
Being positive will not solve all your problems, but it has more strategic benefits than being negative.
Milton Kamwendo is a cutting-edge international transformational and inspirational speaker and author. He is a strategy and innovation consultant and leadership coach. His life purpose is to inspire people to release the greatness trapped in them. He can be reached at [email protected] and on WhatsApp 0772422634