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Thinking Outside of the Box


   We do not live in conventional times. The speed of change in culture, society, government and technology is so rapid and unpredictable that many of our tried and true ways of approaching life’s tasks don’t accomplish the goal. It is getting tougher to make the sale, get the job, win the election or secure the patron. The difficulty of the tasks at hand don’t mean that we abandon the fundamentals and principles of living, but it does require that we get more creative and approach our problems with new genius. We have to think outside the box.

   An 18-wheeler truck was carrying some steel from a factory to a rural community. The truck came to an old bridge, but the load was too tall and the truck could not pass. The local officials gathered and pondered the dilemma. The town needed the steel in order to finish constructing the new school; but they were stuck, what could they do?

   One local contractor suggested bringing in a crane and removing the top layer of steel beams. This would allow the truck to proceed underneath the bridge. Another official suggested backing the truck up and taking an alternate route of some 40 miles that would bring the load in from the other side of town where there were no bridges. Then a little boy came by with his dog. He stopped, heard the men debating the options, and offered his own suggestion. Why don’t you just let some air out of the tires of the truck; then it will pass right through.

   A man invested in a waffle maker and went to a summer festival to sell waffles. Next to him was a man selling ice cream. It was hot and people did not want a hot waffle, and the ice cream melted too fast in a bowl for the ice cream vendor to sell. So the waffle maker had an idea. He made a waffle and formed the shape of a cone, then let it cool. He offered the ice cream vendor a novel way to serve his melting ice cream: with the products combined, both men sold all they had!

   If you have reached a roadblock in life and all of the standard solutions don’t seem to fit; consider looking at the situation from the outside in. Maybe the dead-end job search is your call to entrepreneurship or career change. Maybe your product is not selling because you are advertising the wrong way to the wrong people. Make a friend instead of a customer. People would rather buy from friends than strangers anyway.

   If you need help thinking outside the box; ask for help. Conduct a test. Ask a stranger or a child for an opinion. Seek advice or observe the success of others. Insanity is simply doing the same unsuccessful test over and over and expecting a different result. So think a different way, think outside the box.

   Rethink your situation. You can succeed!

Joe Turnham has gained a national reputation both as a political figure and tier-one consultant to a myriad of clients. Joe’s services are in demand nationally as a consultant, speaker, political advisor and commentator. Click here to learn more about Joe.

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