Thinking outside of the box is a concept my father fed me from a very young age. And I must have listened – as I have lived my life very much outside of the box for most of the 54 laps I have taken around our sun. I never really planned to live life out of the mainstream (at least not just for the sake of it) – it’s just that I have never been able to easily tolerate the path that others seems to walk so effortlessly; when I think of it – even when bushwalking – I abhor trails. I find joy in exploration, even though this comes at a price. No – living outside of the box is easy; it’s getting back into the box when life demands that we do – that’s the challenging part.
Of course, it’s easy to remain outside of the box, but this almost always comes at a price. I have known geniuses who have paid this price – people who are kind of proud of being highly functional at one thing, to the exclusion of everything else; for me though, real genius is about being able to ‘live well’ – being able to think about things in novel ways, come up with new and innovative shifts in thinking but then also being able to relate well to others, have a great marriage, arrange financial independence and enjoy life. Miyamoto Mushashi said it well ‘to know one thing is to know ten thousand things’.
Getting out of the box is the easy part – being able to get out and back in again at will – now that’s the real trick.