“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
This famous quote is from the 1997 Apple “Think different” advertising slogan. Nearly 20 years later, Apple, led by the late and legendary Steve Jobs, has conquered the world, sitting on top of the technological throne. They achieved this by successfully doing something so simple, yet extremely difficult. They looked at the world we were living in, took a step back, changed their perspective and thus, completely turning reality upside down.
The same can be said for nearly every successful company we know. They simply changed the way they perceived reality, not succumbing to the status quo or to the doubters and second-guessers of the world. This may sound simple, yet believe me, this is no easy task. The ability to step out of the comfort zone, change the angle in which you see the world and to turn your imagination into reality is a rare ability indeed.
At this point, you’re probably wondering “how can I learn to think outside the box and see the world from different angles?” well, while I can’t guarantee that after reading this you’ll become the next Steve Jobs, I can offer a few tips that may just help you along the way.
Broaden your horizon
Open your mind to anything new and different, and you’ll be amazed by how your perspective will change. Study a new profession, investigate a different religion, learn a new language. Invite the new and intriguing – this is this very first step to thinking upside down.
Say yes, even when it’s uncomfortable
In order to truly grasp life from a different point of view, you first must experience life and all it has to offer. This can’t be done from the safety of your comfort zone. It can be anything as small as learning how to ride a bike to jumping out of a plane or traveling the world for a year. Feel, taste, smell, see and do anything that’ll get you out of the routine life that society has placed you in and live life to the fullest.
Take advice from children
Here is a story (may or may not be true) that will show you the importance of different perspectives. One day, a big tall truck drove under a bridge, not noticing the fact that he was too tall for the overpass. Of course, the truck got stuck under the bridge and everyone gathered around trying to think of a way to get the truck out. The mechanics couldn’t tow it, the firemen suggested to saw off the roof of the truck and the engineers were discussing ways to lift the bridge. Out of nowhere, a small girl comes up and offers advice that no professional had thought of – flatten the tires to shorten the truck and then tow it out! While this story may not be factual, the message holds true, so don’t ever be afraid to listen and learn from anyone and everyone – including the smallest of children.
Last but not least – turn it upside down
The brain has a way of settling in to certain patterns, even auto-completing certain thoughts just because we are all creatures of habit. In order to find different patterns and reach new solutions, sometimes all you need to do is turn the problem upside down, inside out or in any other different angle. Sometimes this means literally looking at something upside down, while other times it may be a metaphorical flip that is required. Nevertheless, once you can take any problem and examine it from any angle, your training is complete and you’re on the path towards becoming a “crazy one”.