Failing to see things differently

When you’re looking upside down it’s easy to see things in a refreshing way. You almost don’t have to try, things just appear in ways you hadn’t thought of seeing them before.

Suddenly parts of the ceiling architecture appear that you hadn’t realized exited because you’re now seeing them from a the perspective of being below you. People can “walk” on the ceiling and your vantage is one of being above everything.

If you sit with your head upside down, as children typically do for fun, the odds of having something new or different make itself known increase automatically. Of course those things have always existed, and you may have noticed them before, but a change in physical perspective causes the mind to look at the peculiar details.

You don’t know what you don’t know. Until you start looking at the world from a different perspective, with a different frame of mind, it’s difficult to even open the door to new ideas. So many people find themselves creatively stuck—or in a mundane routine—simply because they fail to look at anything differently than they’ve always seen it.

The ceiling is always above you, always designed with a sense of simplicity because it’s primary purposes is to provide shelter and support structure. Until you look at it upside down.

Ignorance seems to reign in our modern age. We’re more connected than ever, more empowered to create and learn, and yet we find ourselves surrounded by people who cannot—or who choose not to—think outside of their own, limited perspective. The result of such ignorance is an uninspired, static culture.

You can’t have new ideas if you’re only ever making the same mental connections you’ve always made. You don’t get to a place of intense imagination if you’re only seeking out information which conforms to what you already know. The trap is, of course, that we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t know when we’re really stuck because everything outside of our perspective is just that: invisible to us.

It’s not enough to pick a book up at random. It isn’t sufficient to travel somewhere new and not really reflect on what’s different or, more importantly, why it’s different.

To really gain the insight required for creativity we should seek what we don’t know. Read a book you’d never read otherwise. Talk to people you disagree with. Take some time to sit upside down once in a while. Anything to uncover what you don’t know you might not know. Really, thinking outside the box is just another way of saying: getting outside of your own head.