Roger von Oech in his book A Whack on the Side of the Head teaches you to break the inertia and unlock your mind for innovative thinking. Another way of saying to think outside of the box.
Johann Gutenberg thought outside of the box. He connected two previously unconnected ideas to create a new innovation. He took the purpose of the winepress and combined it with the coin punch. Instead of metal being punched to make coins, paper was used and the printing press was born. Some have ranked this feat as the number one invention to impact the 20th century.
Unfortunately attitudes tend to block the sense of creativity, such attitudes as tradition, fear and perfectionism to name a few. They make thinking staid. These attitudes become mental locks according to von Oech.
He cites ten locks, which tend to keep us prisoners.
- The Right Answer
- That’s Not Logical
- Follow the Rules
- Be Practical
- Avoid Ambiguity
- To Err Is Wrong
- Play is Frivolous
- That’s Not My Area
- Don’t Be Foolish
- I’m Not Creative
These attitudes act like concrete, cementing or making rigid the thought processes. Nothing short of a whack on the side of the head can disrupt this thinking process.
When was the last time you had a creative original idea? Remember how great it felt, the idea not the whack? There is a reason it felt so good. Its all part of Gods blessing to us is to be creative.
God loves us to break with our old sinful ways and make new ones. God loves a broken heart. David wrote this Psalm after his son with Bathseba died:
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.
14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
(Courtesy Pastoral Care, Baptist Health System)