Monday, June 25, 2007

Our Thinking Box

I love finding out new things, perspectives, authors, theories, odd facts and miscellaneous trivia. Everything I learn about changes my thinking box.

What we know is like a box. It has specific limits defined by our knowledge. It is not the total of all knowledge but we can unknowingly use our box as if it were. 

We define things by the words we use. If we have no words then we have to lump our experience into something we already know about. We define our problems from our thinking box and our solutions.

We do that when we simply write out or state our problem to our self. We cannot state what we don't know. Nor can we look for solutions outside of our knowledge unless we realize that fact.

Now without a doubt there are problems that we can solve with our knowledge or by looking at solutions provided by others who answer the same defined problem. But if we are stuck then we need a different approach.

We need to know what we don't know.

By understanding the limits of our thinking box in our ability to define the problem and/or solutions then we can look for more knowledge. Whatever we learn increases the size of our box and therefore increases the possibilities of new definitions for the problem or new solutions or both.

How do you change your thinking box?

21 conversations:

Comedy + said...

Right on the money. This very concept also makes us scratch our head at others' lack of understanding. We have forgotten that we each have our limitations based on our knowledge, skills and experience.

Another great post Peter. You certainly make me understand some of my negative reactions and the reasons I shouldn't go there. Have a great evening. :)

Peter Haslam said...

A very good point Sandee thank you

jcfloresinc said...

Hi Cleo, we are Samantha & Tigger.
We think you are a very pretty kitty and we are very glad to meet you. Thank you for visiting our blog.

Peter, I love your post, but my mind is mush. I'll come back tomorrow and respond. Just wanted the cats to meet Cleo. Have a nice evening.
Ann

Peter Haslam said...

Ok Ann see you tomorrow

Lavender said...

How do I change my thinking box? Well, by cramming as much into it as I can, LOL. I think my biggest problem is that I think too much. I find that I need to stop thinking and just 'do' sometimes, otherwise I cant see the forest for the trees?
Thank you for the mental exercise Peter, Cheers.

Peter Haslam said...

I get the image of stuffing very well :) Thank you Lavender for your addition

Craig Photography said...

Great Blog, I just found your blog today, I will be back often...

Peace - John

Peter Haslam said...

Thank you Craig look forward to your comments

Stefano said...

Well, actually I don't see my thinking box as a real 'square' box.

I see it as something more organic, something similar to a single entity made of several wires linked together and always expanding, sometimes in a direction sometimes in another.

This kind of 'coral' representation of knowledge makes me act in a different way. Thinking of my knowledge as an expanding entity, rather than a box in which to add things, helps me to grow with speed and flexibility ..

Nice post, good blog

Peter Haslam said...

A very apt description of how to grow knowledge organically. Not surprised that you have destroyed your box Stefano. Good addition to the conversation thank you

The Real Mother Hen said...

Well my thought is: I don't think we should learn all that we don't know, only whatever interests us... I know it sounds very much like a woman with a bad attitude speaking, but I'm just being honest :)

Peter Haslam said...

i agree learning is restricted to our needs but sometimes we need to look further rather than staying in our box The Real Mother Hen

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

so you have to "think outside the box", right?

smiles, bee

Random Magus said...

... I sometimes wish I could lock away the box and hide it ... albeit just for a while...
How do you keep coming up with such amazing posts?

Peter Haslam said...

Yes Bee when we need to.

Peter Haslam said...

Just working on my box Random Magus

jcfloresinc said...

I am one of those people who likes to learn new information and then pass it on to others. I try to think outside the box, but not so far as to corrupt my mind with subjects that I personally feel are not for me. I change my thinking by venturing into what I don't know anything about then see if it helps me go forward or sends me backwards.

Ann

Peter Haslam said...

I agree Ann we can't know our limits without testing and it needs to be beneficial for us even if it is only interesting

tłumaczenia angielski said...

"We define things by the words we use. If we have no words then we have to lump our experience into something we already know about. We define our problems from our thinking box and our solutions.

We do that when we simply write out or state our problem to our self. We cannot state what we don't know. Nor can we look for solutions outside of our knowledge unless we realize that fact." - True.

Mike G said...

You wrote: "Whatever we learn increases the size of our box and therefore increases the possibilities of new definitions for the problem or new solutions or both." I think this is particularly true if you expose yourself to training that is 1)outside of your field of expertise, and 2) structured by an expert in another field who might be using mental models foreign to your own. This kind of feels like a whack on the side of the head and can be both humbling and enlightening. Result: Your box gets bigger, quicker when confronted with someone elses rectangle!

przepisy kulinarne said...

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I like to cook very at home. Greetings from Poland.