In his post “Too Slow For His Own Good“, Robert Hruzek tells us a story about a small boy. To summarize, this boy was known as being very slow. It was known that if you offer him a nickel or a dime, he’d always choose the nickel. A man was tired of this boy being made fun of, so he went over to explain to the boy how a nickel is worth more. To shorten the story, the boy “Oh, I understand that [a dime is worth more than a nickel], sir. I just figured if I started taking the dime, then y’all would stop giving me money.”
Robert used that story to tell us about our assumptions, but I want to go down a slightly different path. I think it’s a great example of thinking outside the box. Or rather, looking at the box in a different way. Instead of just taking the offer at face value, the boy thought deeper, and went for the choice that ultimately would give him more benefits.
Steli Efti gives another good example of it. When needing to translate two sentences from Chinese to English, he didn’t take the problem at face value. He thought deeper and came up with a solution that gave him solved the problem, as well as giving him good food.
Don’t take your problems at face value. Look and think deeper, and try to redefine the box. Find a different angle on your problems, and you’ll end up with more benefits than you expected.
What problems can you solve by looking at them from a different angle?