23 Apr 2019

It is about how we look and think about things


It is about how we look and think about things - by P.K. Odendaal - April 2019

The most outstanding accomplishments of mankind were achieved by people who thought of things in a different way than we do. We are each being dealt the same kind of problems to solve and somehow we are not able to solve them, whether it be in our personal lives or in our work. That is why we have this saying that people must think out of the box. This implies that we have a thought box and the name of this box in called conventional wisdom.
The word convention comes from the Latin word conventus meaning assembly or company and includes derivatives like convent and convene.
Well ... that is the box of communal thought and communal behaviour. There is no scope of escaping this bind. However, some people go way off the beaten track and think widely unconventional and different, which is my hobby of note although I will never reach that pinnacle of innovation and invention on a grand scale.
These wayward thinking people are often derided, laughed at, labelled as mad and other such niceties. How can we loosen ourselves from those bonds in order to start to innovate which is a step to invention?
Innovate and invention are not far apart, but we need a push to make us unstable in order to make a free fall to original thought, always trying to look at things differently and always seeing something new in something old.
My own experience in this is the ability to look at life and subjects in a very wide context. Most of us have these blinkers preventing us from thinking or seeing out of the box or noticing something way off our beaten track.
I have written about the concept that we are what we touch. In our lives different people touch different things and some of these things, combined with the perspective of the person may trigger exceptional events leading to free or original thought which lead them on from there like a tidal wave ending in unbelievable insight, discovery and invention.
One such tidal wave is called serendipity which is the discovery of something not having thought of it or expecting it.
In Julius Caesar of Shakespeare Brutus says:
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Although it does not specifically relate to the tidal wave I spoke about above, it is the same concept.
We all know that sometimes we suddenly find ourselves in a situation which is quite unfamiliar and unintentional, whether it is good or bad, like standing back from someone we just murdered or a miracle we call luck landing us millions in the Lotto. We are never ready for such an event, but it depends on how we think about it which determines the ultimate outcome of that event. We can make good events bad like losing the fortune we won in the Lotto, or bad things good by repenting and changing our lives drastically after that murder. In the end it is how we experience it and how we think about it.
In Hamlet Shakespeare says that 'nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so"
Of course, to think differently about something, we first need to look differently at it. There is an article by Annemie to be found elsewhere on this blog about 'What do you see' which teaches us how to see more and different aspects of something when we look at it in different ways. It is a symbiotic relationship between looking and thinking.

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