Thinking differently

"Blue sky thinking", "Thinking outside the box"; the often used, cliche phrases that feel plucked from the mouth of David Brent, but is their vilification deserved?

Without the dreams and unhindered ambition of people like John F Kennedy, Carl Sagan and Elon Musk, humanity would not be looking at the realistic possibility of us mere mortals taking a trip on a space rocket within the next 30 years.

If we stifle these dreams and ambitions, then humanity is in conflict with its own existence.

The challenge we face is how to realise those dreams and ground them in reality, this is where critical thinking comes into play. The skill of questioning ourselves, our ideas and beliefs. Seeing them through a series of different lenses, wearing different hats, understanding the evidence and what that means for our ideas and ideals.

We all have the capacity to think differently, but it's difficult and exposes parts of ourselves we don't always like to see or understand,but if we ever really want to affect change both in our own lives or other peoples, we need to approach thinking from a new angle.

Think BIG - in an ideal world, what would happen?

Increase your knowledge and understanding, evaluate the evidence and find an opposing idea or viewpoint - What facts are there ? Are they reliable?

Think practically - What could actually be changed? Create a list of solutions.

Think with your heart and from other peoples perspectives - How does it make you feel? How does it effect other people, how would they feel?

Have you thought differently? What are you going to do about it? What are you going to change?

When grappling with an idea, problem or opinion, try thinking it through, from all these angles and see if you find a fresh way of looking at yourself and the world, getting closer and closer to that big blue sky.

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