Sometimes phrases in English mean something different than they seem. These types of phrases are called idioms or idiomatic expressions. If you translate idioms like “think outside the box” literally, the meaning may be confusing. However, if you learn what they represent or symbolize, then you will be able to use them in everyday conversations.
Think Outside the Box
To think outside the box means to think in a different way than usual. It requires creativity and critical thinking to solve a problem or create an idea. Even more, it demands dedication and persistence to see from a new perspective that is not bound by limitations.
So, what does thinking outside the box look like? It looks like the toddler who builds a fort out of blankets and pillows. It looks like the teenager who made a boat sail with a kite. It looks like the business owner who launches an online course to reach more customers or the teacher who discovers that students interact more when working in teams. Thinking outside the box looks like the time you choose to break away from normal.
Try it Yourself
Maybe you need to improve customer service or design an attention-grabbing poster. Perhaps you have to market a product or organize an event. You may even be working on a budget or trying to improve team communication. Whatever your goal, you will be amazed at yourself when you learn to think outside the box.
If you enjoyed this lesson, find out how you can study English at the English Language Institute at Missouri State University!