Unleash the Creativity: Thinking INSIDE the Box

by | Apr 2, 2018 | Creative

Welcome to the third post in our “Unleash the Creativity” series where, we provide information, tips, and tricks to get your creative juices flowing: Create, Mash, Inspire.

Thinking outside the box not working for you? Need a simple, innovative hack to get those creative juices flowing? Look no further, we’ve got one so ingenious, straightforward and useful you’ll be kicking yourself.

And the magical hack is… (drum roll please) limitations.

I know it sounds crazy! Many think limitations harm creativity but in reality, they can encourage it. Don’t believe me? Let the examples below speak for themselves and give the challenge at the end a try. You’ll be kicking yourself for not utilizing is sooner.



Limitations force us to look past the obvious and dig deeper into our box to find solutions we previously never would have envisioned. Reality TV cooking competition challenges are a great example of this idea in action as well as one of the few things I like to watch on TV.

My favorite challenge is the one where they are given specific ingredients that don’t appear to make any typical dish and they have to figure out how to combine them to make something appealing and appetizing. In this challenge (as always) one of the main judging criteria is creativity.

Top Chef Challenge

Top Chef’s competing for excellence in culinary creativity, taste, and appearance. Image Credit: Bravo TV

Now imagine there is another group of contestants who have all the ingredients in the store at their disposal. Which group do you think will have more original ideas?

My bet is the group with limitations. They are able to focus and rid their mind of clutter (everything that’s not within the limitations) while their brains are forced to lower the filter that makes them want to revert to known things.



Thinking inside the box is more than just a creative exercise. It’s a useful problem-solving method that helps provide realistic solutions in a timely manner.

When the Apollo 13 spacecraft encountered malfunction problems en route to the Moon the team had to abort the mission and return to earth. But there were urgent life-threatening obstacles to overcome if they were going to make it back alive and they had one major limitation.They could only solve the problems by using resources already aboard the spacecraft.

By thinking inside the box they were able to come up with enough solutions in time to get the astronauts back to Earth alive.

Apollo 13 mailbox

Some of the Apollo 13 crew and the “mailbox”, one of the solutions that saved their lives. Photo Credit: NASA


You might not realize this, but we absentmindedly use this creativity inducing method in our everyday lives. Take Twitter, for example, you are forced to express your thoughts in #140 (well now #280) characters or less. This limitation forces you to figure out how to creatively get long messages across. Twitter’s not the only place we can see this in action, but it is one of the more obvious.


To challenge your ability to use thinking inside the box as a creative exercise we invite you to creatively describe the best or worst day of your life without repeating a word. Share your creative description with us in the comment section below or on our official challenge Facebook post before Sunday, April 15th, 2018 at 11:59 pm (EST) for a chance to win a free year of Creativity 365. Our marketing team will select the 3 most creative responses to win and if it’s really good we might even share it on our Facebook page.

Next time you are struggling creatively or need to solve a problem, why not set the limitations yourself? You never know what you might find buried in the corner of that box.

via me.me

We hope this post has inspired you to get creative, mash ideas and inspire the world!

Check out other posts in the “Unleash the Creativity” series:
3 Surefire Ways To Foster Creativity In Your Classroom
Unleash the Creativity: Curiosity
Unleash the Creativity: Mindfulness

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