We've gotten so accustomed to thinking that ideas need to come about in new and exciting ways that we often neglect the utility of established paradigms. When crafting your ideas, first think inside the box before you look outside.
Photo by Ronit Slyper
Christopher Peterson over at Psychology Today explains how creative thinking takes more than just new ideas:
Most who think seriously about creativity agree that it entails not only novelty (that outside the box stuff) but also utility, and in order to be useful, it has to go above-and-beyond what is already known (that inside the box stuff).
This is not a new idea, but that's kind of the point. It's about embracing what's been done before, because it is practice that gives us the capacity to build on the old ideas to make the new:
Psychologists who study prodigious accomplishments, in science, music, or art, speak about the 10,000-hour rule, meaning that in order to do something notable in some field, one must devote 10,000+ hours to mastering the discipline in question. Practice, practice, and practice, weedhopper, and appreciate that much of this practice needs to be done inside the box.
Peterson wraps it all up pretty nicely: "If you never venture outside the box, you will probably not be creative. But if you never get inside the box, you will certainly be stupid."
First, Think Inside the Box [Psychology Today]