My book is due for release in May 2019, it has been a work of passion, sacrifice and dedication. I have poured tremendous time, extensive research and love into this book. As some of you already know, the title of my book is “Disrupt Yourself Or Be Disrupted.” I am proud of the work I have done because I know the difference it will make in the lives of others. I want to make a positive impact in the world.

This extract is a section from
Chapter 4 (THE MINDSET REVOLUTION) where I explain “Thinking Beyond The Box.” Honestly, I didn’t know how to start this topic…and so, here we go…

Among some of the well-beaten phrases in the business world is this phrase “think outside the box” also known as “think beyond the box” but thinking outside the box is more than just a business cliché. It is about approaching problems in an unstructured and innovative way.  It means thinking creatively, freely and off the conventional path. Thinking outside the box is about dispensing with constraints and structured thinking. It’s about conceptualising problems differently and understanding your position in relation to any particular situation in a way you’d never thought of before.

Outside the box thinking doesn’t discount things simply because they seem unconnected. According to Wikipedia, “thinking outside the box is a metaphor which means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective.”

A mindset that assumes ideas are carved in stone leads to actions that linger within the box. On the other hand, a mindset that assumes new ideas can be explored differently takes us down an entirely different trajectory of possibilities, discoveries, innovations and success. Thinking outside the box is the ability to develop ideas that are different and unusual. It is the openness not to stubbornly persist on your own opinion and the willingness to change your opinion when another person proves you to be wrong or mistaken. Even though it sounds simple, many people stubbornly persist in their own opinions and linger only within their own box for the rest of their lives, which makes being oppressed by your own mind is the worst kind of oppression.

According to one writer, Steve Mueller: “Thinking outside the box would mean that you cast off the atmosphere that envelops you, step out of the box, leave all your experiences, mindsets and attitudes behind and start to view things from a completely different perspective. Outside the box thinking is unfiltered, unbiased, open for suggestions, willing to empathize with others opinions, but also ready to swim against the flood and to think what no one else has ever thought of. It also means that you abandon everything you thought you knew, everything that was taught to you in school, and start to approach specific situations and problems from a completely different point of view.”

In a world that is increasingly polarised economically, there simply won’t be as many jobs to go around. A lot of people will find their job prospects dimmed and wages squeezed. Depending only on the traditional way of success which for centuries has been attached to having a “job” will leave many deeply disappointed. Retrenchment is fast becoming the order of the day. As a result, a mindset revolution is needed. Develop the ability to look at things differently from the way you typically look at things. Sometimes when you are losing in a game you have to stop playing by the rules, switch it up, and change the game itself. Instead of waiting for a job, you can turn your unique strengths or academic qualifications into a thriving business venture.

With regard to retrenchments and job losses, the solution is not to protest and burn properties but to reprogramme our mindsets and think outside the box. Protest actions will only accelerate the shift from human workers to computers. As we are already aware, robots don’t go on strike, burn things or skip work, thereby causing millions of dollars’ worth of losses to an organisation.

“Do not take facts presented to you by family, friends, teachers, professors and experts as the one and only truths” ~Nicky Verd

Times have changed! Don’t depend on any politician or government to fix your life. Don’t depend on any organisation to employ you and keep you till retirement bells ring. The only way in which any government can help its people is through education. Relevant education will give you an excellent opportunity to future-proof your skills.  The school system should foster individual talents and creativity as these will set humans apart from computers. But while the education system is yet to catch up with this reality and reform itself, you should get the ball rolling in your own life through self-education and personal development.  

Make it a habit to question things and discover new and better solutions or facts about life, the world, business or career. Thinking outside the box gives you the freedom to change your point of view. For example, “the glass is half full” would then be an improved version of “the glass is half empty”. Apply this change in thinking in today’s world and you’ll see opportunities are everywhere.

Outside-the-box thinkers question things and do not accept things as predetermined straight away. Thinking outside the box means that you do not follow given instructions and mandatory paths. This might be a daunting task for those with a dependency mindset who always rely on instructions, policies, the media or people’s opinions to get things done. Some people prefer the pleasure of working with whatever ideology is presented to them. But if you are to grow, do not take facts presented to you by family, friends, teachers, professors and experts as the one and only truth. Be curious!

Outside-the-box thinking is a deliberate decision to challenge the status quo and revolutionise your thinking. Let your gaze wander through your environment to discover all the new things you haven’t noticed before. If you are sitting in your house you could pick up whatever object looks interesting to you and discover it all over again. You might notice something different about the object that you haven’t noticed before. In this way, you can step into another world to discover insights that before had remained completely unknown to you.

Stepping into another world in this way will generally allow you to look at problems differently, which will also increase the possibility of new solutions beginning to emerge. You can step into another world by meeting new people or studying something outside your academic qualifications and certificates. Some people have never read anything outside the school curriculum and as a result of their ensuing rigidity, they end up being obsolete.

This is an extract from my upcoming Book titled “Disrupt Yourself Or Be Disrupted.” In this book, i’ve tackled issues around the impact of technology on employment, the urgency to upskill yourself and how you can position yourself for more opportunities in an era of disruptive technologies and economic anxiety.


I am Nicky Verd
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