Posts Tagged With: thinking outside the box

Day 2087: Boxed in

Do you ever feel boxed in? Helpless? Paralyzed? Trapped?

When you feel boxed in, what do you do? Does it help to think outside the box? Or is staying in the box more safe and comfortable than venturing outside of it?

Do any of my photos from yesterday make you feel boxed in?

Michael’s meals, if there were ever any left-overs, would make a great box lunch.

Last week, when I was boxed in by many cars on my way to work, I received these messages from fellow boxed-in commuters who were using the traffic app Waze:

Why is traffic always so bad with 1/2 inch of water. Shoot me.

Good morning from hell on earth.

As usual, I felt less boxed in, knowing I was not alone. Hell on earth is not as bad when you have company.

Lately, Michael and I have been doing the box step and other dance steps with each other twice a week, thinking outside the box as we take turns choosing what music to dance to. This was Michael’s outside-the-box choice from last week:

I wish I could write lyrics like that. I may be boxed in by less song-writing experience and talent than Richard Thompson, but I’ll keep trying. That’s the way to get out of whatever box you’re in — keep trying and keep boxing your way out.

Please put your reactions in a comment box, below.

Boxed-up thanks to all who helped me box together today’s boxed-in post and more boxes of thanks — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 1024: Shades of Gray

Would it be shady of me to start this black, white, & gray post with this?


Would it be shady to share a definition of the all-too-human tendency for black-and-white thinking and a suggested antidote to that common cognitive distortion?

Black-and-White thinking.
Things are either all good or all bad, people are either perfect or failures, something new will either fix everything or be worthless. There is no middle ground; we place people and situations in “either/or” categories, with no shades of gray, or allowing for complexities. Watch out for absolute words like “always”, “never,” “totally,” etc. as indications of this kind of distortion.

Thinking in Shades of Gray. Instead of thinking in all-or-nothing terms, evaluate a situation on a scale of 0 to 100.  Instead of absolute words like “never”, “always,” and “completely,” substitute modulated words like “seldom”, “often,” or “somewhat.” Consider the concept of “good enough” (e.g., “I am doing a good enough job at this”).

Yesterday, during (and after) a conference on innovation in medical practice, I looked for shades of gray among the blacks and whites.

IMG_6169 IMG_6171 IMG_6174 IMG_6176 IMG_6179 IMG_6180 IMG_6181 IMG_6182 IMG_6183 IMG_6184 IMG_6185 IMG_6186 IMG_6188 IMG_6195 IMG_6196 IMG_6197 IMG_6199IMG_6198

It’s good to be open to color, too.


What are your gray, black, white, and colorful thoughts about an appropriately shady song for this post?

You can find Haim performing Simon & Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter” in shades of gray, here.

If you leave a black-and-white comment below, it will be read all over by me.

Thanks to all who helped me create this shadily good enough post and to you — of course! — for all the shades you see here, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments

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