What the Box Wants You to Do

In our house, we have one of those decorative letter boxes on which you can put any message. My mom always updates it for various holidays, and sometimes just for fun. One day, I walked into the living room, and it said: “Think outside the box.”

Immediately, I looked at everything around the box. The plants on the window sill. The window itself. Our dining table. It was almost as good of a call to action as it was a clever turn of phrase. “Huh,” I thought, “even the box wants me to think outside of it.”

Life is like that, you know? It wants you to win, and it wants you to do it creatively. That’s why it puts all the pieces right in front of you. The creating, however, that’s your responsibility.

Before the Egyptians built the pyramids, they were staring at a bunch of sticks and stones. Nature must have felt like a quiz show host who desperately wants to help but can’t. “Come on! It’s all right there! My hands are tied. Figure it out already!” Eventually, they put the stones on the sticks, and through that and a whole host of subsequent, more advanced techniques (many of which are still lost to us today), they did figure it out.

The box doesn’t want you to be in it. It takes no pride in keeping you in the dark. The box is cheering very hard for you.

Look at everything in front of you. What did life put on display, and why did it choose all those people and events at this very moment? There is a sense to the totality of everything in your life at all times, but the only way to see it is to step outside the box.

Sometimes, you’ll only need to take a few steps to find the right angle from which to glance at the box, and all of its puzzle pieces will fall into place. Sometimes, you’ll have to venture far, far away to a very high vantage point, and sometimes, you’ll have to abandon the box altogether because life has another one in store for you somewhere else.

Life is not set on making you its prisoner. The doors are always open. Step outside, and then keep shaking, analyzing, playing with the box. Make the quiz master proud.