You’ve probably heard me say that we all have boxes in our thinking—old paradigms and limiting ways of looking at the world. We develop these boxes as a result of the indoctrination—the messages—of our culture. We might have boxes that limit our perspective on leadership, business, ministry, family, or any other number of aspects of our lives.
You see, the way we act is a result of the way we think and the way we think is a result of how we’ve been indoctrinated. So, in order to be truly free from these paradigms, we have to somehow dismantle and destroy the box. There is a reality out there that is far greater. God wants us to gain a new perspective on life, and on our calling, because each one of us has a unique purpose—your calling is different from everybody else. By definition, nobody fits into somebody else’s category. That’s why the boxes are so detrimental—because they keep us in a mentality of comparison, pattern-following, and mediocrity.
The key to being free of these boxes is multifaceted. Yes, we must become aware that our thinking is limited—but this is only the first step. Too many people stop here, understanding that their paradigms are limiting their potential, but not taking any action to move past that realization. Others courageously step out of the boxes—they dismantle them—but allow the remnants of their old perspectives to linger in their lives, like those shipping boxes that pile up in your house.
Why is this a problem? Because dismantling the box isn’t enough. Now that we’re out of the box, we need to destroy the box. We need to remove the box from our reality, so that the box no longer controls us. Because, even though we’re outside of the it, that box still seems to be the center of our attention. It’s like this “either/or” mentality that we develop, where everything still gravitates around the box, even though it’s no longer part of our thinking.
Awareness of the box, dismantling the box, and destroying the box are all crucial steps; but few leaders and believers reach the third step. They stay satisfied with their wisdom and awareness about the limited paradigms in their lives; but they never take the essential step of eliminating those paradigms. Until we do that, we’ll still be orbiting around them, in some way—we’ll still be enslaved to them.
But when we destroy the boxes…our thinking is elevated and broadened. We are free to explore new territories. We are free to discover the true nature of the abundant life, and the unique calling, that God has for each one of us. That’s worth breaking down a few boxes and making a trip to the dumpster, isn’t it?
Martijn van Tilborgh is the co-founder of Kidmin Nation, owner of Four Rivers Media and Kudu Publishing, and is a renowned author, speaker, and leader in the marketing and communications space. books as handbooks worldwide in leadership development.
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