We think in the box because it is the only box given us. That is, our thoughts almost automatically become restricted to that which is presented to us.The mother asks the youngster whether he would prefer fish or liver for dinner. Sometimes neither of the options is preferable, but we have a tendency to choose from these restricted options presented to us.
The more a person’s self-talk begins with, “Are these my only choices?” the more options will be discovered. A typical example is the oft-quoted question, “Is the glass half empty or half full?” The optimist responds that the glass is half full. The pessimist responds that the glass is half empty.
But the pragmatist responds, “You’ve got twice as much glass as you need.”
Invariably, humor aside, other options exist, and they will be discovered if the simple question is repeated, “Are these my only choices?”