Your Seat in the Stadium of Life

Regardless of how many people suggest that you
start thinking “outside the box,” it cannot in
truth be done. As long as you are living within
your skin, you will always be in a box.

Your box is your perspective, your worldview,
your schema – the sum of your life’s experiences
– your own personal set of assumptions. Like a
seat in a stadium, your “box” determines the
angle from which you view every game.

What people call “thinking outside the box” can
be accomplished only by getting out of your seat
and walking to an unfamiliar part of the stadium
to borrow the seat of someone else.

Now you’re seeing things from their point of
view. You’re still in a “box,” but it’s not your
own. You’ve borrowed a new perspective so that
you’re seeing your problem through the eyes of
another – according to their values and

Do you have the courage to do it? Most people do
not, because it requires that they first accept
how small their own, private world really is. It
requires that they realize they may not, in
fact, be entirely right.

Of course the people around you have a
perspective similar to your own. They’re sitting
in your part of the stadium.

Are you ready to see the view from another seat?

Think of a problem, a challenge, or an
opportunity that you currently face. Ask
yourself, “How would Mother Teresa deal with
this?” Teresa’s values were unconditional
acceptance and a willingness to sacrifice for
the good of others. Mother Teresa was successful.

Now ask, “How would Attila the Hun deal with
this?” Attila’s values were subjugation and
dominance and he was ruthless in his efforts to
achieve them. Attila was successful, too.

Which of these perspectives was the farthest
from your own? Go there. Spend time in that box
if you really want to grow.

Now ask, “How would Disney World deal with it?”
Disney’s values are fantasy and fun and they
spare no expense in making every illusion
beautiful. How would McDonald’s deal with it?
McDonald’s values are speed and efficiency and
they are willing to sharply limit customer
choices to increase them. How would Rolls Royce
deal with it? Rolls Royce ignores trends and
costs and rejects mass-appeal thinking. They
position themselves only to appeal to the fewest
of the few.

Are you beginning to get the idea? People within
your own industry can teach you the basics but
you won’t find revolutionary thinking until
you’ve wandered to the furthest reaches of the

Good luck to you on your journey. Be sure to pack a lunch.

And take a warm coat. I hear it gets cold in the upper seats where they watch the wonderful big
picture unfold without the encumbrance of specific details.

For more than 27 years, The Wizard of Ads searched through the annals of history, art, cognitive neuroscience, theoretical physics and
literature to find the answers to questions that have long puzzled the leading experts.

A lifelong student of humanity, Roy H. Williams
has spent a quarter-century asking, “What makes people do the things they do?” And he’s been using the things he’s learned to stimulate
miraculous growth for his clients.