Thinking differently first and foremost presupposes individuality and independence. A bright example of positive and different thinking is the following problem. Here are four words: apple, plum, cucumber and peach. Which one is extra? The majority of people will say this is a cucumber because it is a vegetable and all other words are fruit. But this is not thinking out of the box. It is thinking out of the box if the extra word is plum. Because the rest of them has more letters.
The way our minds works is that includes our past experiences. One more point which can be regarded as alternative thinking is what two days start with the letter “T”. The first thing coming o your mind is Tuesday and Thursday. But why not Tomorrow and Today?
The main rule how to learn to think differently is to break the stereotypes and rules. Remember something and try to think about it vice versa. Make it move in different directions – upwards, downwards, etc. Results may be absolutely surprising. There are some bright examples of this way of thinking in the world history. Henry Ford’s is among them. Instead of his plan "to bring people to work» it all turned into "bring work to people". And hardly there is anyone who doubts whether he was right!
One more means which may be helpful while learning to think out of the box is not to think about the problem at all. Suppose, all of us had some situations in their life when the solution of the problem came when you forgot about the problem or just let the situation develop out of its own will, so to speak.
During the process of learning, you must be ready that some of your ideas will be crazy a bit, to put it mildly. But don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. This approach will make you mind free. There is no such a thing as a conventional way of thinking. A lot of proves can be found in world literature and particularly in postmodernism. There is no such a thing as madness. This is just another way of perceiving reality. So, never get discouraged. Try to put your ideas down and get used to them.
As soon as you understand you can do it and there is no one or nothing that should prevent you. When you are free enough, solutions will come themselves.
Speaking about reality and real life, try to have some practice. But start with people you know well enough. For instance, when asked what time it is, say something like it’s time to leave and rush to the door instead of looking at watch. You may have to apologize afterwards as you are sure to make the feel really confused.
Alternative thinking may help you find some inner reserves you could never think about. Ideas you have may be strange and weird but they are new. Using them to solve some problems will open new horizons to you.