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The Boxy Life and How To Think Out Of It (Special Video Inside)

Before we get to chatting, scroll down to the bottom of this post to watch the two minute video.  It’s an amazing video, and it is what inspired me to write this.

That short video created by renowned speaker Yossi Ghinsberg  is just one of those things you see where afterwards you can’t help but feel elevated and inclined to take big strides to really do something different with your life. You’re forced to reflect on its meaning. You can’t help but ponder its message in relation to your own life.

I love stuff like that. It’s this stuff that reminds us not to ever let our lives become, well, Boxy- to make sure we don’t get stuck living, being, acting, thinking inside of  the box permanently.

Why not reflect on this whole talk of a Life In A Box? Let’s think about this for a moment. Let’s see where the message of this Life-Out-Of-The-Box video goes in relation to our own lives.

I’ll start.

MY LIFE – IN A BOX.

To be honest with you, even though I’ve been traveling for the majority of my adult life and “living outside of the box” to the best of my ability, there are a few other areas in which I stayed nicely put in my comfortable little box.

About a month ago I walked away from this box. And you know why? Because there is nothing worse than being stuck in a box when all it’s doing is floating in limbo and you’re right there stuck floating inside of it.

My box was filled with a lot of things I was holding onto that I didn’t want to let go of. It held things that had changed that I didn’t want to admit had changed- including myself. It held places and people and habits that weren’t me anymore. A lot of it, well, it was really just ME needing to go wherever it was I needed to go, and to stop being so scared of doing it.

And so I walked out of that box to find out who I was again and to realize where it was I wanted to go. How’d I walk out? Well, I made a lot of changes and I took some big steps.

When I got back from China, there was some adjusting and a lot of thinking. When that was over, I changed where I was, moving from my hometown in NJ and onto a new adventure living where it’s warm next to the beach. I broke away from a three year relationship with someone I still love, but I knew we needed to go our separate ways. I started working on the things I loved and that brought me to life. I began connecting with and reaching out to people that share my passions. I started living MY LIFE on my own terms. I crushed that box.

YOUR LIFE – IN A BOX

The way I interpreted “Life Outside The Box” from this 2 minute video really came down to Ghinsberg’s final few words. He explained, “When you realize you are the planet, you are not living in a box anymore. Life becomes very big. Your personal story comes into perspective….Remember where you are, and who you are.”

You see, I think this last line is the best way to not get stuck living our lives in a box. You have to remember where you are and who you are. To me, the boxy life happens when you loose sight of that very thing and you stop fighting to get it back.

The question is: ARE YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO BE? ARE YOU GOING WHERE YOU WANT TO GO?

Where are you right now? Some of you are reading this from a hostel in a little internet cafe in Ecuador, others are up in New Jersey staying warm inside, and others are at work taking a break from the grind. Are you sitting next to someone you love or someone you loathe? Are you in a place that brings you to life and allows you to truly, deeply FEEL. Are your plans for the day, week, month, year the kind that you’ve dreamed of?

The question is: ARE YOU WHO YOU WANT TO BE? ARE YOU BECOMING WHO YOU KNOW YOU ARE?

Who are you? This all comes down to what your values are and how much you make it a priority to get in touch with them. Maybe its freedom and adventure, maybe its family and friends, maybe it’s making your footprint on this world, maybe it’s spending time with the love of your life, maybe it’s using your creativity to start or run your projects and businesses. Whatever it is, are you the person you know you’re meant to be?

LIVING LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

Ghinsberg told us to “Go to nature. Sleep under the night sky.”

I’d like to take this a step further and add, “Go where you know you’re meant to go.”

To me, that’s really what living life outside of the box is about. Life inside the box is doing what you think everyone expects and wants you to do. It’s settling for less than you know you’re capable of and you deserve. Life outside of the box, simply stated, is being who you truly are and going where you are meant to go.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Life In A Box in the comments! What are your opinions, your stories, your experiences? How have you broken free from the Life In The Box?

I reply to every comment with love and thought and nothing  is cooler than the discussions that gets going after these posts, so don’t forget to Subscribe to the Comments!


Non Boxy Image Credit

About Lauren Rains

Hi my name is Lauren Rains. I write about the human experience. Through thick and thin, I’m dedicated to growth, adventure, integrity, and love. The Mad To Live is based on my pursuits, experiments, research, and lessons of challenge and triumph in all areas of life, including being entrepreneur, a writer, a philosopher, a traveler, a teacher, a student, a creative, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a significant other, a stranger and the list goes on. At the end of the day, I believe human beings are here for two reasons: 1.) to love one another with total acceptance, and 2.) to see what we’re made of as we create the possibilities for an abundant life for ourselves and for others. No more bullshit, let's just enjoy our lives.

Share with me what you're getting into that matters to you. It could be stepping into entrepreneurial pursuits, embarking on a journey of the self, making a crazy life change, or even if you're totally stuck. I want to connect with, support, collaborate with, and learn from as many people as possible through this blog (that means you!) Click the *Share* link in the main menu and let's connect by filling out the form.

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  • I love this post Laura and the video really gets you thinking about how you ended up living your life in boxes. I hope this helps folks break out of their ‘boxes’ and start living their desires, dreams and purpose – it’s liberating, it’s freedom, it’s really the only way to live.

    Cheers!

    • Hey Mark!
      It really is the only way to live! I mean, after watching this video you’re practically scared of living a complacent life in a box that lulls you to sleep! When I saw this for the first time it was like a smack in the head because I saw how mundane life could really be in a box.
      I know getting out of the box to start living your desires, dreams & purpose is hard, but as you said, it’s that liberation and freedom you get with it – and it really is the only way to live!
      Great concept in this video! I had to write a post about it! Thanks for your kind words Mark! 🙂

  • Great post Lauren- moving abroad is a great way to break out of the box. Often we get back into the box abroad, different country but same cubicle.
    Finding, digging and clearly defining who we are and what we stand for is the only way to get out of the box. Its not easy but a necessary exercise.

    • Hey John!
      Yea you do make a good point there. Moving abroad is definitely a great way to get out of the box, but it is certainly easy to fall back into that same space again once you’re there. I mean, even when I 1st moved to China I stayed in my comfort zone for awhile. But if we go in with the outlook that we’re there to grow and get out of that box, then moving abroad is definitely one of the best ways to do it.

      Being in that new location with all new things works as a great catalyst and gives you ample new opportunities to step out of that box, be it through meeting people doing the same, or immersing yourself in that culture, or learning to be a helping hand and realizing you can make a difference, etc.

      It’s definitely a necessary exercise, whether the cards hold moving abroad or not : ) (of course, I also support the going abroad part haha)

  • Hey Lauren – great post. It’s a good reminder to live our life to the fullest each and every day.

    Here’s a thought experiment:
    At what point is your box no longer your box? Let me explain:

    I met with a friend the other day who excitedly talked about being self employed and starting his own business that would change peoples lives.
    But then he talked about handing in his resume at a 9-5 “boxy” job. He talked about safety, protection, and predictability and I could tell that these were important things to him. I wondered if he would ever be able to pursue his entrepreneurial dream.

    Normally, we would assume that accepting the 9-5 would be the definition of living in his box. But what if it isn’t. What if he pursued his self-employed dream and ignored his desires for safety, predictability, and protection. Would he ever really be able to live outside of his box? Or would his fears always hold him back from going where he needs to go?

    Now instead, what if he acknowledges that he dreams of safety, protection, and predictability. Maybe with those basic needs met, he would then be able to destroy the box and live life to it’s full in other regards.

    I wonder: at what point does the “box” no longer become the box.

    I also wonder if any of this made sense or if it just makes sense in my own head…. Feel free to call my out on being ridiculous if necessary.

    • Hey Collin!
      haha no your ramblings make perfect sense to me! Thank you for giving me something to think about and expand my mind!

      I don’t think that accepting that 9-5 position means that you’re friend (we’ll call him Raul from this point forward), is hiding away in his box. While of course I urge anyone I meet to follow their dreams and take those risks, but part of getitng out of the box is knowing who you are and where you’re going – and to do that, as mentioned in the post, we need to be in touch with our values. Raul here, his values include supporting his family and feeling secure. There are definitely ways that he could do both where he’s touching on that value as well as his values that center around freedom and adventure. That would be his way of living out of the box. Most people just take one or the other, ya know? Raul can do it! 🙂

      So, at what point does the “box” no longer become the “box”? I think that it stops being a box when you’re in control of where you’re going not because you are forced into it, but because it’s where you truly truly want to go.

      You are the bomb Collin! Always awesome comments and insights from you! 🙂
      -LAUREN

  • Hi Lauren,

    Nice effort you’ve made here to share with your readers the needs to think out of the box.
    To me, to think out of the box will result great FREEDOM! Free from all negative things in your life that have been hindering you from living your wonderful dreams. However, it takes only strong person to make this a reality.

    To share my experience: Thinking out of the box has opened my eyes to many unique opportunities in my life. I have never thought before that I could leave my 9-5 rat race until I went travel in 2007 for about 3 months and FORCED my mind to feel the beauty of being so free.

    Keep up good job Lauren, Kudos!

    • Hey Tariq!
      ah FREEDOM – is there a better world in the dictionary? I think NOT! 🙂
      You have one thing right Tariq, all the negative things in our lives can make it seem damn near impossible to achieve that freedom – between negative people be it strangers friends or family, negative experiences that make us scared to try them out again, or just getting stuck in the habit of thinking negatively.
      Ugh what a negative paragraph! haha
      But if we’re strong, we can definitely have that FREEDOM!
      Amazing what a little travel can do to show us it’s in arm’s reach, ya know?

  • Really, I can’t wait to send you my guest post as soon as it’s finished.
    I think we are on the same wave. This article basically tells what I think and still it inspired me all over again.
    Thank you for showing us the video and your thoughts about it. Was a great enrichment for my day 🙂

    Best wishes!

    • Hey Robin!
      I can’t wait to read it! You are a crazy guy and that is what I like about you! Not crazy in a “What the f*ck is wrong with him way – but the kind of crazy that is meaningful and righteous and inspiring! You rock that’s all im gunna say.
      You truly live out of the box in so many ways and also inspiring others to do it!
      What for you was the, I suppose we could call it, Spark, that ignited your ability to do such things that so many would be scared of?

  • That 2 min video will FOREVER change the way I see my room, my car, my cubicle, stores, stuff & everything in my life. I will now see boxes, BOXES EVERYWHERE. How crazy I had never thought of that but in reality everything is a damn box that we are stuck in. I say stuck in because that is what society tells us to do and we are supposed to obey them. I am glad I figured about a year ago that I didn’t want to do the regular path on life and am now a few weeks away from breaking out of that box. I remember when I first start getting rid of some of my stuff and how hard it was for me to sale/donate/trash it and now I feel so much better owning less things and getting ready to BREAKAWAY!!!

    Great post but don’t look at the bedroom you are in cus it is a box too.

    • Hey Jaime!
      OMG I know! haha. Seriously once you see that video you’re like, “Holy Shit! There are boxes everywhere!”

      I have to say that the whole “go the regular path in life” freaks the hell out of me, and I know that’s not a box that I want to be stuck in either. I feel like I’ve just seen too much unhappiness and, well, boring boxiness from the people that have chosen this path. Maybe I’m a bad judge, or maybe I’m bias b/c I’m similar to you and want to BREAKAWAY from that way of life, but I think Robert Frost had it right when he said to take the path less traveled.
      Because there are a lot less boxes on that path!!! 🙂

  • Lauren,

    How have I overlooked your blog thus far? Shame on me! (Love your design)

    Sounds like you did some serious stretching outside of your comfort zone recently. Respeck.

    China…ah! So jealous. Where are you based now?

    Good Vibes~
    Vic

    • Hey Vic!
      Haha thanks! Welcome to my blog 😀 Thanks for the kind words and good vibes. I love good vibes. Not enough of them out there 🙂
      I’m currently based in Saint Augustine, FL for the next several months. I’ll either be staying here until I move abroad again or I’ll venture off to some other uncharted territory in the US. I promised myself 1 year in the US exploring my own country hah.
      See you around!
      LAUREN 🙂

      • St. Augy…sweet!

        I lived in Jax for like 10 years.

        I have a good friend in St. Augy who’s all about traveling and meeting amazing, inspiring people. I’ll send him over to themadtolive 🙂

        Ciao!

        • Vic I would love that! I’ve been here for 2 weeks and I’ve been trying to meet some awesome people! Anyone obsessed with travel is my kind of person 🙂 I need someone to go on FL adventures with. Definitely tell him to contact me! Thanks man 🙂

          How’d you like JAX? I spent a summer there actually doing an internship back in college. Where are you now though?

          PS – Checked out your blog! “Dankest Posts”…haha ;-P Looking forward to more from you! Very nice work on your guest post on the Skool of Life!

          • Lauren,

            At the moment I’m in San Francisco.

            Thailand bound soonish. 🙂

            Best,
            Vic

  • I can definitely relate to pretty much everything you said, even the time frame for the break up, only I got a few years on you there. What I like most about the way this guy finishes the video, and what you took from that, is that living outside the box is more or less a state of mind rather than a physical place. If you love your job from 9-5, you’re a passionate lawyer working 7-10, or you’re a travel writer, then you’re golden. I saw a documentary last night about yoga, in which one of the teachers simply said to do what you want. He said if you believe in god, fine, if you don’t, fine too, but being true to yourself is what makes you religious, and at peace, and happy. A lot can be taken from that if you think outside the box on your definition of religious 🙂
    Either way I find that I try to live my life this way. I talk to clients the way I want to, I create my own schedule, and my office very often is wherever my feet are leading me as I make calls I need to and walk around the city. When I have free time and extra gas money, I’m on the road, simple as that. With that said I can only endorse this fully and hope that everyone else decides to act on what they feel. Take the trip to Florida and make a life, walk more, call your friends whenever you feel like it, talk to strangers, and just ask yourself if you are happy. Excellent post Lauren, you got me thinking this morning and I like that 🙂

    • Hey Kyle!
      You have read my mind! 🙂 Awhile back I started reading all these location independent, anti work 9-5 blogs that led me to believe that you can’t be happy if you aren’t living this so -called life. And while I do have to admit that I know the location independent life is for me, I don’t agree that it’s the only thing that can make people happy, nor should it be.
      Because as you said, it all comes down to what you love to do. You don’t have to necessarily stick it to the man to be happy. You just have to be happy and be yourself – THAT is what living outside of the box is, ya know?
      And of course, it is always more than wonderful to come across people that are doing just that on their very own terms 🙂

  • Hey Lauren-awesome post. I love those kind of short videos that pack a lot of punch! Thanks for sharing.

    The box that I try to stay away from the most is the predictability box. I’ve been in it before and know what it feels like. Everyday is the same. You take the same route to work/school, you eat at the same place for lunch, you take your break in the same spot, you walk home the same way you went to work/school, you do the same thing on the weekend, you see the same people, have the same conversations, etc.

    Breaking out of the predictability box isn’t as difficult as some people think but it isn’t going to happen automatically-you have to MAKE IT HAPPEN! Break the box yourself. For some that means selling your stuff and moving the the other side of the world but it can be as simple as taking a new route to work/school, trying to learn something new and fun on the weekend, putting yourself out there to meet new and interesting people or just going on some random road trip when you have a few days to spare, there are a thousand ways to shake things up and just live a little.

    Predictability Box = Boring

    Unpredictability Box = Awesome, Exciting, Fun, Adventurous, Random, Memorable, Crazy, MAD Experiences!

    I’m new to your online home and look forward to reading more from you. Peace and Respect!

    ~Mike

    • Hey Michael!
      I completely, 100%, fully feel you on all this. The predictability box is one of my worst nightmares! I’ve fallen into it a few times and it feels like I’m lulling my life and mind to sleep. There are certain people that thrive on living their lives in a box of predictability. It just suits them and makes them feel safe and at peace.
      But for people like you and I, it seems to make us feel antsy, restless, and uninspired. And living an uninspired life is just not the path for us. No sir.
      And you definitely have to MAKE IT HAPPEN to break that box. It is so easy to stay inside that little thing relaxing and staying safe inside the realms of certainty and the usual. But when you do crush it, man it is AWESOME, ya know?

      Thanks for stopping by the Mad to Live! I’m looking forward to reading about your EPIC ADVENTURES on your own blog 🙂
      LAUREN 🙂

  • It seems society contrives to put us all in a box: family, church, school, government, etc. My worst boxes were those I felt I could not escape from: job in family business, child support, debt, reputation, obligations. All of these things suppressed and oppressed my very being. I was trapped as a wild animal in a cage. I escaped. I left the family business and found my own jobs. The kids hit 18 and child support ended. I paid off my debts. I stopped worrying what others thought of me. I ended obligations. The end of September 2009, I retired. I am a youth mentor. I seek to encourage young people to never lose sight nor sacrifice the innate happiness and freedom that is their birthright. In other words, not to let any person nor institution put them in a box. Such posts as this one help a lot. I RT’d this article, which will also reach adults who may be dealing with their own boxes. Thank-you for this post. Peace and Love!

  • hello Laur,
    Thanks for sharing your madness to the blog universe. I am touched and convinced that some people no longer dream to live out of the box. Some people like you think & managed to break that limiting belief. While you are in this state of consciousness, the universe points me to your ideas. I am inspired by the video below. Keep on being an impossible doer.

    • Hey Moicuesphepau!

      Isn’t it a great right? I find it very inspiring and I like to watch it every time I feel myself falling backwards towards the boxy life again. It’s all about gaining momentum and believing in yourself enough to not fall back into it and to escape it in the first place.
      And you as well, keep being an impossible doer!

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