“To become good at anything you have to know how to apply basic principles. To become great at it, you have to know when to violate those principles” – Garry Kasparov
Thinking outside the box requires a special technique called epoché – a suspension of judgement before you act.
We are often subjected to various forms of entertainment throughout the day. I find it odd that we are often the ones being entertained however, as we receive various emotional and visceral reactions to the stimuli around us.
How do we take charge, reverse the roles, and become the entertainer in our own lives? How do we become the master and entertain the ideas or circumstances that are presented to us?
The truth is, we can tease out a good idea from a contextual situation with the maturity, substance, and panache if we do it correctly.
Suspending judgement, known as epoché, was derived from ancient Greek philosophers. Epoché is a way to come up with deeper solution to a burning question or situation. This idea of suspended judgement comes up throughout the history of philosophy and undoubtedly is a powerful tool for critical thinking.
I noticed this principle come to the forefront when playing a game of chess, I suspended my judgement on a move I was about to make – and asked “what else?”
“What am I not seeing? Is there another way to look at this?” I challenged my brain to entertain the thought, idea, or context of the situation I was presented with – the game board – I suspended for moment and then I acted – creating a check mate I did not originally see.
Don’t let the final act fool you. The anticipation can entice you down the wrong road if you are not paying attention. Remember, you have the power to think critically in that little minuscule place between presentation and action – use it!