Thinking Outside of the Box

thinking outside the box

There is nothing more heartwarming to me that running across someone who thinks outside of the box.These are people that look at the universe as their classroom and take knowledge that extra step.  Over the past few months I have become familiar with a few of them and what they do is simply inspiring.

The first is Peter E. Raymond, the son of my husband’s good friend.  As young man he could not stay in the confines of a school room and dropped out of high school, much to his mother’s dismay, especially as she was a school teacher. But Peter never stopped learning and has been involved in some pretty incredible projects.  One of particular interest was creating a congestive heart failure simulator for a pharmaceutical company that wanted to be able to improve the medical doctor’s understanding of what a person feels like when experiencing congestive heart failure so that they would treat it faster and more effectively.  He went on to create simulators for multiple sclerosis and restless leg syndrome as well.

Peter speaks to grad students at universities and once was asked about his educational background.  Slightly embarrassed, he admitted he had dropped out of school.  The professor who invited him to speak wanted his students to see that “book learning” is only part of education, going out and doing things is what is really important and that there is so much to learn, outside of the classroom.

In his own words, ” I started a few companies that makes stuff that solves complex issues for people. It keeps me busy and let’s me employ a bunch of great people. I started an organization that helps raise awareness about global health care. I want to solve the world’s ills, as mine (and probably yours) are not that bad.”

Peter truly is a self made man.  If you’d like to find out more about his work click here.

Yesterday, I discovered another great mind, Boyan Slat.  Here is an article on him which includes a video of his project of cleaning up our oceans.  Although the video is 11 minutes long, it is very informative and really demonstrates the concept of the world is your teacher.  What I like most of all is that he emphasizes solving the problem and breaks down the economics of it all in very simple terms.  He is very convincing and quite determined.  I hope he succeeds.

My last out of the box thinker is a five year old boy, who, like most five year old boys decided to do something unusual after reading a book.  With the help of a wonderful mother, his dream is becoming a reality…he is Writing to the World.  What a great way to learn about the world and the people in it and he has made some incredible connections as a result.  Learn more about him here.  He also has a Facebook page in which he explains what inspired him to do the project, how he expanded it to include fundraising for Shelterbox so that he could help others around the world and daily updates on his progress in achieving his goals.

All of these people had a goal and used every avenue they could to forward that goal.  None of them accepted the idea that they could not achieve that goal, they just forged ahead in pursuit of accomplishing it.  They are inspiring to me.

Have you run across anyone who inspired you lately?