What is a "Box" Anyways?

The TLDR summary

Manage your life's boxes before they manage you.

Boxes, boxes, boxes... they're everywhere!

When you hear the word "boxes" you might be picturing endless piles of cardboard or you might glance around you to notice that squarish objects in our lives outnumber roundish ones by a large number, that is of course unless you live in a hobbit house with a circular shaped computer from the future.

picture of a round computer I can't believe companies like this are given money.

Literal boxes aside, this blog focuses on the more fascinating and I'd say more valuable metaphorical boxes that continually shape our lives for better or worse.

Your life defined by boxes

Everything from emotions to career choices can be viewed as sets of boxes we temporarily or permanently dwell in, consciously or unconsciously. In a nutshell, our lives are defined by these boxes whether we like it or not. When conscious of these boxes, we can choose to find comfort in them or climb out of them to find something more suitable.

Let's look a bit deeper at the emotional box metaphor and let me know if it resonates with you or completely misses the mark.

An example of emotional boxes

Imagine that our emotions are boxes - I know what you're thinking, "imagining stuff is hard" - but let's try anyways. Imagine each of your emotions is a box. Each box is a different size depending on how likely you are to feel that emotion. If you were teased a lot in childhood you may have a large insecurity box in adulthood. If seeing someone burn ants with a magnifying glass made you cry you might have a large empathy box. If you have a short temper you might have a small empathy box and a large anger one. Get the picture? Here's an example of how I want my group of emotional boxes to look like:

Ideal set of emotional boxes

Remember, the bigger the emotional box the more likely we are to spend time with that emotion. Learning how to manage your emotional boxes before they take control is a great life skill but sometimes, despite our best efforts, our emotional boxes are so big they trap us and negatively influence our lives. In these cases learning to escape the emotional box can be helpful and also remembering that everything changes, even this crummy emotional state you're in, so don't give up on the hope of a better life... it could be just ahead of you.

In conclusion

As you can see this little box metaphor can be made to fit just about anything in our lives. I haven't figured it all out yet, really this all just feels like the tip of the iceberg, but I intend to and I hope you'll figure it out with me.

Going forward, blog posts will usually fall into one of the life categories laid out above but every now and then I'll write a post like this one which is more about the box metaphor as a whole than any one category. Posts like this will be called Meta Box posts, read more about them on What is a Meta Box Post. And if you're wondering what a meta box post would look like as a gif then check this out.


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