Sandbox.

Yesterday I promised to say a few words about sandboxing. I found this mental move to be quite useful if I need to create a space for myself to experiment with different ideas or techniques which require possible risk-taking. I use sandboxing when I want to play with something I never did before and have very little certainty about the effects or the outcomes. The technique is pretty straight forward. Originally this method is coming from computer science and it is a security mechanism for separating running programs, usually in an effort to protect the system from failures. It does so by creating additional supervision and providing a necessary support structure to the system so it can explore the possibilities without causing harm.

Imagine you want to try something out, like for example to allow arbitrariness dictate your decisions for a few days. You know that there are benefits bound to it, you want to train you spontaneous creativity, but it feels a little shaky to give into the process. So what you can do is to create a sandbox wherein this arbitrariness can unfold and bring you the benefits. What makes it so appealing is that you make an agreement with yourself, that within these parameters whatever happens it is a part of the plan. Building a structure which can hold the uncertainty can help to embrace the freedom in fullest without thinking too much about the consequences. It will also create a calmer state of mind which, as we know, positively contributes to the overall ability to create new ideas and absorb benefits from new experiences.


You can approach sandboxing in different ways. It can be a very precise set of conditions, for example duration of the experiment or a very specific area you want to tackle. Or it can be broader, like trying on a new name for a time being and see what will happen. In any case having a sandbox around the experience is always a good idea as it will create more groundless within something which has no ground because of the nature of experiment.


Another application for this technique can be solving interpersonal conflicts, or more precisely prevention a potentially unsettling situation to spread and shake the relationship. When yo know that the theme or situation you would like to discuss can bring conflict, it is wise to create a sandbox around it and look at it as something isolated from the general space you’ve created with your friends or partners. Discuss it beforehand and agree to view it from the side no matter what happens. Managing the expectations also shows a big deal of care and respect for each other and I am sure it will always be met with a positive reaction. Once situation is getting heated, it is good to remind each other about the sandbox and the rules you agreed upon.

What’s about it on the sandboxing. Try it out on something which seems desirable but the risks or discomforts are taking over. Once yo get aquatinted with the technique yo’ll see how natural it is to use and how much easier it becomes to experiment and explore without heaviness and burden of particular outcome.

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