Thursday, January 21, 2010

The empowerment of limitations

Our potential is vast. The world is vast. This vast world is filled with approximately 7 billion other people all with vast potential all with a vastly different set of life experiences. The amount of data we take in every day is vast. Our world is huge and it is easy to find our self lost in it. That is the power and beauty of limitations and boundaries. It is interesting to note that while the two words have at their root the same meaning (limitation comes from the Latin limitem which means a "a boundary, embankment between fields, border,") that a limitation has a negative connotation while boundaries does not.

Limitations help us define what is important to us and help us to give our vast and wonderful world structure. One way we can start to take control of our life is to set limitations on how we use our time and energy. Limitations can also be used to help us be more creative, more efficient and generally have a greater level of focus in our lives. Limitations, and our relationship to them, are like a surfer in the tube of a crashing wave. He only has one way to go surrounded on all sides by the incredible power of the ocean. If he were to turn away and fight against this limitation he would be flung from his bored and tossed about like a rag doll. Instead he decides to move in line with his limitations working within the binderies to find the spot where he has the power of the wave to guide him in a controlled manor. His reward for this is that he gains the wonderful otherworldly experience of being in a place few will ever experience.

The same is true for us as we move about our daily lives, when we struggle or ignore the limitations set by circumstance, by ourselves or by law we will find ourselves tossed about by the power of the world. We come away bruised and battered and often worse off than when we started. I am not saying that we should not strive to change, strive to overcome but that we should do it with full knowlage and in the context of our limiting factors. I will also go to say we never overcome a limitation but instead we overcome obstacles. Limitations are boundaries, the line in the sand that says this is one thing this is another. Rather than overcome them we expand them, making the area of things that are possible and permissible larger. With this idea of limitations in place we can now address how to draw power from them.

Limitations increase focus.

We only have a disceet amount of energy we can expend each and every day limiting our time to certain activities increases our ability to those things we want to do well. When we want to put effoert in to something we will usually shut out the distractions, maybe turn off the phone, defiantly turn off the TV and if you are like me put on some music that is conducive to thought. These actions do not just set the mood for productivity they also limit the information we are having to posses to that which deals with the task at hand.

Limitations define our tools.

When we want to be creative whether it is in problem solving or an artistic endeavor we need to limit the field we are going to work in. As artists we choose our media weather it is pastels, oils or clay. Each of these choices limits what can and will be created. The same is true with personnel growth. When we decide I want ot be better ant this thing, say for example I want to be a better speller this begins to define the tools we will use to achieve the goal. In the case of spelling I may start reading the dictionary every day, or self correcting words instead of letting the spell checker do it for me. However I will not stair at a picture of an apple to learn how to spell apple.

The power of limitations is that they allow us to define what we want to accomplish and how we want to accomplish it. Without defining the binderies of our effort we can easily become bogged down in all the possibilities that we are presented with every day. Do you set limitations for yourself? Let me know in the comments and as always have a great day.


Eric | Eden Journal said...

It can be mind boggling to imaging the vastness of our reality, yet also realize the limitations. You have made a good case for the positive side of limitations. Setting limits is an important part of our day to day life, and is often overlooked.

Quinn said...

we have problems when we struggle with the wrong things. The trick is to no which boundaries need pushing and which can be allowed to serve as guidance.

Walter said...

My perspective of limitation is negative but you have provided here a different perspective. Putting limitation on things that are detrimental to our well-being is a must. But when it comes to unleashing our divine capacities, we must not allow the prospect of limitation. :-)

Quinn said...

I think our divine capacity as you put it can be realized by moving so perfectly and in such harmony with our limitations that they become invisible. But then i am a bit of a Taoist like that.

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