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Embracing Limits: How Constraints Help You Achieve More

Do you ever feel like limitations are holding you back from reaching your full potential?

Do you find yourself thinking that if you had more resources, money, or time, you would do much better?

If so, you are not alone.

Limits in Life

Many of us are drawn to the idea of unlimited potential and possibilities.

However, as we spend more time in our careers or personal pursuits, we discover that there are many constraints in life that are like chains that are difficult to break free.

Whether it’s limited time, money, or resources, it is easy for us to view the constraints as obstacles that stand in the way of our success.

For the past 11 years, I have worked in three small firms.

In the first few years, while my friends were struggling to adapt to work life in big companies, I was happy because there were more freedoms in small firms.

But years later, while my friends started to live a “better” life, I struggled with small teams, limited budgets, wearing different hats, and tight deadlines to meet.

What’s worse, I apparently were not as “successful” as they were in job titles and in financial situations. I got panicked.

It sounds silly to me now, for I find out that limits could be an advantage.

It unleashes more possibilities when I embrace it. In this article, I will discuss the benefits of limits in the workplace and how to turn limits into your superpower.

Photo by Esteban López on Unsplash

Benefits of Limits in the Workplace

I used to complain about constraints in my life.

However, when I take a closer look, I realize that limits actually provide numerous benefits.

1. Limits foster resourcefulness

Small firms have limited resources and budgets compared to big companies.

Therefore, it is crucial to make the most of what I have.

Everything could be an assistance.

For example, I once used a white umbrella as a photography light diffuser.

What’s more, small teams mean more work for everyone, resulting in tight deadlines.

With no time to waste, I needed to work more efficiently and be more precise in decision making.

By embracing limits, I learned how to make the most of what I had and be more resourceful.

2. Limits encourage creativity

I learned to be more creative in my approach, finding ways to achieve high-quality results on a shoestring budget and limited resources.

What I usually do is to “connect the dots” from different areas.

For instance, I might use techniques from marketing to create a better user experience for a product.

By doing so, I was able to expand my skills and develop a unique approach to problem-solving.

3. Limits accelerate skill development

(1) Working solo means gaining more

  • More responsibility

I was expected to come up with solutions when I encountered difficulties and take ownership of aligning project outcomes to the company’s business goals.

  • More opportunity

It is normal to work independently in small firms.

In most cases, there were only 1–2 people in one department, and the team member other than you might be your boss.

Necessity stimulates motivation, for I had no choice but to learn how to do it.

And with no one to delegate tasks to, I had all the opportunity to practice and improve.

It turns out that the saying is true: one of the best ways to learn is learning by doing.

Besides, I could go through the whole process of every project, which helps me cultivate the ability of managing projects.

  • More diversity

Employees of small companies always wear many hats.

Some of the “hats” I wore were not my expertise.

Therefore, I was always learning new skills: e-commerce, marketing, photo shooting, video shooting and editing, copywriting, event planning, etc.

It was interesting to participate in work of different kinds.

(2) Being Pushed to my limits

With limited resources and time and more responsibility, I was often pushed to my limits.

I was forced to step outside of my comfort zones and push myself to new heights.

This resulted in accelerated skill development and personal growth.

Photo by . liane . on Unsplash

How to Turn Limits into Your Superpower

Now that we have looked at the benefits of limits in the workplace, let’s consider how these limits can be transformed into a superpower.

1. Cultivate a unique perspective

This means developing your own style, path, and possibilities that no one else has access to.

You need to explore widely and read extensively.

You will thus be able to see things from different angles and develop a unique perspective that sets you apart from others.

Cultivating a unique perspective is like a moiré pattern. In the book “Free Play: The Improvisation in Life and Art,” it indicates that the process of making artwork generates surprises when the artist’s internal patterns cross with external patterns, resulting in a new pattern (like a moiré pattern) that is a natural outgrowth of the artist’s original nature.

2. Embrace the infinite possibilities within limit

There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1, and countless colors between black and white.

We are unable to see the infinite in numbers and colors, but it doesn’t mean the infinite doesn’t exist.

The possibilities between 0 and 1, or between black and white, are infinite.

By embracing limits, you can unleash your creativity and explore the infinite possibilities within constraints.

3. Overcome both external and internal limitations

In life, there are not only external limitations but also internal ones, such as quirks, habits, inertia, perfectionism, and so on.

To truly turn limits into your superpower, you need to overcome (or simply accept) both external and internal limitations.

By doing so, you will be able to push yourself to new heights and achieve more than you ever thought possible.

Conclusion

Embracing limits can help you achieve more than you ever thought possible.

Having limits in the workplace can be very useful, as they can help people become more resourceful, creative, and skilled.

When I see limits as my superpower, the negative power in the way I see work no longer exists.

I hope this article helps you change your mindset and believe that you have the power to find the infinite possibilities within limits.

Additional Notes

In the realm of art creation and creativity, the concept of the power of limits is also a topic of discussion.

If you are interested, you can read the chapter ‘The power of limits’ in the book “Free Play: The Improvisation in Life and Art.”

The book contains numerous descriptions on art creation, but the content is closely intertwined with life experiences, making it easy to grasp and comprehend.