The Power of Constraints

A dominant belief for many of us is that limitations and constraints make us less creative, unproductive, and unhappy. For decades, the dominant view among psychologists was that constraints served as a barrier to creativity.

But constraints, if used wisely, empower us to think differently, stay focused, and actually be more productive and creative. Contrary to popular opinion, creativity isn’t an inborn trait. It’s simply a response to an environment with limited resources.

Having constraints in your life forces you to make decisions and sacrifices while pushing your talent to levels that force growth and expansion. Constraints are great for sparking creativity, growth in business, and building a resilient mind. The more limits you have, the more resourceful you become.

Constraints provide clear directions, decrease your chances of becoming distracted and force you to become more creative. Limiting your options gives you freedom to create.

Our problems, challenges, and opportunities may become more manageable with constraints that direct us to make the best out of what we have.

When there are no constraints on the creative process, complacency sets in, and people follow the path-of-least-resistance – they go for the most intuitive idea that comes to mind rather than investing in the development of better ideas.

Constraints, in contrast, provide focus and a creative challenge that motivates people to search for and connect information from different sources to generate novel ideas for new products, services, or business processes.

Summing-up: Resource abundance can actually be counterproductive. Limits can make us more productive, more focused, and better able to prioritize and simplify. Constraints aren’t the boundaries of creativity, but the foundation of it.

 

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