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Creative constraints

“I live in the present, due to the constraints of the space-time continuum.”

—Hank Green


I just love this quote and can’t help but grin when I hear it. So often we focus on limitations in our work we forget that life is itself is a bunch of constraints big and small. Many of the obstacles we face are imposed upon us and yet we consistently set new constraints for ourselves and our work. Why?


It seems like carte blanche in our creative work would be ideal and we find ourselves saying things like, “Imagine what we could do without restrictions and with unlimited time and money!” Well, the most likely thing we’d do is never finish anything. Creative solutions to problems rarely spring from situations of great freedom. Limiting our resources, tools, and choices creates space for looking at things differently and making connections we haven’t yet seen. We can focus our energy and do more with less.


And just as thinking about the space-time continuum too much can lead to existential crisis (oy), too many restrictions can cause fear and stifle creativity. How do we balance and manage constraints as positive forces to create our best work and our best selves?


Lynn Fisher

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How do you manage constraints and use them as positive forces?

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<3, your friendly neighborhood &yetis