The Power of Limits

Going through an identity crisis allowed me to break through many limiting beliefs. 

My new identity became that of a limitless creator.

This role empowered me to pursue my dreams and allowed me to break down many boundaries. 

But at the same time it made me forgot that even though we have the potential ability to accomplish anything, we can’t accomplish everything. 

Our true nature is limitless but we live in a relative world of tradeoffs.

An hour I spend writing is an hour I can’t spend with my son. 

While limiting beliefs can hold us back, consciously setting limitations can propel us forward. 

“A life without limits is taking a cup of red dye and pouring it into the ocean, and watching the color dilute into nothingness. Limited focus is putting the same cup of dye into a gallon of water.” – Leo Babauta

When we try to do too many things at once we wear ourselves thin. By creating a limited focus we increase our power in doing a few things well. 

The challenge lies in prioritizing. 

How do you choose what is most important for you?

Will you spend your lunch break reading a book or building a relationship?

Will you spend your morning doing yoga or having breakfast with your family?

I’m not saying you can’t do both but eventually, something will be sacrificed whether it’s time sleeping or time socializing. 

You can do anything but not everything despite what some personal growth gurus may have you believe. 

Ask yourself, What area in your life do you need to set limitations?

Where do you feel overwhelmed? Have you taken on too many projects or commitments?

If you are still having difficulties setting limitations it helps to identify what is most essential. 

A good way to start this process is by becoming clear on your values.

Once you identify your values you can establish if they align with your work, your social interactions, and any other projects or activities you may be involved in. 

Sometimes our values clash but when we are functioning from the highest integrity our values become aligned. 

Let’s say two of your top values are health and fun. Your friends invite you to a bar. This activity aligns with your fun value but simultaneously it can go against your health value. What do you do?

You can go out and end up drinking too much and staying up late. Or perhaps you go for a drink or two and leave earlier allowing yourself to have some fun and also not hurt your health. 

Another option is to find different ways to have fun such as hiking, rock climbing, or grabbing dinner. 

This would allow you to connect with both your values of health and fun without making any sacrifices. 

Unless your friends derive fun from activities that aren’t conducive to good health. In that case, you may have to find new friends. 

Another way to help set limitations is by examining your goals, assuming you have some. 

Few people set goals but the ones who do often set too many. 

What is the perfect amount of goals to set? There is no magic number but the more goals you have the less energy you will have towards accomplishing any one particular goal. 

Warren Buffet has a simple system for prioritizing called 5/25. Write out 25 goals and then circle the five most important ones. Then proceed to ignore any goal that isn’t in your top 5. This allows you to focus your energy on your top goals and increases the likelihood that you will accomplish these goals. 

Prioritizing isn’t easy but it is essential for living a good life.

Acknowledging our limitless nature is what gives us the potential to accomplish anything. 

But being human is also recognizing that we do have limits and can’t accomplish everything. 

Our greatest power lies in the center of this paradox.