The blessing of limitations

The principle of Creative Limitations calls for freedom within a set of obstacles. Put simply, if you give yourself constraints, you will push yourself to new heights of creativity. Constraint, discipline ad limitation inspire stunning creative achievements; unrestrained freedom usually ends in a sprawl.*
(Robert McKee)

You can’t do everything, no matter what anyone tells you, and that’s a good start.

You are who you are because you have chosen certain things to be interested in over other things. This has allowed you to explore certain paths and many other things they have lead to, but it’s also left other paths behind.

This is our prime way of limiting ourselves.

As well as being limited – though I would say gifted – in certain ways, there are external limitations, those which come to us and those we decide upon. These provide us with purchase.

To realise we can’t do certain things and to embrace the limitations we find ourselves with makes it possible to get specific about making things happen.

Brian McLaren tells of an evolution in medium ground finches that took place in a single generation following a prolonged drought. Only the birds with stronger beaks had survived as they were able to break open larger seeds – the only seeds left. The next generation were born with four per cent stronger beaks. This is quite astonishing and it is the possibility of evolution we’re all born within:

The mind is our beak […] and the human mind is even more variable than the brain.**

And the heart and will, too.

We’re changing, growing, developing as we work within limitations, disciplines and constraints. As Robert McKee goes on to say:

Talent is like a muscle, without something to push against it atrophies.*

We are capable of constantly evolving; Maureen O’Hara and Graham Leicester imagine how we are now developing competencies for the 21st century:

Persons of tomorrow […] embrace the world. They engage with their existential reality in a spirt of hope, courage, invention and play.^

(*From Robert McKee‘s newsletter: Why You Need Writing Limitations.)
(Jonathan Weiner, quoted in Brian McLaren’s God Unbound.)
(^From Maureen O’Hara and Graham Leicester’s Dancing at the Edge.)

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