1 minute read


Often the constraints you work under are defined in the fine print. People put the promise and the lure for you big and bold. Right there in front of you is the thing they believe you want to do. That’s the hook. What they don’t tell you is what conditions you will be working on. You may be asked to volunteer for a particular assignment. It looks like you will be doing the thing you always wanted. You may even be working with people you enjoy. The fine print, however, may say you will be remote from all the other activities you enjoy for a period of six months, working inside a building that never sees the sun. You may still relish the idea of working in these conditions, but if you are not aware of the conditions ahead of time, then the surprise about the conditions may set you back and make you consider much longer if that is really what you would like to do.

Most limitations come in the form of restrictions. Restrictions to movement. Restrictions to information. Restrictions of time or distance. They are usually intended to limit your ability to do stuff so it works out in favor of the person providing the opportunity or service you are engaged in. Which seems like an odd thing. People restrict you ability to do certain things with the what they have given you.

Yet, it could also be a benefit as well. Having a ton of options can sometimes be debilitating and stifle your creativity. Why? Because with so many options you may be paralyzed with the multitude of choices. Limiting your ability and putting constraints on what you can do can sometimes lead to creative solutions and improve the overall task at hand.

The question then is, with your current situation and the constraints you are under, what are you going to do, today, to make an impact and express your creativity? The fine print tells you what you cannot do with what you have been given, but nothing about what you can.

The image, titled “Best fine print ever.”, was taken by “Reuben Ingber”. You can find it on flickr.