Last week I made the argument that we cannot do our best work in periods of stress. The value of having physical and mental space is that it allows us the ability to explore and experiment. It would be easy to conclude that all stress is bad, and that stress is to be avoided. That would be a mistake. While it is true that stressful experiences can keep us from doing our best work, sometimes the opposite of that is also true.
Your approach and appetite for learning says a great deal about who you are and how you approach your work and your life. We often view success as being defined by accomplishment—work done, status attained and accomplishment realized. In reality, much of satisfaction comes from actually doing the work, immersing yourself in experiences and challenges and formulating ways to realize accomplishment. Nowhere is this more true than in situations where success requires learning and growth.
The most common answer to questions that I provide is, “It depends.” Not because I’m being difficult; because it’s the truth. Yet I find I dislike this answer as much as the next person. Nonetheless, it is what opens the doorway to opportunity and possibility.
We all hit that point where we hit a wall creatively. We are drained, spent, wrung dry. The challenge is how to recognize it and what to do about it. Finding wellsprings of creativity in the desert of our souls.
We tend not to like the idea of constraints. Boundaries are, after all, rather limiting. And yet they are also essential to creativity and innovation. The essential value of limitations in thinking big.
We are surrounded by increasingly strident exhortations to “think outside the box.” It’s an interesting expression, and one that has almost become a cliché.