Black Ink on Watercolor Paper

For week twenty-six of our fifty week challenge the prompt focuses on limitations. We were limited to black ink, a certain kind of nib, ten letters or less and a decoration or graphic had to be included that was only black. Whew! That’s quite a list of limitations. I usually find myself balking at restrictions as no one really likes being told what they can or cannot do. My little rebellion on this was that there was no restriction on including numbers.

Like I said, no one likes being told what they can or cannot do, and yet being told you can’t do something lights a fire in the soul. Somehow that challenge makes you want to prove them wrong by doing what they said couldn’t be done. It stirs up some sort of primal instinct and makes the task even more desirable. When you’re not sure if you want to do something, let someone say you can’t do that and away you go! Challenge Accepted!

I find it interesting to be given limitations simply because someone else doesn’t think it can be done that way. On a nw job being told, “We don’t do it that way here” made me want to prove that it could be done just that way. Limitations make us think more, they test our creativity and force us to think a bit harder. Be it time, money, energy, or any other resource going without makes us work harder and smarter. Want your team to innovate, give them a few restrictions and a short timeline then watch those thinking caps go to work.

Then there are the self imposed limitations, the ones we thrust upon ourselves simply by the way we think. We make assumptions, we dare not ask simple clarifying questions, or we think we know how to proceed and never bother to stop and think. All of these habits keep us in the same box preventing us from moving beyond the limitations that really never existed.

Maybe today is the day you stop, listen, ask and say, “Challenge Accepted!” It is time to move beyond where you are and step into a future where limitations spark your thought processes instead of keep you in the same old box. Do you need me to tell you that you can’t do it? That you aren’t smart enough to get it done within the limitations you face? I double dog dare you to try (wink wink!)