Robert Whiting In search of awesome

Wide open imposed constraints


What are some useful and detrimental constraints, self imposed or otherwise? I’m leaving this one wide open as a bit of a joke.

A Serious Dan

I hope you’ve realized, dear brother, that you’re asking 4 questions–which is against the rules, I think.

Useful self imposed constraints


Focus is the ability to ignore unwanted stimuli. Focus is a skill developed over time with a great amount of effort, but once developed, more and more deep concentrateion work can be completed.

Many people (myself included) try to do far too much, and we end up doing everything poorly. I’m not saying that people can’t master different skills over time, just that we can’t master different skills simultaneously.

Human beings can not multitask effectively.

Remove distractions. Do what you’re doing with your whole mind, and see what a difference it makes.

Useful externally imposed constraints


Without time as a constraint, we would never get around to doing the important things. Some of us still spend far too much time playing around with unimportant things–squandering the limited time we have.

We clutter our minds, houses, cars, and emotions so full that we lose perspective.

But then something happens that reminds us of our mortality and how precious our limited time really is.

Detrimental self imposed constraints

The most detrimenal self-imposed constraint I’ve seen so far in any workplace is the “not my job” constraint. When faced with a problem ouside of normal experiences or expectation, many people respond with “that’s not my problem” or “not my job.”

If everyone works within the bounds of what a superior orders, there would be no progress. Whatsoever.

The people who stand out, rise from their peers, make a difference, and change the world are the people who see a problem outside of their “job” and take ownership of it–especially if no one else is taking responsibility. In those situations, these unique people demonstrate that they can face the unknown or ill-defined with initiative. And a new job title is born to fit the new responsibilities.

Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.

– Henry Ford

If you impose upon youself the idea that you are powerless or unable to do something, you make it so. That’s one of the bright defining features of the Millenials: they care about important issues and take action to make a difference.

Detrimental externally imposed constraints

Government barriers to market entry.

Starting a small business is way more painful and complicated than it should be.

Whatever happened to “Hey, I have some apples, would you like to buy them?” “Yes, thank you!” That’s as complicated as it should be to open a business in this country.

– Ron Swanson

Now, I do understand that at certain levels of business, oversight needs to happen, taxes need to be collected, customers need to be protected, etc. But not a guy who wants to see if a business is viable at all.

And as a homebrewer, let me just say that we still need to clear out all the leftover prohibition laws.