In this short article, I would like to discuss a concept which might not be immediately obvious. I’m going to talk about freedom and limitation.

Now at first, those two things might sound like two opposing forces. But the truth is quite the opposite. In reality, limitation breeds freedom. Sounds contradictory? Let’s explore this idea.

How free do you really want to be?

Have you ever considered that too much freedom might be the true limitation?

Let’s take for example that you are a chair designer. A customer comes and tells you to create a nice chair. What you will quickly realize is, that because you have been given so much freedom, you are almost stuck. You don’t know where to start, you don’t have any clear direction. If you have ever stared at a blank page right before writing or drawing something, you probably know this problem very well.

Now let’s suppose the customer says, I would like you to create a black and white medieval chair out of oak wood and copper. This might seem like a very specific instruction, but also at the same time now you know where to start and you can now focus on the actual design and the detail and let your creativity flourish.

Or let’s look at video games. A lot of single player video games have in game money. However, most people don’t want unlimited amounts of money, even if the game has cheat codes, they rather choose to work for the money. And of course, developers understand this very well, which is why they put limitations like these in games. In video games, we also often get to choose the difficulty of the game. And many people decide to play the video game on harder difficulties. Like a famous man once said “…not because it is easy, but because it is hard!”.

We enjoy limitations because it’s so satisfying once we overcome them.

So think about it, next time you are facing adversity. Maybe you intentionally choose to play this life game on hard mode. So it will be all the more rewarding once you succeed in your endeavors.

Politics and liberalism

Many people like to entertain the idea of liberalism. Freedom to the people. Initially, we may think “Yeah! What could be so bad about that?”. The problem arises as soon as your freedom might infringe on somebody else’s freedom. Some libertarians might say something like:

“But I want to keep the freedom to not wear a mask during a pandemic.” Or

“The government is stealing my money by making me pay taxes.”

But of course, the government is creating those limitations to enable more freedom. By building roads and hospitals with your tax money. You having to wear a mask while shopping might not be very comfortable, but it gives you and others the freedom to go shopping in the first place!

In art

Of course, artists understand the freedom that limitations can bring very well, which is why they also use things like deadlines, limit themselves to maybe 3 colors, or only use a certain style. Down below you’ll find some examples for this.

Who needs brushes anyways?
Having only one guitar string will force you to get creative!

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