Why Constraints Are Good For You

Abdullah Nadeem
2 min readSep 24, 2020

In 1960, two men made a bet for $50, which seemed like a harmless deal would in fact impact millions of people around the world.

Bennet Cerf and Theo Geisel aka Dr Seuss were the two men involved.

Mr Cerf bet Dr Seuss that we would no be able to write an entertaining children’s book in only 50 words.

Dr Seuss then went onto write ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ a book which today has over 200 million copies sold worldwide, making it the most popular of Seuss’s works and one of the best-selling children’s books in history.

Constraints are commonly looked as an obstacle in our way but like Dr Seuss, we can use them as a way to create and express ourselves in ways we didn’t think of before.

With sacrifice: don’t focus on what you are missing — focus on what you are gaining

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Constraints Inspire Creativity

Setting limits for yourself often breeds better results than having a clear, easy path — whether that involves the time you have to work out or the money you have to start a business.

Paralympians still find a way to compete given their physical restrictions, they are even able to out-compete people like us who in reality are seen as more physically able. However, given enough practise, the liability turns into an asset.

If you’re 5'4" and you’re playing basketball, you figure out more creative ways to score than the 6'0" guy.

Things happen for you, not too you — Ed Mylett

Constraints Force You To Get Something Done

So often we spend time complaining about the things that are withheld from us.

  • “I don’t have enough time to work out.”
  • “I can’t eat this food on my diet.”

Think of this as your canvas and you are the painter, every artist has a limited set of tools to work with, Once you know your constraints, you can start figuring out how to work with them.

Dr Seuss was given 50 words. That was the size of his canvas. His job was to see what kind of picture he could paint with those words.

Paint the best picture you can.

Have a great week!

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Abdullah Nadeem

Hey! I’m a medical student who writes about Productivity, Growth and New Concepts to bring excitement to your week. FREE eBook on my blog: abdullahnadeem.co.uk