On my nightstand is the classic Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You'll Go!. It's straightforward, motivating, and gave me the urge to travel when I got older.

Also, it reveals an underrated fact from Dr. Seuss (whose real name was Theodor Geisel)--his secret weapon to career and creative success, if you will. We can all learn from it, entrepreneurs and ambitious professionals alike.

That secret weapon is utilizing the power of constraints. For example, Dr. Seuss was once involved in a bet that limited him to using only 50 different words. That book with those constraints became Green Eggs and Ham.

Often times, people will complain about a lack of time, a lack of skills, a lack of money, a lack of connections, and a lack of resources. While in certain circumstances, constraints can definitely hold you back. However, in most circumstances, constraints are a blessing-in-disguise.

Having constraints in your life forces you to make decisions and sacrifices while pushing your talent to levels that force growth and expansion. Constraints are great for sparking creativity, growth in business, and building a healthier body.

Constraints can serve as your biggest catalyst to growing and expanding due to these three reasons:

1. Constraints provide clear directions.

Someone looking to lose weight often runs into the issue of deciding between the millions of diets on the internet which often leads to inaction. Someone looking to start a business often runs into the issue of deciding between the millions of marketing platforms and strategies to implement which leads to inaction.

Starting is difficult because there are too many options to choose from. It's natural for us to strive for the most optimal one. However, when dealing with constraints, you eliminate potential decision fatigue along with the possibility of inaction since you know exactly what you're working with.

Having constraints provides a clear starting point and a basic foundation to work from.

2. Constraints decrease your chances of becoming distracted.

When working on creative endeavors or working on your own personal health, it's easy to get distracted by the latest shiny object on the market. There's this new approach that could work or lead to a quicker result. Maybe it could, but you're missing the point.

It's not that the shiny new object is bad, it's the fact that it's driving you away from the most important part of the plan which is to stick to an actual plan. Most plans and strategies work, but only if you stick with it and allow the process to take place.

Constraints help because they force you to filter out the noise and distractions along with the new shiny objects because you can't use them. By having these other options automatically eliminated, you'll have extra focus and energy to direct toward creating a high-quality solution.

3. Constraints force you to become more creative.

In today's NBA, guards are becoming taller and taller. Yet and still, one of the top scorers last year was Isiah Thomas who is 5'9". Being relatively short forces him to get more creative with his methods of scoring.

In business, it's tempting to just throw money at all your issues and hope that solves everything. But, that approach makes as much sense as placing a band-aid on a large flesh wound makes sense.

Constraints make you more innovative and creative because you're forced to think differently about solving a problem.

Constraints will make you dive deeper into the limited tools you have available along with forcing you to break away from the normal echo chamber that the majority reside in. Breaking away along with your unique circumstances allows your subconscious mind time to create new connections and experiences.

Published on: Sep 28, 2017