June 10, 2022

A bunch of arbitrary rules you’ve made up for yourself


Constraints are restricting conditions that enable freedom and control.

Constraints are a gift because they give you something to lean against.

Too much freedom hurts rather than helps. Constraints create forcing functions that save time, increase speed, reduce decision fatigue, create firm boundaries, and frankly, make life less of an uphill battle. Constraints are at the core of a flourishing life.

Funny thing is, constraints are often presented as negative from the outside looking in.

We live in a culture that fetishizes freedom and infinite choice, and so, people may notice your restricting conditions and label you as neurotic, obsessive compulsive or eccentric.

But that’s simply not true. It’s more like you’re discerning, cognitively relaxed and fulfilled.

If you’re someone who is hyper intentional about what project you work on, what relationships you maintain, what media you consume, what substances you ingest, that doesn’t make you an ascetic.

You simply have a deep understanding of who you are and what’s meaningful to your life.

These constraints may just be a bunch of arbitrary rules you’ve made up for yourself, but that doesn’t make them any less effective in creating a fulfilling life.

Ultimately, whether it’s at the dog park or on the field of life, having a fence is relaxing and liberating. It means you don’t have to think as much.

The fence is the constraint that creates a gravitational field that draws good things into it.

Don’t let people shame you for introducing them into your life.

Discipline equals freedom. Infinite choice equals stress.

Where could you set stronger boundaries to give yourself greater independence?