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Overcoming Obstacles And Constraints

Are Obstacles & Constraints Really Problems?

You’ve probably heard the saying before that overcoming obstacles and constraints is merely opportunity for growth. While I can’t say I always have, at this point in my life I do agree whole-heartedly. Even still, I decided to do some searching on the internet.

So, I started where I often start; I searched for the definition of constraint. As defined by dictionary.com, constraint is  a noun and is defined as:

  1. limitation or restriction;
  2. repression of natural feelings and impulses: to practice constraint
  3. unnatural restraint in manner, conversation, etc.; embarrassment;
  4. something that constrains.

I don’t know about you but when a form of a word is used to define that word, I usually keep searching. So, I looked up constrain. And, it was defined as:

  1. to force, compel or oblige;
  2. to confine forcibly, as by bonds;
  3. to repress or restrain.
I have to say, constraints weren’t sounding so good as growth vehicles. Despite the definitions, I knew first hand that overcoming obstacles and constraints is clearly possible. For example, when I’ve encountered an obstacle or a constraint while out on a bike ride, it doesn’t stop me from finishing the ride. In fact, sometimes I end up finding a new route, one that although it challenged me more, it also provided me with stunning views. So, I continued searching for information related to constraints. And,  then it happened, I came across this article at wired.com about a study led by Janina Marguc at the University of Amersterdam, and published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 
Yes, constraints and obstacles challenge us. But,

“…these studies show that encountering an obstacle in one task can elicit a more global, Gestalt-like processing style that automatically carries over to unrelated tasks, leading people to broaden their perception, open up mental categories, and improve at integrating seemingly unrelated concepts.”

So, next time you’re faced with a challenge or overcoming obstacles that appear to constrain you, and you can’t come up with a solution by thinking outside the box, try this. Think within the box, just change the shape of it. Tweet That!

Overcoming obstacles

Why does the box have to be square?

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