How do you define the concept of freedom?
I suppose most people would say that it is the license to do whatever you want without much restraint. However, just because something is permissible, doesn't mean that it is advisable or even necessarily beneficial to your overall well-being.
When we think about limits, we tend to view them as this dark looming force acting as the arch enemy of free will, oppossing our sovereignty, oppressing our liberated spirits, and stifling our desire for self-determination. If you only knew that in some cases, this view point could actually be the reason why you haven't yet fully achieved your dreams.
What I've come to realize is that there can in fact be such a thing as positive limits. I'm growing into the understanding that to achieve a certain level of personal success, most of the time setting limits and restrictions on ourselves and our behaviors is key! Trust me, this timely revelation has allowed me of late, to happily bask in the glory of true freedom.
In my quest to mine the depths of self-discovery, I've found that some of the limits I've placed on myself have not only turned out to be positive, but they've helped me to thrive. I'm beginning to go beyond the limits I'd previously imposed on myself, able to now push back the boundaries of what I had once thought was possible. While digging throughout my life for the pearl of self-realization, through self-regulation, I've found my authentic self!
Looking back on my misspent youth, it's almost comical how I devoted swathes of time studying the components of shallow living instead of attempting to develop my genuine self. It would seem that I mastered the art of maintaining and projecting an image of how I wanted to be seen in order to satisfy the standards of others - thus forgoing any attempt to explore the properties of my own authenticity or full potential.
It's humorous how I actually viewed myself as a rebel, who fashioned himself as a nonconformist. What I actually was, was a guy who lived a rather self-indulgent lifestyle, testing the limits of my own hedonistic capacity, while being insubordinate to my own true nature.
I sought happiness through and unquenchable amount of pleasure seeking, but never finding any true satisfaction, because I sought comfort in frivolous, noxious, and unhealthy pursuits. My life revolved around unfavorable behaviors and habits, spending many years languishing in the shadow of who and what I hoped to become.
It turns out that I was less of the rebel I espoused to be, and more of an unfocused, undisciplined and uninspired ne'er-do-well, with foggy goals in life. But once this withered lifestyle became far too painful to bear, I willed myself to find something that would pry me out of my rut and use it as a springboard to go beyond happiness to outright joy.
Think Inside the Box
There are certain limits that are frankly uncool, and these are the restrictions in life that we do not choose!
They are the ones that come from some man-made authority that dictates certain "do's and don't's" that don't always align with our belief systems. Whether they are mandated to us from some institution or we picked them up doing our public schooling, these are the limits we tend to reject.
The cool limits I'm talking about, are the conscious restrictions we place on ourselves after we begin to find out who we are and what we want - and we are ready to develop laser focus in order to someday arrive at the place we want to be.
The more constraints we place on ourselves, the more free we'll be, because the lack of constrains can be paralyzing.
Living a life within the margins WE select gives our lives structure, which allows us to channel our energies and creative pursuits, directing them toward the goals we are trying to achieve.
There is a big difference between the common, in-grained limitations we readily encounter that are experienced through the lens of indecision and fear versus the ones we consciously choose through certainty and love.
Once we un-learn and shed the false information that was thrust upon us, we'll awaken to the fact that limitations are a test of our consistency, self-discipline, and willpower. If you plant the seeds of these attributes you will undoubtedly produce positive fruit!
The limits we place on ourselves are not hinderances to our success, they are the tools that will set us free. So use limits to live your best life imaginable.