Limitations Are Guidelines, Not Excuses

Fight or flight? These are the two paths that appear whenever we face challenging work. While there are rewards attached to taking on a big new project, there are also risks. It is often the default to focus on the risks and back away, citing excuses the whole way. You can’t take on every new opportunity, but you also can’t endlessly pass on truly great ones, although they are generally the scariest.

To rise to the challenge, you need a filter that allows you to distinguish the worthwhile pursuits from the mediocre diversions that are so common in our world of work. To create such a mechanism, determine your non-negotiables – the things that you will not sacrifice, the core tenets of your circumstance. This involves a deep dive into your motivations and results in clearer values and new perspective in regard to how you invest in your work. Your non-negotiables are a different way of articulating limitations. In this way, they aren’t limits at all, they are guidelines to doing outstanding work.

A Note About Money
Money is a tool, not an obstacle.There are a few things to keep in mind about the realities between money and staying motivated. First, you have limits on the amount of money you can invest in your work and your big ideas. “I can’t afford it” is an easy excuse to back out of a worthwhile project. Instead of giving up, take the opportunity to increase your ingenuity because a scaled-back, low-budget version is far more valuable than creating nothing. Second, a bank account with nothing in it is stressful and distracting. It is crucial to earn a living so you can focus on your life’s work instead of fixating on your dwindling funds. Third, the amount of money you need to be wildly successful is different than the next person. Consumerism has a lot of influence and so do our friends’ newest purchases. So identify the stuff you can live without, decide what things are important to you, and invest only in the things that you value. Now is the time to uncover opportunities that combine sustainable income with work that you are excited about.

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