Joseph Glidden tinkered with his wife's hairpin's to produce a barbed wire prototype. The production of barbed wire, after his 1873 patent, had a remarkable influence on the American expansion westward. Control of livestock was accomplished with strands of the inexpensive fencing. Agriculture flourished due to solid boundary lines enforced by this prickly sentry.
The simple strand changed the grazing patterns of wild herds that hand always moved freely. Additionally, the wire marked who owned what, and who could go where.
You and I live within boundary lines that may feel just as thorny.
Let's begin at the macro level. Time, physics, and several other universal laws constrain your actions.
National laws and statutes further restrict our activities to create a civil society. Not having the right to kill the guy that cuts you off in traffic works in our favor when we cut in front of someone on the drive home tonight.
The boss says to be at the desk for eight hours; coach demands three more laps, and the bank says pay the mortgage.
We choose the next level as self-imposed limitations; The writers two crappy pages a day, the salesman cold calls for three hours, and no caffeine after 2 pm.
Many of the constraints are beneficial and provide guardrails to stay between. However, we may believe many of these limitations are as fixed as gravity but would be wrong.
What do you perceive are your greatest blockades to accomplishing the actions you know need to be done? Write down each action with the respective hinderance.
Steven Pressfield introduces the concept of "the resistance" in his book The War of Art. This resistance is an opposing force that tries to protect itself and hide. Our role is to push back on the resistance to create our art.
What are the strings of barbed wire your internal resistance throws up to constrain your creativity, production, and shipment of your work?
Self-awareness is the pair of wire cutters in our back pocket. Knowing what we allow to hinder our progress, gives insight as to which constraints to cut. Freedom is waiting.
Going Further: What are the internal lies you believe that prevent you from taking action? What have you learned about yourself, and your strengths and weaknesses as you pursue action? What other questions come to mind?