Limits or No Limits, What Matters More?

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Limits or No Limits, What Matters More?

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Focus helps remind us that staying narrow, working within boundaries, and limiting distractions accomplishes goals. Should you work within limits or is it better to know no limits?

What Fits?

When we prepare a package for shipment we can only fit so much within the box. Our suitcase for the trip, same thing. Airplane carry-on rules, the same.

If we could fit everything, there wouldn’t be much decision about what to take. We’ll just take it all. When we have everything we could possibly need there really isn’t a reason to focus. No need to pick the best or the most appropriate.

If we had all of time, nothing ended, it just kept going, forever, there really wouldn’t be a need to be selective, there would always be more. What would really matter the most, perhaps no one would care.

Limits help make us choose to do something better, make something more meaningful, and discover what matters the most.

Matters More

When the car only holds five passengers, not everyone can go. The metaphorical seat on the bus (Jim Collins), not everyone will fit. It causes us to be selective. As the bus starts to fill, the selection matters more.

Certainly, working within limits can result in thinking small, but the concept that there are no limits doesn’t seem to accomplish much. It may help push the envelope bigger, but if the envelope is never filled not much really matters.

If your business could market to everyone, all the time, and there is no cost or saturation point your advertisement may not have to be that good. Just do more.


Limits make things hard. They make it hard to achieve perfection, hard to get things just right, and hard to make the best decisions because in that moment, within those limits, the decision made, is final.

The best work happens within limits. What is created with focus, precision, and just enough but not too much, creates exactly what is the most desirable.

Anything without limits has little value. It is available everywhere and all of the time.

Here is a box of stuff, now make something.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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