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The Commitment Of Focus

Positive constraints are crucial to development. A positive constraint is essentially a scheduling commitment that forces focus. The act of discipline brings freedom. You can’t climb a hill by dreaming about the top, you climb the hill by the discipline of walking up the hill.

We all like to imagine the artist waits for inspiration to strike and then creates a masterpiece or the entrepreneur sits and stews until a good idea suddenly appears and they start a business. The reality is things don’t happen like that. Artists wake up and force themselves to do their art. Entrepreneurs wake up and force themselves to brainstorm.

Think about where you want to be professionally, personally and relationally — then work backwards. For instance. if you want to open a bakery, you need to be able to bake, so a positive constraint could be forcing yourself to bake something everyday. Not only would you perfect your desired taste, texture and consistency, but you’d also have very happy neighbors.

Freedom isn’t the ability to do whatever you want, it’s the discipline to do what you should.


Author: Ben Tanksley is the Vice President, Visual & Digital Assets for Vertical Solutions Media. Over the past decade, Ben has worked in video production, web design, graphic design and photography and has spent three years living and working in China. Learn more at


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