The 5 Laws of Personal Constraints: Law 5
If you missed the first four parts of this blog series, here are the links to read them:
Law Five: Those with the Fewest Constraints. . .WIN
Here we get to the heart of OPC: the reward for the removal of our constraints. We have been able to prove year after year, with thousands of success stories, that people who actively choose to identify and remove their personal constraints will fare better than those who do not. It boils down to physics: the lighter the load you carry, the farther you can go. This final law provides hope: you can do something about your current situation that will also have an impact on your future.
But it gets slightly tricky here, so follow me. I am not saying that people with the lowest number of constraints win, but rather, those who learn to minimize or eradicate significant constraints win. A significant constraint is one that gets in the way on a regular basis and causes damage to relationships and your ability to produce great work. Those with the fewest significant constraints will outperform those with more significant constraints. This concept needs closer examination because the thoughts behind it are so important.
It is true that many people are simply born with fewer personal constraints than others. For example, Vern Hazard, one of my staff members, has been an international model and traveled all over the world. Vern is handsome, athletic, and an English scholar, as well. Most of us don’t come with the gifts and talents that he naturally possesses. But being born with fewer personal limitations and constraints is not the same as personal growth. Personal growth refers to working on everything in your life that stops you from living to your full potential.
One of my good friends, Mark Stiles, uses a baseball analogy that I find most appropriate for this picture. He says, “There are guys who were born on third base but are convinced they hit a triple.” Being born with advantage, family influence, talents, gifts, and abilities is not the same as personal growth, nor should we confuse someone who comes loaded with these attributes with someone who has learned how to use his gifts in valuable ways. Vern works hard to be the best at everything he does. Yes, he’s gifted, but it’s his passion and drive that set him apart.
Ultimately the idea of overcoming your personal constraints is about winning. By winning I don’t mean that you compete in races or make the most money. I mean that you become your personal best. That you win at being you—the best you there is.