“…the imagination is unleashed by constraints. You break out of the box by stepping into shackles.” -Jonah Lehrer

“…the imagination is unleashed by constraints. You break out of the box by stepping into shackles.” -Jonah Lehrer

Did you know that,

Every color in nature comes from just three primary colors?

With just six regular eight stud lego bricks over 900,000,000 combinations can be made?

Everything on the planet is made up of just 118 known chemical elements?

With regards to creative thinking and the creative process, constraints typically aren’t things we consider as beneficial. But what if they are? What would happen if we thought about constraints in a more positive light- less as limitations or restrictions and more as activators or ignitors of creativity? According to an article from Forbes.com, “Creativity: How Constraints Drive Genius,” constraints are in fact foundational to the greatest creative and innovative thinking. Forbes explains that constraints give us a starting point and some building blocks to work with. Take cooking reality shows for a high level example. Hosts give the competitors something crazy like fifteen dollars, a can of beans, and an hour and the assignment? “Make a culinary masterpiece.” And they do just that. Amazing. Think about some of the world’s most creative people and their constraints: architects and a plot of land, artists and canvases, designers and a room, pianists and keys. Think about the fact that these people use constraints to activate the right side of the brain and figure out how to think outside of their boxes. The result so often is pure creative genius and that is such a beautiful thing.

At Luck Companies in the world of work, we call this idea of creativity and constraints “freedom with fences.” Where we believe the magic lies is where exactly it is that we build those fences.

What about you? Have you ever imagined that shackles or fences could be the keys to your own creative kingdom?



Megan Dougherty

Megan Dougherty

Megan Dougherty’s methodical approach to business and her high-attention to detail are juxtaposed by her playful sense of humor and adaptability. A self-proclaimed “tom-boy,” Megan winds down on the weekends in a ball cap with her dog, Bear. Megan holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications with a concentration in Strategic Advertising and a minor in Spanish, from Virginia Commonwealth University.

close slider

    Subscribe to the InnerWill email for inspirational stories and tips on how to build engagement, trust, and success at work and beyond – delivered right to your inbox every Monday morning!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.