virgin islands scene

Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them.
-- Hugh Miller


Friday, June 3, 2022

Essential structure

Limitations provide essential structure. It is precisely because you cannot walk through the solid walls of your house that the house offers you shelter from the elements.

Because each word has a limited, precise meaning, you are able to use words to communicate rich and complex thoughts. If any word could mean anything, language would communicate nothing of value.

Rather than cursing the limitations, step up to their challenges. Recognize the valuable structures that go hand in hand with life’s limitations, and use those structures to anchor your efforts to reality.

To make meaningful progress you must engage with the world as it is, including its constraints and limitations. Transcending those limitations is indeed the very definition of progress.

You cannot shortcut the process by pretending the limitations don’t exist or by compelling others to join in your fantasy. Reality is what it is, no matter how strong your feelings to the contrary may be.

Reality always wins. By acknowledging reality and doing the work to act in concert with it, there’s much you can win as well.

— Ralph Marston

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