‘The More A Person Limits Himself, The More Resourceful He Becomes’

‘The More A Person Limits Himself, The More Resourceful He Becomes’
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We’ve talked before about the importance of boredom for both creativity and healthy living. Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s quote above reminds us just how important that is.

The quote is taken from “The Rotation of Crops: A Venture in a Theory of Social Prudence” .In the essay, Kierkegaard speaks at lengths about the importance of idleness and boredom. Essentially, the more work we do to fill the boredom, the harder things get:

Here at once is the principle of limitation, the sole saving principle in the world. The more a person limits himself, the more resourceful he becomes. A solitary prisoner for life is extremely resourceful; to him a spider can be a source of great amusement… What a meticulous observer one becomes, detecting every little sound or movement. Here is the extreme boundary of that principle that seeks relief not through extensity but through intensity.

It’s a nice reminder that sometimes limiting yourself and just being resourceful with what you have in front of you is good enough.

Kierkegaard on Boredom… [Brain Pickings]


  • Key word: “Sometimes”. At other times — and for me, that would be most times — placing additional limits on oneself only limits what one can get done, and increases frustration which further reduces productivity. A prisoner’s limits are something about which he or she doesn’t have a choice. When you DO have a choice, but limit yourself anyway, it’s a different scenario.

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