“Necessity is the mother of invention,” claims the ancient proverb. Not surprisingly, there is truth behind it. For example, Isaac Newton discovered the theory of calculus while in quarantine during the Great Plague, and William Shakespeare wrote King Lear in lockdown. “Constraints are the anchors of creativity,” agrees cognitive psychologist Catrinel Tromp. Here’s how to turn your limits into creative success like the great visionaries before us.


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Work with what you have

It’s time to stop comparing yourself to others and make the most of the resources you do have, advises Simon Sinek, author of The Infinite Game. We can start by identifying and developing our strengths as research indicates that people feel more confident, self-aware and productive when focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses. In turn, this leads to higher engagement and lower attrition rates. Follow these six steps to utilise your strengths to enhance daily performance.


Embrace novelty and dedicate time to it

If you are stuck on a problem, use different methods or processes to solve it. For example, try adopting a paradox mindset by placing two opposite ideas together or ask for feedback from colleagues who are completely removed from the task or field. Experts also agree on scheduling time blocks to engage in creative problem solving, working in 45-minute intervals to maximise our focus. Browse through these three innovation strategies for solving 'impossible' problems.


Stay focused on the right goals

There will be moments of defeat while working through our limitations, but it’s important to stay committed to the target. Learning from our failures builds resiliency, a skill that is earned, not given. Additionally, studies indicate that we tend to focus on unattainable goals, turning our limitations into roadblocks. Here are four ways to take goal setting to the next level.