Building boundaries for ourselves and deliberately limiting ourselves is one of the most freeing things that we can do for ourselves, as paradoxical as it may sound. In his book Less Doing More Living, Ari Meisel mentions a fundamental principle of setting upper and lower limits.
An upper limit is a maximum you can’t exceed, for instance, the number of times you can go to the theater to watch a new movie in a month’s time. A lower limit is a minimum that you can’t fall below, for example, the frequency of your gym visits. Both these limits can help us keep a tab on us so that we only spend time on things that are truly important to us, and are able to stay disciplined and trade quantity for quality.
When we set maximums and minimums for ourselves, we raise our standards and start living a disciplined and fulfilling life. As Jocko Wilink’s famous motto goes, “Discipline equals freedom”, we bring more freedom and flexibility in our lives.
Setting upper and lower limits can help us greatly in practicing self-control and moderation; and as we embody these virtues, we are able to live a happy, joyous and meaningful life in the long run.