Don't Fence Me In


Cole Porter wrote a song years ago that began with this lyric, “Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above. Don’t fence me in.” Ah, freedom! Can you relate?


Rules, restrictions, discipline, boundaries, fences. How do those words make you feel? Probably not so good.


But the truth is that a life with no fences, no boundaries, no focus, no direction, no order, no plan, no restriction, and no rules ends in self destruction.


Envision a locomotive engine sitting on the ground in the middle of an open cornfield. Free. Unrestricted. Unfettered. And useless. Restrict that same locomotive by setting it on a set of steel tracks, and you unleash its amazing power.


Pour a gallon of water on the sidewalk. It freely flows, disperses and evaporates. Now take that same gallon of water, and restrict it by forcing it through a tiny orifice under high pressure. Now that water will cut through the concrete. Restriction produces power.


Think of the Olympic athlete that wants the gold medal. She gladly accepts and even creates boundaries, restrictions, rules, and discipline for the purpose of going for the gold. That moment when that medal is placed around her neck is certainly ecstatic, but the true inner satisfaction comes from the months of extreme focus, restriction and focus.


So what do you want? What would you love to achieve? What possibility inspires and captures your desire? Are you willing to erect fences, set boundaries, invoke discipline, and gladly honor your self-imposed restrictions to realize those outcomes?


Coaching is about releasing potential and maximizing performance. I help people be the best they can be. It is simple, but not easy! I help my clients to identify and leverage their strengths to reach potential. Leverage is getting more from less. The less is created by imposing restriction and eliminating distractions.


To realize your potential, you must first assess your strengths, and then focus your strength by eliminating distractions. You must discipline yourself to say YES to what will take you to the desired outcome and say NO to many other good things that would dilute your focus. Less is more.


Here are some final questions. What boundaries or restrictions could you create that would unleash your fullest potential? What are you holding on to that is diluting your strength and holding you back? Are you willing to say NO to the mundane so that you can say YES to excellence? Will you set boundaries by making a “NOT TO DO” list and honoring those boundaries? Power is released by restriction.


I encourage you to put up some fences, say NO to distraction, and begin to experience your power and potential.

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