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The Boundary in your Head

This short story is taken from Seth Godin’s excellent and sharp book, “Poke the Box.” He writes:

“My dog wears one of those invisible fence collars. There’s a wire around our small yard, and if she gets near it, the collar buzzes. If she goes a little further, she gets a slight shock. (I think she’s been shocked precisely once.) The dog associates the buzz with the shock and never goes to the edge.

The thing is that the wire broke a long time ago, so the system doesn’t work. But Woodie now associates the collar with the behavior and leaves the yard only with the collar off.

The boundary is in her head, not in the system”.

While the metaphor isn’t perfect (because there are times when dogs need to be restrained for their safety and protection), I often feel like, and certainly know people, who live like this. We set up all kinds of barriers to why we can’t, won’t, and shouldn’t do something, but the system for us thinking this way is broken. It is all too easy for us to establish boundaries in our head – from our childhood, history, and religion – that prevent us from running further, being innovative, creative, and doing what we have and need to do.

St Augustine said, “Love God and do whatever you want.” I believe him because if we love and follow God, then the only boundaries that we need to establish are the ones that prevent us from stepping outside of his love. And his love is for us is a lot bigger and broader than we think.

What boundaries are you putting around your future and the ways that God would want to use you? Most of these boundaries are probably in your head, not in the system. Are the reasons you feel you can’t do something simply your issues? Don't let a system, whether it is broken or not, prevent you from living abundantly.

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