It’s harder to find creative freedom within flexible, self-imposed constraints than rigid, exogenous constraints.

When I feel cramped by my own decisions and commitments, creativity is massively difficult to muster because I can always question whether I should stick to those decisions and commitments or alter them to enhance creative flow.

When cramped by forces beyond my control, it’s easier to create in spite of it. There is nowhere else to look, no choice but to get creative.

This poses a conundrum. Maximizing agency is a key to living fulfilled, happy, and free. But a choice freely made is better fully committed to – ships burned behind – than leaving options open in perpetuity.

Self-imposed constraints must be real in order to open creativity.