In the 1995 movie adaptation of the Apollo 13 mission, one of the many challenges the NASA crew faced was figuring out how to fix a CO2 filter problem onboard the space shuttle. The CO2 was rising to a level dangerous to the crew onboard. The issue? The filters required square cartridges but the ones onboard were round.
Essentially, the engineers on the ground would need to retrofit the cartridges using only items the crew had available on the shuttle, and then instruct the crew members on how to assemble similar cartridges themselves. They would quite literally need to figure out how to fit a square peg into a round hole.
Of course, the engineers were frustrated at first, but once they accepted their limitations, they eagerly went to work and soon came up with a makeshift cartridge. The CO2 problem was solved and all the astronauts onboard Apollo 13 returned safely to earth.
Limitations can be frustrating. But once we accept them, something wonderful occurs. They actually enhance our focus for the task at hand. The fewer available options, the more we can rely on our creativity.
How do you see your current limitations? Do you see them as the reason for your failure or for your success? Pick one limitation you’re facing – especially one that frustrates you right now. Choose to let it focus your creativity. You may be surprised by the opportunities that present themselves.
Takeaway: Every limitation represents an opportunity to enhance your creativity.
Question for the Week:
What limitation you’re facing could actually be an opportunity in disguise?
Bring the Weekly Leadership Series to your organization!