I my car, there’s a limiter button. In a country with widespread, varied, and highly policed speed limits, it’s a surpisingly useful device. It stops me exceeding a speed limit when I’m just getting from A to B, and distracted by the many other things I have to pay attention to.
Which is fine when there’s a speed limit. But when there isn’t, I can enjoy driving – putting all my attention into driving, and deriving great pleasure from it.
I think for most of us, it’s the same at work. We have many “speed limits” – other’s opinions; power; group norms – the list is extensive. So, to deal with it, we set our own limiter buttons. We perform as well as required to be secure, but rarely more.
I think the challenge is that this become a habit, and can spread to all aspects of our lives. We are capable of far more, and of deriving enormous joy from it, but we forget we’ve set the limiter, so end up travelling at the limit set by others.
The button is a choice we make. It’s not compulsory.