State lines. Property lines. Medians. Guard rails. Borderlines. Fences. Goal line. End zone.
These are all various forms of the same thing – a boundary.
They serve as reminder of where the edge is.
Push too far past it and you’ll exceed the boundary that’s been set.
Build something outside your property line and there will be reprucussions. Veer off the road over the median or past the guardrails and disaster is certain. Catch a football outside the the end zone and your team won’t score any points.
Boundaries give us information about how the world is structured.
This of course is easy to see in the physical world. The edges are clearly marked.
And we don’t question them.
The external world exerts a boundary and we adhere.
Of course there are some boundaries we should question critically.
Because not all boundaries need be set by the external world.
That’s not to say the external world won’t alwys impose.
If we haven’t given much thought to our own personal boundaries, it’s easy to accept what is presented as if it’s our only choice. We can feel helpless like flotsam at mercy of the ocean currents.
To set our own boundaries, we must first care.
We must be invested in an outcome that is different than what the external world imposes. We must have the courage to disagree and push back. Otherwise, our acceptance can turn to resentment.
You cannot live intentionally if you are constantly accepting what the world imposes.
A boundary is nothing more than a constraint that informs how to achieve an outcome.
If you value building a life of contribution, you must set your boundary to encompass the activities and behaviors that maximize your ability to contribute. Anything outside of that or not related must be ignored or minimized.
I suppose if you don’t know what your desired outcome is, then any boundary will do.