Breaking boundaries

We all have boundaries – mental rules that are telling us what’s possible and what’s not possible to do. In Sweden we have a culture influenced by something called “jantelagen”. It can be summarized in one sentence “Don’t think that you’re anyone special“. If we fail, we know we’ll have people’s judgement re-confirming that these boundaries exist. So many of us figure that it’s better not to try, because not trying means not failing.

I didn’t create the rules of what’s possible and not possible for me. They were imposed on me by someone else, and I simply accepted them. There are no boundaries – they’re all illusions.  Everything seems impossible until it’s done. Lately I’ve heard several people telling me: “that’s not very realistic Maria”. According to who? Not me and that’s all that matters. To realize our full potential, we need to find these rules (which often can be in our unconscious) and break them. 

Just think about these companies and how ridiculous their business ideas sounds (content taken from Quora):

  • Facebook – the world needs yet another Myspace or Friendster except several years late. We’ll only open it up to a few thousand overworked, anti-social, Ivy Leaguers. Everyone else will then join since Harvard students are so cool.
  • Amazon – we’ll sell books online, even though users are still scared to use credit cards on the web. Their shipping costs will eat up any money they save. They’ll do it for the convenience, even though they have to wait a week for the book.
  • Virgin Atlantic – airlines are cool. Let’s start one. How hard could it be? We’ll differentiate with a funny safety video and by not being a**holes.
  • Craigslist – it will be ugly. It will be free. Except for the hookers.
  • Google – we are building the world’s 20th search engine at a time when most of the others have been abandoned as being commoditized money losers. We’ll strip out all of the ad-supported news and portal features so you won’t be distracted from using the free search stuff.
  • PayPal – people will use their insecure AOL and Yahoo email addresses to pay each other real money, backed by a non-bank with a cute name run by 20-somethings.
  • Instagram – filters! That’s right, we got filters!
  • LinkedIn – how about a professional social network, aimed at busy 30- and 40-somethings. They will use it once every 5 years when they go job searching.
  • Firefox – we are going to build a better web browser, even though 90% of the world’s computers already have a free one built in. One guy will do most of the work.
  • Twitter – it is like email, SMS, or RSS. Except it does a lot less. It will be used mostly by geeks at first, followed by Britney Spears and Charlie Sheen.


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