It is a commonly taught strategy that we must ‘Create Boundaries’ in order to succeed – I have no idea why!
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll do what you always do!
I think it’s another one of those techniques developed some time in the way back when that has been adopted and reproduced without any thought as to why.
In my view, boundaries confine us. Once set they are very hard to cross and from the moment they are established all manner of things change. The boundary immediately begins to define who we are and this can be a very dangerous thing indeed.
As this triangle illusion beautifully demonstrates, boundaries are an abstract construct.
I am a firm believer that we should not build or more importantly adopt boundaries, especially when set by others. I believe that we should explore, we should try anything, we should cross the divide at every opportunity. Obviously there are limits, we don’t shoot the neighbour for cutting the hedge too short!
But we should see any boundary we set as ephemeral, something that delineates a point of achievement or exploration and that it can move at any time … in fact it is only a point in time and space that WILL move; a marker depicting the limit we measure future actions against.
Any boundary we set in not a line in the sand, it’s a starting point.
Yes, there will be limits, personal best achievements and it’s only through constant testing that those limits evolve.
Most times boundaries move by simply asking the question WHY?
I watched an episode of The First 48 recently featuring a spate of killings that was destroying a local community – gang-bangers, shooting gang-bangers.
As it turns out, the war was over “turf”. Neighbours turned on friends, friends turned on family, family turned on friends, simply because one faction lived lived on 12th Street the other on13th!!!
The killers didn’t even own the land they were fighting over. An imaginary line separated teenagers who at one time were school buddies and who even played on the same football team.
The warring parties could see each other’s territory down an alley taking shots at each other for no reason. Rather than play ball on the local field, each would spend evenings cruising the other’s turf, each would drive by homes and light em up in a hail of bullets in an endless cycle of retaliation … for no reason whatsoever.
I grew up in the UK during the troubles. In Ireland, Catholics would seize any opportunity to reduce their Protestant neighbours to meat and bone with Semtex for no reason whatsoever. The illusion of boundaries caused generations of devastation and misery. Catholic established their immovable boundaries, the Protestants theirs. Anything across that border was fair game.
Boundaries are a very dangerous concept indeed!
Edges define an object’s shape. Without them, we wouldn’t know a square from a circle. But we don’t need a complete mold for a figure to take form. A prime example? The eerily vibrant triangle above.
In reality, no polygon exists. There aren’t any connecting lines within the sectioned colors to create it. Yet, our brains trick us into thinking that the Pac-Man-like characters are full circles, topped with a 3D triangle.
The illusion depends on careful placement. Our minds can make do with scant information, says Christof Koch, chief scientist of the Allen Institute for Brain Science. Here, the Pac-Man shapes sit at the would-be triangle’s edges, so we reckon a polygon is actually there.
Such leaps are useful in real life. If someone hides behind a tree and all you can see is their leg, your brain unconsciously fills in the gaps and you conclude it conceals a full person—rather than a bunch of rogue body parts.
The non-triangle’s existence is far less secure. The brain relies on alignment, rather than the parts of a puzzle, to process information. So it detects this shape only if the Pac-Man blobs and sideways-V brackets are precisely positioned to imply a triangle hovering above. Fiddle too much, Koch says, and you won’t see the illusion anymore. Don’t worry.
It was never really there anyway.