In our society, the idea of limits is generally frowned upon. Limits = bad. Freedom = good. Just think of how many ads tout the “life without limits.”

But a limit can actually set you free.

I was thinking about this the other day and the idea of an audio limiter came to mind.

In simplified audio recording terms, a limiter is a mechanism that stops sound distortion. It’s used in the mastering process after music has been recorded and mixed.

A limiter is the final tool a sound technician uses to fine tune an audio recording for clarity and loudness. Without it, your favourite band’s latest release wouldn’t sound as good as it does.

Let’s apply this principle to people. Say the information and opportunities coming at you each day are an unmastered recording. If you don’t have a way to compress the signal to a manageable level, you can get overwhelmed by the volume and variety of messages.

But your life isn’t an audio recording. So how do you limit the input?

You use your internal limiter: core values.

Core values are essentially what’s most important to you in life. For many people things like family, community and charity rank at the top. For others, career success, financial independence or wisdom is their #1 priority.

Identifying and choosing to live according to your values is a powerful way to ensure clarity in your life and ease the constant question of whether your choices are the right ones.

When you know clearly what you do and don’t want in your life, decisions become much easier because you’ve set limits for yourself. Limits that lead to a greater sense of calm, control and happiness. Your fear of missing out on things will be greatly diminished because you will be able to discern between “great opportunities” and “opportunities that are great FOR YOU”.

If you’ve never identified your top values or if it’s been a while since you last did it, download my Core Values Exercise. This pdf will take you through a series of questions to help you identify what’s important to you and narrow it down to 5 core values.

Once you’ve done that, use it any time you need to make a decision, even seemingly simple ones. Does it align with at least one of your core values? This builds the habit of evaluating your decisions according to your values and highlights how often you are making decisions that are not in alignment with your values.

Try this out and let me know how it goes. I’d love to know what impact this change makes in your life. Email me.