Limitations lead to capabilities.

Coolantz is not tossing a curveball here. Neither has he lost it (yet). This (I mean the title) is a statement, which, without it’s premise sounds grand and has a “manager talk” kind of sound to it. It also sounds like the cliched phrases of the tune “less is more”. However, this reality dawned up on me at the simplest of situations.

One often finds pearls of wisdom at the most unexpected of places, and times. For me, usually that time is early mornings. There is something about them that I really crave for. Maybe, it’s my usually well rested mind that feels alive and it tells my mouth to curve up in a smile.

The reason to why I enjoy the mornings is still elusive as far as I’m concerned. I do not have a logical explanation to that fondness. I should not digress here, so I’ll get back to the topic.

Game, Set, Match!

I also like to play tennis in the mornings, and I’ve chanced to meet a team mate, who’s actually keen to play the game. Let’s call him Mr. SPK. Of course, there are people who get the gear, but never get to use it, but we’ll tackle them another day.

Mr. SPK is usually a very reserved kind of person, who keeps to himself, and always up to something at work. I think if he gets to have a bed at office, he’d be happy to sleep there. Jokes apart, one fine day he asked me if I’d like to play tennis with him. It was perfectly timed because I had tried looking for partners, with most random options, ended up playing with people having much superior skills (they must have got so bored), and people who were just beginning to get forehand up and going. One more week looking, and I would have given up.

We agreed to play at a specific time, and I realised SPK is quite decent with his forehand (much to my surprise, because he said he’s a beginner). After the initial few hiccups and self adjustments, we had good rallies, some nice serve points and serve returns as well.

Yesterday was a morning when it had rained (very early I guess, much earlier than my wake up time). The roads had the “washed up” look and from one whiff of the air you could tell, that dust had settled. Trees were greener, and the birds chirpier than usual.

When I reached the tennis court, the rain effect had also cause some water logging on the synthetic surface. As weird as the situation might seem, the only traces of water were in one side of the court. We decided to play half court. I was sceptical initially, but agreed on one condition . “We would only play a certain kind of shot”. No fancy serving or wild backhands please.

I have seen coaches enforce this kind of handicap on budding tennis stars, and I had always wondered why they do it. I had also formed a theory, on the lines of demand is more, supply is less. How naive of me! (Hey I’m just a kid)

Now that we were required to be more accurate, we actually became more precise. At the beginning it was hard to keep the balls from  spraying around, but once we got the feel, both of us played some interesting shots, down the line, and perfectly in control. It was being so focussed on straight shots that you improve with a restricted field of vision. By the end, we were hitting them hard, and hitting them nice.  That is when SPK remarked … “Limitations can lead to capabilities“.

A profound statement, which has depth, and I guess it’ll be never used in marketing strategies. I mean, who would want to say, “Our phone does not have an LCD screen, but it ensures a longer battery life” …. 🙂 . On follow up thoughts, where as this truth would not play well on things and commodities, it certainly applies to people. Imagine:

  • “She cannot cook at all, but she can afford to hire the best cook in town”.
  • “Our son might not be the best looking bloke out there, but he sure knows how to make you feel special”

Actually I don’t think any parents would introduce their son like that. But you know what I mean. 🙂