Reassess Your Constraints

Perhaps around a year ago, I decided I wanted my taskbar on the side, rather than on the bottom.

A while after, my taskbar icons started glitching out, making it require an extra click to see the time & the icons. 

I sunk ages into trying to solve the taskbar icon glitching problem. I tried to write my own macros to fix it, checked on google so many times, asked around on Discord servers. 

Never once did I question the original constraint of having the taskbar on the side. 

I never did solve the problem. In the end I got used to it, but just the other day I was struck with the solution:

To solve the problem, remove the original constraint.

Don't solve the problem, kill it. 

My taskbar is now on the bottom, and everything is absolutely dandy.

Looking back, I've solved so many problems not by solving them, but by removing the original prerequisites.


  • Website
    • Constraint:  Wanting to code my first website from scratch.
    • Solution: Using wordpress.
  • Adding delays to mobile apps
    • Constraint: having "checky" apps on my phone like WhatsApp and Telegram
    • Solution: deleting those apps & communicating primarily through Discord
  • Creating adding to incremental reading queue automation
    • Constraint: believing I needed a quick way to make notes
    • Solution: I don't know! I just stopped caring about this...
  • Taskbar icons glitchy
    • Constraint: believing I needed to have taskbar on the side
    • Solution: moving taskbar to the bottom
  • Carrying phone while running
    • Constraint: believing I needed to listen to music while running
    • Solution: Just not

I think far more problems are like this and have been solved like this by me over the years.

All desires are chosen unhappiness. If ever you have a problem that's difficult to solve, stop trying to solve it, and instead seek to remove the original expectation or constraint you've placed. Much more rarely than expected the constraint is immutable.

You can have anything you want, as long as you want it more than anything. By trying to win while keeping the constraint in place, I've chosen two desires. I've already lost. 

Don't have two desires, pick one!

"Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do this!"

Moves arm in horrid, unnecessary manner.

What does the doctor say?

"Don't do that."


Never automate something that can be eliminated