Losing My Religion

By 1990, REM was getting burnt out on the road from constantly touring. They were well known amongst their core fans at this point but they haven’t had a real mega hit yet.

To get out of their rut, Peter Buck, the guitarist, started playing the mandolin. He had to learn the instrument and eventually came up with the main riff for the song Losing My Religion.

After that, the rest became history. The song helped sell the record, Out of Time, which became one of the best selling albums in the era.


Because they applied a new constraint. They didn’t just keep insisting the work had to be done a certain way. Instead, the constraint they added challenged them to write a song differently.

Constraints are not the enemy. They help us define the edges and force us to do our best work despite the limitations.

The challenges you are facing at home might be because the field is too large. Too many choice, too many directions to choose. Instead, define the constraints.