On this, the last full week of 2004, I am posting about the book The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander.
The Zanders offer up 12 practices. Each practice is represented by a short memorable mantra with several stories and examples for illustration and clarification of the distinctions.
Today I will continue discussion of the 12 Practices offered in the Art of Possibility. Here are the next three practices with a my thoughts and a few juicy quotes from the book:
10. Being the Board
When I first read this practice, I thought it referred to the Board of Directors, but I was wrong. The board in Being the Board is a game board.
"So the first part of the practice is to declare: "I am the framework for everything that happens in my life."??
"This is perhaps the most radical and elusive of all the practices in this book, and it is also one of the most powerful. Here is another way of saying it:
"If I cannot be present without resistance to the way things are and act effectively, if I feel myself to be wronged, a loser, or a victim, I will tell myself that some assumption I have made is the source of my difficulty."??
I agree with the Zanders that addressing assumptions and beliefs can be a powerful way to open our lives up to more possibilities.
"Then, in this game, you take your practice one step further: You ask yourself, in regard to the unwanted circumstances, "Well, how did this get on the board that I am?"?? or, "Now, how it is that I have become a context for that to occur?"??
In other words, the authors are asking us to see ourselves as the context for what´s going on and to take ownership of how our beliefs and assumptions have shaped today´s reality and will impact the possibilities we will see in the future.
11. Creating Frameworks for Possibility
I love this paragraph and it speaks for itself.
"The foremost challenge for leaders today, we suggest, is to maintain the clarity to stand confidently in the abundant universe of possibility, no matter how fierce the competition, no matter how stark the necessity to go for the short-term goal, no matter how fearful people we are, and no matter how urgently the wolf may appear to howl at the door. It is to have the courage and persistence to distinguish the downward spiral from the radiant realm of possibility in the face of any challenge."??
This chapter offers several suggestions and examples for inventing and bringing forth possibility.
12. Telling the WE Story
Here how the Zanders bring together the possibilities for the 12 practices. They write:
"The steps to the WE practice are these:
1. Tell the WE story – the story of the unseen threads that connect us all, the story of possibility.
2. Listen and look for the emerging entity.
3. Ask: "What do WE want to have happen here?"?? "What´s best for US?"?? – all of each of us, and all of all of us. "What´s OUR next step?"??
So that´s the 12 practices! I´ve given you a few snippets, just enough to give you a flavor of the book. The Art of Possibility is a unique and intelligent book. I highly recommend it. This is a great book to help ignite or re-ignite the New Year.
What kind of life do you want to create?
Here´s the link to buy the book at: