Psychology

Thinking About Change? Consider the Art of Possibility!

Cover_smAs the owner of a small business, I find that I'm always taking time out to source new opportunities. Too often, we get stuck in a cycle of the "same old same old" efforts, that result in the "same old" kind of results. To get different results, we have to acquire a new kind of thinking.

In the National Bestseller "The Art of Possibility", Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander outline strategies that can help change the way you think. They open our mind to new possibilities in life, and encourage us to take a second look at outdated models and assumptions that may have outlived their usefulness.

As conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Ben has encouraged people to embrace the extraordinary, and uses storytelling to get his views across. Roz engages in The Art of Possibility from the perspective of a painter and writer, and helps people set the framework that enables their success.

The book is different from most "self help" books in one major way. It asks us to look beyond the obvious, as a way of figuring out why we're at the place we're at. A few catchphrases from the book include: "It's all invented" ("All of life comes to us in narrative form, it's a story we tell"), "Stepping Into A Universe of Possibilities" ("In the measurement world, you set a goal and strive for it. In the universe of possibility, you set the context and let life unfold"), and "Giving an A" ("We can replace the narratives that hold us back by inventing wiser stories, free from childish fears, and, in doing so, disperse long held psychological stumbling blocks").

A common thread throughout the book is the implication that we write (and live) our own stories. By changing the narrative, we can rewrite our story and get the results we strive for in life. The authors also imply that a lot of our unhappiness comes from the way we "assume" things work. By revisiting our assumptions, we can build a better model that suits our interests at the time. How many times do we base our decisions on assumptions that might not even be true?

As you strive to re-invent your business, consider The Art of Possibility. Look beyond the obvious. To quote the Zanders:

"Look around. This day, these people in your life, a baby's cry, an upcoming meeting - suddenly they seem neither good nor bad. They shine forth brilliantly as they are. Awake restored!...to the dream revived."