“The Art Of Possibility” Quotes

I recently read The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. As always, if you like the quotes, please buy the book here.

Art of Possibility“Many circumstances that seem to block us in our daily lives may only appear to do so based on a framework of assumptions we carry with us. Draw a different frame around the same set of circumstances and new pathways come into view.” (1)

“A simple way to practices it’s all invented is to ask yourself this question:
What assumption am I making,
That I’m not aware I’m making,
That gives me what I see?

And when you have an answer to that question, ask yourself this one:

What might I now invent,
That I haven’t yet invented,
That would give me other choices?” (15)

“I actively train my students that when they make a mistake, they are to lift their arms in the air, smile, and say, “How fascinating!” I recommend that everyone try this.” (31)

“The player who looks least engaged may be the most committed member of the group. A cynic, after all, is a passionate person who does not want to be disappointed again.” (39)

“The secret is not to speak to a person’s cynicism, but to speak to her passion.” (39)

“Giving yourself an A is not about boasting or raising your self-esteem. It has nothing to do with reciting your accomplishments. The freely granted A lifts you off the success/failure ladder and spirits you away from the world of measurement into the universe of possibility. It is a framework that allows you to see all of who you are and be all of who you are, without having to resist or deny any part of yourself.” (46)

“The drive to be successful and the fear of failure are, like the head and tail of a coin, inseparably linked,” (56)

“The fearful question, “Is it enough?” and the even more fearful question, “Am I loved for who I am, or for what I have accomplished?” could both be replaced by the joyful question, “How will I be a contribution today?” (57)

“Throw yourself into life as someone who makes a difference, accepting that you may not understand how or why.” (59)

“A person cannot live a full life under the shadow of bitterness.” (64)

“A monumental question for leaders in any organization to consider is: how much greatness are we willing to grant people? Because it makes all the difference at every level who it is we decided we are leading.” (73)

“Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so godamm seriously.’ ‘Ah,’ says his visitor. ‘That is a fine rule.’ After a moment of pondering, he inquires, ‘And what, may I ask, are the other rules?’ “there aren’t any.’” (79)

“Humor and laughter are perhaps the best way we can “get over ourselves.”” (80)

“Frank Sulloway (MIT) suggests that we think of “personality” as a strategy for “getting out of childhood alive.”” (82)

“Whenever somebody gives up their pride to reveal a truth ot others, we find it incredibly moving.” (89)

“Unlike the calculating self, the central self is neither a pattern of action nor a set of strategies. It does not need an identity; it is its own pure expression. It is what a person who has survived – and knows it – looks like. The central self smiles at the calculating self’s perceptions, understanding that they are the relics of our ancestry, the necessary illusions of childhood.” (95)

“Being present to the way things are is not the same as accepting things as they are in the resigned way of the cow.” (100)

“The capacity to be present to everything that is happening, without resistance, creates possibility.” (101)

“If we include mistakes in our definition of performance, we are likely to glide through them and appreciate the beauty of the longer run.” (102)

“Shine attention on obstacles and problems and they multiply lavishly.” (108)

“Enrolling is not about forcing, cajoling, tricking, bargaining, pressuring, or guilt-tripping someone into doing something your way. Enrollment is the art and practice of generating a spark of possibility for others to share.” (125)

“I genuinely wanted to share the music with the children, and I trusted their ability to respond to it and to be partners with me in our whole undertaking.” (134)

“Money has a way of showing up around contribution because money is one of the currencies through which people show they are enrolled in the possibility you are offering.” (173)

“If we describe revenge, greed, pride, fear, and self-righteousness as the villains – and people as the hope – we will come together to create possibility.” (190)

If you liked the quotes, please buy the book here.

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