Literature Dialogue: The Art of Possibility 2


Image: manostphoto /
Chapter 9 brings many ideas, among them passion (lighting a spark) and attitude.
It was the latter idea, one of attitude, that got my attention as i read. The idea that it’s not always what you are asking for, but HOW you are asking for it, that matters. People want to help, many more so than they realize, but it often takes the right approach to reach that well of good nature.
Again, through artful language Zander reminds us that our own perspective on a situation greatly influences how we interact with others in that situation, even when we don’t realize it. If we can change our perspective (into something more positive), we at least stand a change at changing the outcome.
It was this sentence that really lit the light bulb above my head for this chapter:
“Like a tap to a  kaleidoscope that shifts identical pieces of glass into different patterns, the scene changed before out eyes from bankruptcy to abundance with just the slightest nudge to the frame”.
The Art of Possibility, Zander and Zander, pg 116.
And of corse, reality isn’t always like this. Poor is still poor, whether quality, finances, etc. However, perspective and attitude can make all the difference between a closed door and an opened one.
 “Being the Board” (the next chapter, Ten) follows up nicely on this concept, although it does rehash some of the same ideas. The chapter discusses the idea of framework (or at least that’s my interpretation of it).
But then we move into Chapter 11 which directly states it’s about framework, and then goes into more detail and more discussion of framework.
So now i’m left wondering what it was i was supposed to get out Chapter 10. Or rather, what is chapter 10 really about?
It seems to be this weird in-between mixture of Ch 9 and 11.
But the 12th, and last chapter sums everything up nicely i think. The result of everything said previously, the sum of all the previous ideas… that the life journey of an individual isn’t really about just the individual, even if they think or desire that to be so. Everything we do influences someone else in some way, so we should do what we can to make those influences positive ones, to impact the society of “US”.

I rather like that idea.

Image: Sarunyu_foto / FreeDigitalPhotos.netI REPLIED:

Despite the fact that we were both a bit critical of this book, (I was downright snarky in a couple of my posts, but you much less so) I also quite liked this book. I mean, how else could the conductor of a venerable symphony be but egotistical? In fact, I think Zander is actually pretty courageous for hanging himself out there, and copping to it.
I really enjoyed the thread, almost a subplot, of his arrogant ways being reformed by his wife’s therapeutic practice, kind of like self-help life counseling.
I too really resonate with the summation, and especially his remarks in the Coda about living life as an artist, creating our own lives. This is one of my strongest personal values, and in fact this whole book is really very close to my own world views. My boss just chewed me out the other day for being arrogant, and I suspect many of the folks I have met here at FS find me even more so, an arrogant, pompous and bombastic blowhard, a lot like Ben Zander perhaps, and maybe it was that self-recognition that made me lash out at him.

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