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The Art of Possibility Summary – July 2022

Author: Benjamin Zander, Rosamund Stone Zander

Short Summary
The Art of Possibility (2000) tries to inculcate a sense of possibility in all of the domains of our lives by bringing together the perspectives of a psychologist and a musician. If we look for possibilities in our life, work, and our connection with others we can transform our lives.
the art of possibility
Source: amazon.com

Detailed Summary

The Art of Possibility summary preaches one to detach himself from a subjective, self-indulgent, and goal-oriented mindset.

With every choice, we make a whole new set of possibilities is created. So if we can change the way we perceive our lives we can create a vision that enables us to see possibilities even in the worst situations. Just by making a few changes, we can start looking at the possibilities that were perhaps always there.

It is not about creating more opportunities. It is about finding the already present ones. Because very often possibilities and opportunities lie before our eyes but we are too blinded to see them. When we face a failure, it becomes the end of the world for us. But have we ever thought that failing at something can provide us with another possibility? And that can be even more beneficial than what we were chasing in the first place?

The Art of Possibility book also teaches us to let go of the hedonistic and self-centered lifestyle and can also help us in discovering possibilities. When we let go of our benefit for the benefit of others, we look at things from a broader and wider perspective. This perspective leads us to believe that there are many things that are bigger than us and that the world we live in is full of possibilities.

The Art of Possibility Key Points

Change Your Mentality

We live with a measurement mentality. Everything comes down to numbers and quantity for us. It is the twenty-first century and the media has even propagated this mindset further. At the end of the day, all we care about is the figure of money we make, the steps we walked, the likes we got on our recent posts, the calories we consumed, and the hours we worked. Everything is measured in numbers. But have you ever thought about what can happen if we change this perspective?

Let go of the figures and numbers and think about the quality and possibilities. We need to find the possibilities even when a situation is leading to failure. The world of possibility shows us a more optimistic perspective. When you switch to that you will feel that failures and setbacks are just a part of a wider universe. Your world is full of options and possibilities. Through this perspective from the art of possibility: transforming personal and professional life you will transform your life from a quantitative to an abundance lifestyle.

Find a Greater Purpose of Life

As I said earlier, we live life in terms of numbers and figures. But why is that? One of the main reasons we care for the figure of our salary and the likes of our pictures is because we live for ourselves. I do not want ten thousand likes of my pictures to satisfy the Karen who lives next door. I want these likes to reach a milestone, a goal, and to satisfy myself. If I am able to get them I will have a bigger image of myself in my eyes. So to destroy this mindset where all we care about is numbers we need to destroy its cause. Instead of living for ourselves, we need to start living for people and things that are greater than our tiny existence.

 When you live to make a difference, you will find that there are millions of possibilities. Suddenly the extra ten-minute walk to the grocery store will not feel as hard as it used to with the self-indulging perspective we had before because now I know that I will be able to feed the birds on my way. Living for others and greater causes than a person’s own self leads to the vision that the world is full of endless possibilities. Learn this from the words of Israelmore Ayivor: ‘The Rivers don’t drink their own waters; trees don’t eat their own fruits.  Salt seasons the soup in order to have its purpose fulfilled. Live for others!’

Practise Mindfulness and Gratitude

So many times I let an opportunity pass away because it was not exactly what I wanted. Why? Because I wasn’t mindful enough to acknowledge it and grateful enough to grab it. We keep wishing for circumstances to change because better circumstances mean more possibilities right? What are circumstances always in your control? No, they are not. They are controlled by several factors that are external and beyond our grasp. So instead of saying that ‘ if this changes I might be able to do this thing’ look at where you are and what you can do from there. Wishing that things were different will only cause you agony and will keep you stagnant.

The Art of Possibility Quotes

“If we include mistakes in our definition of performance, we are likely to glide through them and appreciate the beauty of the long run.” –Rosamund Stone Zander

“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.” –Benjamin Zander

The Art of Possibility Book Review

The Art of Possibility will make you more optimistic about life. It will teach you to manifest your future with whatever you have at the moment. It allows you to let go of the victim mentality and teaches you to be helpful to others at the same time. It is a fresh, full-of-life, and optimistic read.

To Whom I Would Recommend The Art of Possibility

  • To the freshman college student who is only indulgent in his own self.
  • To the twenty-two-year-old who measures everything in her life through figures and numbers.
  • And to anyone who has a hard time finding possibilities in failure.

Link: https://amzn.to/3Jo4wn6