Episode 072: The Art of Possibility

Do you know that every day you decide what is and isn’t possible?  That your mind tends to follow patterns established by our common ancestry and your own experience?  On today’s episode we explore how you can open your mind and imagination to greater possibility – and then actually do something with it.

(c) Ann Thompson

(c) Ann Thompson

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On This Episode

Rhythm of Life – Don’t Be “That Guy”
Random Riffs – Frogs and Singing and Satire
Feature Segment – The Art of Possibility

Today’s Quote

You have no idea what a poor opinion I have of myself.  And how little I deserve it. –Sir William S. Gilbert

Rhythm of Life –  Don’t Be “That Guy”

I was flying from Charlotte, NC to Hartford, CT last week.  I’ve been traveling so much that I can get on the plane early to make sure my bag gets into one of the overhead bins.

The guy in front of me put 2 bags in the overhead bin, taking space that someone else could have had.  And one bag would easily fit under his seat.

I normally wouldn’t say anything.  But this time I did.  Listen to hear what happened next.

Random Riffs – Frogs, and Singing, and Satire

Tonight I went out for evening walk.  In the pond at the end of my street were frogs croaking as if in chorus.  You’re not going to believe what I thought of next, and what that led me to research.

If you’d like to read the results of my quick study, you can click here or here.

Feature Segment – The Art of Possibility

Seth Godin said that Possibility is not the same as reality. But without belief in the possibility, your reality is going to be severely curtailed.

Seth also recommended a book called “The Art of Possibility”.   I read the book and loved it.  I decided to work through 3 of the 12 practices detailed in this book and share my results.


It’s all invented.  Everything you see, feel, or touch runs through a filter so strong that you’re often not aware of it.  Your mind creates frames which define and confine what you think is possible.

We talked about story in episode 058. How you tell it affects everything.  This is related.

Ask these questions:

  1. What assumption am I making, that I’m not aware I’m making, that gives me what I see?
  2. What might I now invent, that I haven’t invented, that would give me other choices?

Once you realize it’s all invented and are open to possibilities, the authors describe two different worlds.

  • World of Measurement – At the core of staying alive.  Survival.
  • World of Possibility – Beyond survival.  Attitude of plenty.

Ask yourself – how are your thoughts and actions tied to the measurement world?  Then stop that train of thought.

3 Practices

  1. Give an A

Speak to and think about people from a place of respect.  A possibility to live into, rather than a measure of comparison against others or standards.  Otherwise known as grace.

  1. See what you do as contribution, rather than avenue for success.

Any and everything can be contribution.  Every action, no matter how small.  You can also make it a game.

Andy Andrews talks about this in his most recent book “The Little Things“.

  1. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Achievement is important, but you want to keep it in perspective.  It shouldn’t overshadow humor or lightness.

This is a big one for me.  I’ve been practicing it with mixed results.  To do this we must peel away layers of pride, reputation, or self-importance to be vulnerable.

Related to that – is being with the way things are.  This clears the “shoulds”.

The authors say we need to close the easy exits and stay with the feelings, whatever they are.  Rumble with your story, as Brene Brown says in “Rising Strong”.

Why not try this yourself?  Is there a situation where you’re stuck on one idea, one way?  Instead of trying harder, why not look at possibilities?

  1. Realize all is invented and commit to invent something new.
  2. Live in the world of possibility
  3. Give yourself or someone else an A
  4. Contribute
  5. Lighten up
  6. Be with the way things are

If you want to learn more, get the book.

If you’d like help seeing possibilities and putting them into practice, try Groovemaker Coaching.  Check out the link.  I’d love to talk with you about possibilities.  And make something happen.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.