10 06 2013

The Art of Possibility

I am currently reading “The Art of Possibility”  by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander via Adobe Digital Editions. The first statement that really caught my attention in the book “the Art of Possibility” was how they stated that markets are becoming the authority in society, not government or religion.  I can see this statement in action today.

We perceive what we are hard wired to perceive.  Out experiences in life may alter this hardwiring.  Our minds try to build a narrative out of the stimuli that they receive.  In our dreams we can piece together unconnected events to make these stories. In sleep we do not have logic to control these little story lines that we concoct.  Our perception in invented from our brain.

9dotsI tried the 9 dots puzzle in which we were instructed to connect all the dots using only 4 lines, without  picking up the pen from the sheets of paper. I failed miserably.

This was a great analogy for me.  It was a non cliché way to make the cliché statement of “think outside the box”. I was thinking in the box and did not even realize that there was a box holding me in.




10 responses

12 06 2013

James, when I was reading the portion of the book your highlighted I couldn’t but help to think about whether or not to take the green pill or the red pill 😉 … It is so true that the battleground of reality is in the mind and labor to line up our thinking with what is real allowing us to discover and see more options other then what we are hard wired to see. I think of my journey in EMDT. I was the “I am not tech savvy guy.” Still I’m not ☺ however, the narrative at times made assignments seem insurmountable. The following is an excerpt of a blog a wrote in ETC with Rena Hanaway “A wise Jewish man once said, “as a man thinks in his heart so he is.” I have stated and pondered the following words more than I ever would have imagined., “I am not tech savvy!” Pondering these words produced a certain angst in me when it came to technology. As a result I had an apathetic approach to it yet I could not resist the drawing power and the relevance of technology.
Going through this assignment, I underwent quiet an internal process. I started out overwhelmed and plagued again with the thoughts of “I am not tech savvy.” Thinking on the wise Jewish proverb, I said to myself, “I really need to change my thinking.” As I worked through the internal torrents, it occurred to me that to say “I’m not tech savvy” would have been the equivalent of ignoring the impact and the effect of the Gutenberg printing press in the 15th century…


12 06 2013

You have a very different way of looking at perception, I have never really thought how our brain connects random events and weaves those events into a story while we sleep.

I don’t really understand what you mean when you say “we perceive what we are hard wired to perceive.” Are you saying that you can not change the way one perceives events and therefore, perceptions can’t be changed? Could you explain what you mean by this?

As for the 9 dot puzzle, I knew that the lines had to go outside the box, but I still could not solve it.


13 06 2013

You see what you see. It is very hard to alter some ones perception of events. We make our choices based on what we perceive. Those with a stronger ability to “see” are better able to make choices. I’m on my phone at work, so I don’t have the book to refer to. In the book, I believe it mentioned a tribe that was unable to perceive a photograph as anything other than a piece if paper. They were not unintelligent, pictures were simply not something they were able to see and give a value too.


12 06 2013
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13 06 2013

I am not sure what to do with this.


13 06 2013

I too believe that are experience and our history “wire” us into a frame of mind and then the measurements continually are like chains linking us in place-almost creating a static life-one with limited possibilities that are hindered by fears and background inhibitions. I think that because we are teaching in environments that tend to be linear based and definitely measure based, that we find our own inventions are limited and stoically planned. I believe that Zanders’ motivational techniques inspire us to realize that we are all wired to be “outside of the box.” Did you ever complete the task once you realized that it was okay to move beyond?


13 06 2013

Unfortunately I saw the solution. I would have liked to have seen if I would have finished the puzzle with only the hint that I could move outside.


13 06 2013

I completely understand your frustration. Sometimes just a hint can help us “invent” a new path. 🙂


14 06 2013

Hey Jay,
You say, “we perceive what we are hard-wired to perceive” and while the Zander’s book is about reconsidering those perceptions, I tell my students that “perceptions” are a person’s reality and often miscommunications are actually differing perceptions. In line a bit with the Zanders, I suggest to my students that empathy, or attempting to simply understand the other perception, could lessen the miscommunication tension. Empathy does NOT mean changing your own perception, it means trying to understand the other perception.
But, I am glad that your brought up the impact of the market. I wonder if you were for or against it’s influence? I am probably revealing my own political leanings a bit, but personally, I am for it. I think the market is a truer exploration of freedom than decisions mandated by either church or government. If I don’t like something…I don’t buy it. That simple…and I am big proponent for KISS (keep it simple silly.) *smiles


20 06 2013

Thanks for sharing your initial thoughts on the reading. The nine-dots/four-lines is a great test that almost no one gets “right.” You’re right that we’re hard-wired to deal with reality but the good thing, as you mention, that our experiences can influence our understanding, ’cause we’re also hardwired to survive and if our perception gets too out of step then we don’t survive. Ack.


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