Today was perfect for a bit of reading in the early morning light, dog on my lap. I came across a book on one of my shelves. The title jumped at me. It evoked the very sentiment I aspire to entertain at this time: The Art Of Possibility.
I have a vague memory of picking out this book at a yard sale table, but it is so faint that I cannot be certain this is what happened. Come to think of it, I have no idea where it comes from, and this makes it all the more powerful. How many times do we stumble upon the exact words or object we need at the time? Serendipity itself is a sweet possibility in the midst of the human experience.
It was first published in 2002 by Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and music teacher, and wife Rosamund Stone Zander, a private family therapist and expert in personal and professional fulfillment.
A passage I read this morning resonates profoundly with me. It conveys the powerful insight the two authors bring to light in an effort to shift our perception in a world that struggles with perfection, competition, and public image.
The use of musicians and music in their examples is especially fitting. It brings to mind our relationship to others and the possibility of finding harmony in the midst of discord, even, and especially, personal discord. By personal discord I mean the frequent conflicts we experience between who we are and who we truly wish to be.
They write, “It is dangerous to have our musicians so obsessed with competition because they will find it difficult to take the necessary risks with themselves to be great performers… it is only when we make mistakes in performance that we can really begin to notice what needs attention. In fact, 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.”
And I highly recommend this book if you happen to be in the process of redefining yourself.
(The Amazon link is strictly for convenience)