Creating Frameworks for Possibility, Part 1 of 2

A summary and refection from one of the 12 practices in the book, The Art of Possibility.

Creating frameworks for possibility involves restructuring meanings, creating visions, and establishing environments where possibility can be present.

The book suggests the steps for creating the frameworks to be:

  1. “Make a new distinction in the realm of possibility: one that is a powerful substitute for the current framework of meaning that is generating the downward spiral.”
  2. “Enter the territory. Embody the new distinction in such a way that it becomes the framework for life around you.”
  3. “Keep distinguishing what is “on the track” and what is “off the track” of your framework for possibility.”

Restructuring meanings call upon us to take a downward-spiral situation and turn it into another possibility. The alternate possibility results in nothing to hide from, and the new posture becomes more compelling to the old one.

Framing possibility asks us, as the book describes, “to think in terms of the contexts that govern us rather than the evidence we see before our eyes.”

Framing possibility also frees us from paying attention to only the threats. It also helps to shape our mental framework for the conditions we want to change.

Being the Board

A summary and refection from one of the 12 practices in the book, The Art of Possibility.

We tend to think of ourselves having only a limited freedom in the larger scheme of things, like a pawn in the game of chess.

When bad things happen to us, we can easily get into a fault-and-blame game to protect our identity and sanity.

The fault-and-blame game also limited our ability to enter the universe of possibility.

Instead of thinking ourselves merely as a pawn, the book encourages us to take on the practice of “Being the Board”

By being the board, the book suggests first part of the practice is to declare: “I am the framework for everything that happens in my life.”

By being the board, we can expand our limited thinking from the perspective of just one piece on the board.

To take the practice a step further, we can look at our unwanted circumstances in a different light. The book suggests we ask the next question: “Now, how is it that I have become a context for that to occur?”

By implementing the two-part practice, we start to take on a wider view and step out of the fault-and-blame game. Often what happens to us is merely the way things are.

By being the board, it is now easier to think about making a difference, rather than simply playing the fault-and-blame game.

之前做過

(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀

在你每天的工作之內有多少的百分比是那種已經知道正確答案的工作?

有多少是在復製過程而不是創造一個新過程的工作?

我們可以創造最大價值的地方是當我們做一個需要探索和新解決方案的工作。不是死記或是硬背,而是在探索。

這意味著我們該做一些以前沒有做過的事情,這種新事情有可能會失敗。

這種事是不要避免的,因為這是我們需要尋求的工作。

Lighting a Spark

A summary and refection from one of the 12 practices in the book, The Art of Possibility.

Lighting a spark refers to two people making the connection that turns into new possibilities for both participants.

Lighting a spark is not about forcing or pressuring someone into your way. The vehicle for lighting the spark is through enrollment.

When people are enrolled on the same journey, they give themselves as a possibility to their travel mates.

The book outlines the practice of enrollment to be:

  1. “Imagine that people are an invitation for enrollment.”
  2. “Stand ready to participate, willing to be moved and inspired.”
  3. “Offer that which lights you up.”
  4. “Have no doubt that others are eager to catch the spark.”

When the connections between people spark some possibilities that were not there before, everyone on the same journey can catch them.

Giving Way to Passion

A summary and refection from one of the 12 practices in the book, The Art of Possibility.

By now, it is easy to see the universe is filled with possibilities. Many things that the earlier generations could only imagine have become a reality.

The changes are all around us, and the rate of change is only climbing faster. That usually leads to more energy for change and, consequently, more possibilities.

The question is how we can tap into that pool of energy and possibility?

The book has two suggestions.

“The first step is to notice where you are holding back, and let go. Release those barriers of self that keep you separate and in control, and let the vital energy of passion surge through you, connecting you to all beyond.”

“The second step is to participate wholly. Allow yourself to be a channel to shape the stream of passion into a new expression for the world.”

While I recognize the importance of devoting yourself to work, I do not believe passion alone is always sustainable.

Instead, I like Elizabeth Gilbert’s suggestion where curiosity can be the vehicle for searching or reaching our passion. Curiosity and inquisitiveness make up the plug that we can use to tap into the universe of possibility.

The Way Things Are

A summary and refection from one of the 12 practices in the book, The Art of Possibility.

What being present to “the way things are” is and is not.

It is not about being resigned and passive.

It is not covering up your negative feelings and pretending you like what you really cannot stand.

It is not working hard to achieve some “higher plane of existence” so you can “transcend negativity.”

However, it is being present to what is happening and aware of your reactions.

Another word, being present but without the resistance, knowing not everything is within our control.

By being present without resistance creates possibility because we are free to ask the follow-up question. “What then? What do we want to go from here?”

The book suggests the following approaches at the times when we need to distinguish our feelings about environments from the environments themselves.

“Being with the Way Things Are by Clearing ‘Shoulds’”

“Being with the Way Things Are by Closing the Exits: Escape, Denial, and Blame”

“Being with the Way Things Are by Clearing Judgments”

“Being with the Way Things Are by Distinguishing Physical from Conceptual Reality”

This practice can help us break free from the defense bubble we created as a hedge against danger in a world of survival. By breaking free, we can see where we need to go and into the universe of possibility.

滿出來的發件箱

(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀

截止日期是創造力的維生素。

如果你有太多的進展,太多的緩衝,太多的東西以經準備好,你很容易會感覺自滿。

當沒有一個迫在眉睫感覺的時候,要想在發明下躲藏起來會更容易。

如果你是那種需要危機才能向前進的人,你可以隨意發明一個。拿一些沒有採取的好主意,把它們刪除,把它們送給別人,或是交給你的團隊去讓他們處理。

一個空空的發件箱是發明之母。

Rule Number 6

A summary and refection from one of the 12 practices in the book, The Art of Possibility. [https://smile.amazon.com/Art-Possibility-Transforming-Professional-Personal/dp/0875847706/]

The book defines Rule Number 6 as “Don’t take yourself so goddamn seriously.”

This is not to say we do not need to be diligent. The key is to be aware of the two “selves” within us.

There is a part of us that focuses on surviving in the competitive environment of the “measurement world.” The book calls that our “calculating self.”

The calculating self keeps making us aware of our surrounding and standing within the society. Its purpose is all about making progress, striving for success, and positioning oneself in the hierarchy.

When we run into events that conflict with the calculating self, we can become cold and calculating.

Fortunately, we all have another part of us that is generative, prolific, and creative. The book calls that our “central self.”

To open ourselves for the journey to the universe of possibility, we want to have our central self along with us at all time. Meanwhile, our calculating self is still there with us. We cannot get rid of it, but it is OK. We just need to let our calculating self know that it is welcome to come along on the journey. However, we will not allow it to take the wheel or make any decision on the journey.

When we follow Rule Number 6, we tell our calculating self to calm down and allow our central self to take over. The calculating self can obscure our view of the universe, but the central self opens it back up again.