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The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life Paperback – 24 Sep 2002

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  • The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life
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  • Pathways to Possibility: Transforming Our Relationship with Ourselves, Each Other, and the World
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Product description

Review

"As applicable in the workplace as in an intimate relationship." —The Boston Globe

 

"In the presence of either Zander, one's spirit soars. Now they reveal their secrets in a deeply satisfying book. I guarantee you'll be inspired." —Gail Sheehy

"The passionate energy permeating The Art of Possibility is a true force for every reader for self-development and life fulfillment." —Klaus Schwab, founder and president, World Economic Forum

About the Author

ROSAMUND STONE ZANDER is the author of The Art of Possibility (with Benjamin Zander) and Pathways to Possibility. Trained as a family systems therapist, she coaches organizations from the inside out. Ms. Zander has brought wisdom, humor, and enlightenment to people in a wide variety of settings, from school systems, hospitals, and corporations to the World Economic Forum.

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Product details

  • Reading level: 18+ years
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin USA; Reprint edition (24 September 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143001221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143001225
  • ASIN: 0142001104
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Art of Possibility is one of my favorite books. Written by an orchestra conductor and a counselor, this unique and fresh perspective on life and the people around you seeks to make you simultaneously more productive and more content.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A life enhancing book. Thank you.
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By Aloke TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 February 2017
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very good book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 441 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reading the book led me to challenge some of my limiting beliefs. 2 May 2016
By Tim Larison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Draw a different frame around the same set of circumstances and new pathways come into view," say authors Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander in their book The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life. This brought to mind one of my favorite quotes by the late Wayne Dyer, ""If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." I like this philosophy, and I wanted to read more.

The Art of Possibility is full of examples to emphasize that life works better when you have a positive mental outlook. The authors tell a story of two shoe factory salesmen exploring new markets in Africa. After assessing the situation, both send telegrams:

SITUATION HOPELESS. STOP. NO ONE WEARS SHOES.

GLORIOUS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY. STOP. THEY HAVE NO SHOES.

"The one who sees no shoes, all the evidence points to hopelessness. To his colleague, the same conditions point to abundance and possibility," say the Zanders. Through easy to understand examples like this the authors drive home their point. I also liked the stories the Zanders share from their professions. Benjamin Zander is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Rosamund Stone Zander (nickname of "Roz" in the book) has a private practice in family therapy.

The Art of Possibility is more than just pie in the sky optimism. The Zanders recommend a realistic approach to negative thoughts and feelings. Their approach "doesn’t mean you should drown out your negative feelings or pretend you like what you really can’t stand. It doesn’t mean you should work to achieve some 'higher plane of existence' so you can 'transcend negativity'," they feel. "It simply means, being present without resistance: being present to what is happening and present to your reactions, no matter how intense. The capacity to be present to everything that is happening, without resistance, creates possibility."

Reading the book led me to challenge some of my limiting beliefs. "We can replace the narratives that hold us back by inventing wiser stories, free from childish fears, and in doing so, disperse long-held psychological stumbling blocks," say the Zanders. Perhaps our interpretations of the events in our lives do not match reality. "We see a map of the world, not the world itself," the authors feel.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting, great stories yet not very concrete 24 March 2015
By Bas Vodde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Art of the Possibility is an uplifting little book about thinking practices that allow you to move away from "the world of measurement" into "the world of possibility". The book is full of positive stories to attempt to change your perspective in life. The stories are fun, yet the practices weren't always very concrete. It was an easy read, yet it wasn't a book that gave me a major AHA! moment.

The book is about 200 pages, written in 12 chapters for 12 different practices. Most of the practices are perspective-practices that try to trigger you into a different way of thinking about yourself and about the world. For example, the practice of "Giving an A" is the practice that asks to always look at people from their potential perspective and avoid judging them directly. Always give an A to people... think the best of them and that will get out the best of them.

All other practices are similar. I find them useful, yet at times native. However, they aren't very concrete and they all kinda relate is seeing the world from the perspective of... possibility.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great vantage point! 24 April 2017
By JanneZack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a pretty good book, though possible not as meaningful as some others I've read in the same genre have been for me (self help; self improvement; better life tactics). But, as a musician the analogies were fabulous! Written by a conductor, there were countless stories that were applicable to me, a part-time musician. I'm getting some great ideas and this book reinforces lessons taught in other books. I think the more you read, and as things are said in a different way by different authors, the better the chance you will actually make the changes! It is well worth the read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highlighter yellow is the correct color for this book, as there are so many highlightable gems inside! 25 August 2014
By Kristin Pedemonti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of my top 5 all time favorite and most helpful books. Not only does it impact the working world it also positively affects personal relationships through seeing the potential that exists everywhere. It is not a bunch of vapid platitudes, but every suggestion is explained with real world examples that are truly helpful and that would also work for most readers.
My favorites are re-framing mistakes to "How Fascinating" and also to seeing beyond downward spiral thinking as well as understanding the 2 selves many of us possess, and tapping into the central self. I love the content of this book so much that I've gifted it to about a dozen people in the last few months.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only OK 28 August 2013
By Elizabeth Hofeldt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The "practices" in this book are great and can be applied to so many aspects of your life. I read this book as part of a course on Leadership and really enjoyed the discussions we had as a class on the different ways we interpreted and have applied the practices to our own lives.

However, actually reading the book was difficult. I think it was just a personal preference, but I had a very hard time relating to either author. The husband is a music conductor (I'm not musical, and everything he wrote about related to that) and the wife seemed to have lived a very privileged life. If you are a musical person (especially classical) you will love the examples and stories that the husband has to tell.