Thinking Possibility

Thinking Possibility

Having a purpose that makes the seemingly impossible possible can be enhanced by thinking and leading from a place of possibility rather than scarcity. Believing in multiple right answers, shifting from unconsciously limiting beliefs to consciously positive beliefs, linking generosity and possibility, and envisioning a future full of possibility, are all features of the Thinking Possibility practice explored in the book, The Inner Journey of Conscious Leadership.

One of my favorite possibility thinkers is the White Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. The Queen, in response to Alice’s skepticism about believing impossible things, suggested that Alice hadn’t had enough practice and cited her own experience of practicing for half an hour a day and sometimes believing as many as six impossible things before breakfast. Although fictional, this children’s story is a wonderful inspiration for possibility thinking. Thinking from a place of possibility can provide the bridge from a clearly defined purpose to committing to responsible action.

Possibility thinker, Ben Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and co-author of The Art of Possibility, tells the story of the two salesmen who traveled to Africa in the 1900s. They were sent to find out if there was any opportunity for selling shoes, and they wrote telegrams back to Manchester, England. One of them wrote, “Situation hopeless. They don’t wear shoes.” And the other one wrote, “Glorious opportunity. They don’t have any shoes yet.”

Conscious leaders are possibility thinkers. They don’t come from a place of scarcity, where there is never enough: never enough resources, never enough talented people, never enough money, never enough time. I’m sure you can add a few more “never enough” scarcity concerns of your own. Possibility thinkers have shifted from scarcity to sufficiency, from a place of never enough to a belief that there will always be enough. Conscious leaders embrace a belief in unlimited possibilities.

Aspiring conscious leaders setting intention as possibility thinkers are likely to be found:

  • Considering multiple perspectives, multiple right answers
  • Doing something radically different compared to what we have done in the past
  • Focusing on sufficiency rather than scarcity
  • Being contagiously excited and enthusiastic about future possibilities
  • Reframing negative perspectives into positive, possibility thinking
  • Envisioning a meaningful future for ourselves and our organizations
  • Communicating a positive and hopeful outlook for the future
  • Striving to be the best for the world rather than the best in the world
  • Being an edgewalker, ready to jump off the cliff and learning to fly on the way down
  • Walking with the dreamers, igniting the fire of possibility

Which of these behaviors are you already practicing? Which of the behaviors do you need to work on to become a more conscious leader? Select one of these behaviors to practice today. Set an hourly reminder and take a moment of mindfulness to reflect on your experiences and set an intention for your practice. Send me a message via the contact page if you would like to ask a question or share your experiences.

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