The practice of giving an A transports your relationship from the world of measurement into the universe of possibility… This A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into.
Books can change a reader, if the reader will seek to be changed. In The Art of Possibility, each chapter spells out a different principle to follow that will open you up to possibility, if you engage with it.
The strength of this book, though, was that Benjamin has had an incredible career as a conductor. He and Roz work together to highlight and apply the principles to working with orchestras and students around the world: something I know very little about, but they manage to help you see the life and possibility that lies within a culture that I had perceived to be elite and perhaps a bit pompous. (Hey, I’m being honest here. Old ideas.) I started out thinking “Oh, boy. How will I get through this.” and finished by looking up Dvorak’s New World on Spotify.
A book that shakes up your assumptions is a book worth reading.
Give an A to myself and one other person. This means, I’ll write a letter for each person, dated to the future, saying how proud I am; what we’ve accomplished/overcome. It’s about the person you will become, as if you have already become that person. No “I hope” – instead, “I have”.
This is a poem I found a few years ago. Came to mind while reading this book.
I bargained with life for penny
And life would pay no more
However I begged at evening when
I counted my scanty score
For life is a just employer
He gives you what you ask
But once you have set the wages
Why you must bear the task
I worked for a menials hire
Only to learn dismayed
That any wage I had asked of life
Life would have willingly paid.
-Jessie Belle Rittenhouse