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Are All Things Really Possible?

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Possibility thinking. 

I grew up with a father who always said that “anything is possible.”  As a child, I’m not sure I believed him; however, that way of thinking got hammered into my subconscious and, as a result, as I grew up, it came to govern much of my thought processes. 

As a professional speaker, life and leadership coach and author, infusing my message with the essence of possibility-thinking is par for the course.  Whether I’m speaking to a core group about building team competencies, writing for an audience of professional women about the truth about life balance, or coaching a group of executives around the challenges of decision-making, the topic of “possibility” and how to engage with it is always on the table.

The stumbling block that inevitably arises is the question of whether or not everythingtruly is possible.  There are all sorts of reasons for this.  Sometimes it’s about preconceived notions; sometimes it’s about personal experiences that seem to disprove the premise; always, it’s about perspective. 

Perspective is the vantage point from which you choose to view the world.  Notice the use of the word “choose” in the previous statement.  In other words, perspective can be changed.  The power to change your perspective lies with you.  Why does this matter?  Let’s use the concept of flying to illustrate the point.

For centuries, humans longed to fly.  For those same centuries, it was deemed impossible.  Factually speaking, anyone looking at the human body would have to agree; the human body is not built to fly in the same way that birds fly.  And therein lies the essence of possibility, the perspective challenge.  If your perspective is that flying for humans can only be managed in the way that birds fly, the feat will remain impossible.  If, however, you start to look at the situation from another perspective, perhaps holding the question “how else might we fly”, possibilities open up.  Nowadays, those possibilities have opened up so much that not only is flight simply part and parcel of our 21st century travel experience, the question of whether or not humans can fly is no longer raised. 

When it comes to possibility thinking and the question of whether or not anything is possible, it’s imperative that you understand one thing:  believing that anything is possible is not about being a Pollyanna, or defying the laws of the world, or thinking that you are immune to trials and tribulations.  Instead, possibility-thinking is about giving yourself the gift of expanded perspective.  It’s about recognizing that any one way of viewing the world isn’t the only way to do so.  And, it’s about letting go of the question of if something is possible, and instead dancing with the question of how it is possible.

Bottom-line:  anything truly is possible.  It may not be possible from the vantage point you’re currently holding.  If, however, you shift your perspective and hold another question, possibilities will always emerge.  Let go of your idea that something has to happen a certain way; and watch the possibilities become real.