Published in Womeninc, December 2005
by Diana Gabriel
All of us have challenges to face and personal and professional intentions we’d like to meet. Sometimes we feel good about the way we are approaching our lives, and sometimes our lives seem to run away with us, instead. But what if each of us adopted a perspective of curiosity and possibility for an entire year as we went about the business of meeting our challenges and addressing our intentions?
Don’t let the length of time foil you! One can argue that we are shifting our perspectives throughout our entire life time, but not always in a direction that gives us positive results. Sometimes our perspective grows, but often it becomes more narrow and cynical. So, how do we know what a perspective of curiosity and possibility would look like? Observing children who are between four and six years of age, provides the best illustration of this perspective. These children are full of wonder and questions. They are able to put quite the spin to even simple questions and they approach life with great curiosity and a sense of the possible.
In the book, The Art of Possibility, Ben Zander describes living from possibility as a “New Way of Being”. He talks about the art of possibility being about our perspective. To see ourselves as a learner or servant, and to live from a sense of purpose, allows us to operate without limiting ourselves. This perspective allows us to call forth passion rather than fear, a much stronger base, since fear and self-doubt tend to drain us of choice and possibilities. When we add the perspective of curiosity to possibility, we are open to discovery and creativity, rather than self-limiting thoughts. Just imagine, for one moment, what you could discover if there were no limits set.
Zander suggests keeping the following flow in mind, as we shift to possibility:
from Things to People
from Me to You
from Fear to Love
from Weaknesses to Strengths
from Tired to Inspired
from Scarcity to Abundance
from Rules to Values
from Control to Trust
There are several tools that can help you work in a more focused way as you make this shift. When we are clear about our values and our life purpose, we are in a much more powerful position to live intentional, focused lives that come from a place of curiosity and possibility. You can become clear about who you are and what you stand for by reviewing last year’s successes and challenges. Next, consider the list of Sacred Values (those which you hold and would not compromise, and give your life meaning and purpose) and identify your top five values. Using your values to guide you, develop a life purpose statement of less than 12 words.
Detailed worksheets are available at www.women-inc.com which will assist you in reflecting on your past year, identifying or reexamining your Sacred Values, and articulating your life purpose statement. Even if you have completed these exercises before it is important to revisit them at least once a year to affirm the path you are on.
From a place of possibility, I wish you a year where you see clearly and live powerfully. Womeninc invites you to share stories about the way shifting to a perspective of possibility has affected your life, all year long. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.