I met Ben Zander last Tuesday night. Not in the flesh but through his words in “The Art of Possibility” a book that he collaborated on with his wife Rosamund Stone Zander.
Books are precious. They hold all these thoughts and ideas, painting new pictures in our minds and helping us sometimes to re-frame situations to benefit us in such a profound and meaningful way.
Now when we read, we can go to the Internet, and find out that much more about a person. We can see them in action. We can hear them speak.
So the experience is no longer one-dimensional but a 360 degree one that makes you feel as if you “know” this person and understand exactly what they are trying to communicate.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how little I actually LIVE. How careful I am. I color within the lines and I am absolutely scared about taking too many risks and making mistakes. People tell me I have plenty “belly” (which in Trinidadian/Tobagonian parlance means that I have a lot of courage or guts) to be in business for myself. Yet it’s always different when you’re in the shoes. I think that I have no courage at all.
Ben tells me, that’s because I live in a world of measurement. Of contrasts and comparisons. Then he reminds me that it’s all invented. We are all creators of our lives. We hold the creative rights to how our lives will unfold. Yet we allow others to tell us what we can and cannot do.
My teachers told my mother that I needed to read more (me who was reading voraciously since age 5); many times I felt that I couldn’t write! I have sung at functions and had people tell me after that I should NOT choose it as a profession. Mind you, people said the same of Bruce (as in Springsteen)!
I have been told how bad things are, and what a terrible time we live in. That with everything that’s “going on” people are leaving Trinidad and Tobago in search of greener pastures.
I choose to remain and see things as they are, but not worse than they are. I choose to remain and perhaps start giving the people I meet an A and see how Trinidad and Tobago and my own life experience transforms.
I’ll let my new friend Ben, tell you all about the practice of giving an A here…