Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 1/blog #2 Comment to Brandy Hoelscher

Chapter 1. It’s All Invented: How can we think outside the box we live in? What assumptions are we making that we’re not aware that we are making? What might we invent that would give us other choices?

I agree, broadly, that if you can change your mindset on any topic, then you decrease the factors that limit you. One of the largest assumptions we make is thinking that other people think like we do. To a large extent, we conform to the mindsets of the people around us - friends, family, people in our churches and communities. We are expected to think and behave a certain way, to maintain the equilibrium in our corner of the universe. The issue I take with this chapter is the belief that changing your mindset is going to change things around you. The truth as I see it is that you can either conform, or choose to stand out on your own. Either are valid, and may be appropriate at different times with different circumstances.

Chapter 2. Stepping into a Universe of Possibility: We live in a world of measurements. The Zanders recommend that when we look at how different things appear we can see them as possibilities. How are your thoughts and actions a reflection of the measurement world?

As a part of human nature, we strive to categorize things in the world around us. We like to put things into neat little boxes, listing properties, drawing comparisons. We are competitive and taught to see the negatives instead of twisting it around to what might be a positive. It seems more likely that the Zanders are supporting and suggesting a basic theory of karma. If people modify the conditions that mark them as successful, approach life with a positive outlook, are generous and joyful, then they are more likely to be successful in their personal and business endeavors. On its most basic level, this idea of “what goes around comes around” is a great theory, but when the world still operates on a different mindset, it may be wiser to play by the established rules.

Chapter 3. Giving an A: Giving Yourself an A.

The Zanders offer a quote from Michaelangelo in this chapter that really resonates with me as an educator: “Inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue. We need only remove the excess material to reveal the work of art within.” The practice of giving an A means the ability to realize the potential in another person, even if they haven’t completed their “masterpiece”. I like this approach because it means I can encourage students (and myself) to their own creative expressions without needing to compare them to the next person. Michaelangelo, Beethoven, Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln and Einstein are all masters at their craft, but it wouldn’t be fair to compare them in the same mediums.

MONDAY, MARCH 28, 2011
The Art of Possibility

Leslie G Perry
You brought up so many of the thoughts about this book that resonated with me. I read this almost a year ago when I was in the program and it is still one of my favorite books. How we frame what we are thinking, how we are looking at others, how we perceive the situation are so important.

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