Giving an "A" - The Art of Possibility

Giving an "A" - The Art of Possibility

It is all about Perspective and being open to new possibilities. Bringing more Happiness into the lives those we give an A to including ourselves.

Giving an "A"

The Art of Possibility

"It is all about Perspective and being open to new possibilities."

Here is an Example used by Ben Zander:

A shoe factory sends two marketing scouts to a region of Africa to study the prospects for expanding business.

One sends back a telegram saying -


The other writes back triumphantly -


Anyone interested in shifting their perspective when facing challenges or in changing the framework through which they see the world, should pick up the book, The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander.

I mentioned this book in a previous article called Happiness Comes in Many Forms

Art of Possibility

Art of Possibility by Ros and Ben Zander

Being one of my favourite reads, I want to share more about one particular practice, Number 3 - Giving an A. The book has 12 practices to help you shift your perspective and open new possibilities for your life. You may not be able to change the circumstances you’re facing, but you can change how you deal with those situations.

endless possibilities, Giving a A

It is all about Perspective and being open to endless possibilities.

12 Practices

Here is a quick list before I talk about Practice 3 – Giving an A

  1. It’s All Invented-When you’re looking at a problem, all the assumptions you make about it are in your mind.
  2. Stepping into a Universe of Possibility-Imagine no limitations exist; the universe is abundant, open and infinite.
  3. Giving an A – More at the end....
  4. Being a Contribution - In this practice, you wake up every morning with the idea that you are a gift to others.
  5. Leading from any Chair - You can lead from any chair you’re sitting in. The act of leadership is not limited to people in leadership positions.
  6. Rule Number 6 is a reminder to lighten up and not take yourself so seriously! When you lighten up, you release yourself from egoistic and self-limiting beliefs.
  7. The Way Things Are - This involves acceptance of what is, as well as presence and making the best of any situation.
  8. Giving Way to Passion - To give way to passion, “participate wholly. Allow yourself to be a channel to shape the stream of passion into a new expression for the world.
  9. Lighting a Spark - This practice talks about inspiring others to pursue passion. It’s about spreading passion and lighting possibilities in the eyes and lives of others.
  10. Being the Board - Declare, “I am the framework for everything that happens in my life.”
  11. Creating frameworks for possibility - The practice in this chapter involves creating frameworks that cultivate possibility.
  12. Telling the “we” story - Can you move on from the story of “you and me” and “us and them,” and get to “we”?

Practice 3 – Giving an A

This resonated with me so much that in a class I taught recently, I gave all my students an A. Each wrote a letter dated one year from the date of the class. We read them out loud and placed them in an envelope to be opened next year. I know that this year will be extraordinary for each of them as they live with the viewpoint of being an A Student.

Giving an A

“You can give an A to anyone in any walk of life... a waitress, to your employer, to your mother-in-law, to the members of the opposite team and to the drivers in traffic,” the Zanders write. "When you give an A you find yourself speaking to people not from a place of measuring how they stack up against your standards, but from a place of respect that gives them room to realize themselves.

This A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into."

For example, Ben Zander, as a conductor, found many of his students in a state of anxiety and stress over their performances. They wouldn’t take risks and feared failure. To combat this kind of energy and thinking, Ben gave every student in his class an A at the beginning of the course.

To retain this grade, each student had only to write a letter telling Mr. Zander, in as much detail as possible, what he or she had done to earn the A, and how the student had changed and grown by the end of the year. The student also had to describe to Mr. Zander the kind of person he or she had become.

An automatic and advance-graded A, breaks barriers and enlivens a person’s actions. It lets him or her speak freely about his or her thoughts and feelings, and support others in their own dreams.

“Giving yourself an A is not about boasting or raising your self-esteem. It has nothing to do with reciting your accomplishments. The freely granted A lifts you off the success/failure ladder and spirits you away from the world of measurement into the universe of possibility. It is the framework that allows you to see all of who you are and BE all of who are, without having to resist or deny any part of you.”

The Art of Possibility - Giving an A

On Amazon-Art of Possibility