Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle  Learn more Countdown to Prime Day Shop now Shop now

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 3 February 2004
This is an enlightening book and a joy to read. In a world where much that passes for self-help seems to be delivered by megaphone and involve plentiful sprinklings of exclamation marks it's wonderful to read such gentle but purposeful prose. I'm not much of a fan of classical music myself but the use of the orchestra as a metaphor for the complexities of human relationships is original, engaging and totally appropriate in ways I could never have imagined. It certainly struck a very clear chord with me. The style is direct and fresh with plenty of captivating stories and vignettes to illustrate key points. The simple rules like 'Giving an A', 'Leading from any Chair', and 'Being the board' make such complete sense in Ros and Ben's hands.
If you are interested in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) you'll get a lot out of this book. It pulls off the trick of writing a handbook that illustrates many of the central NLP principles and beliefs of excellence without using any of the scary jargon or even mentioning 'NLP'. Just loads of common sense without a hint of evangelism.
I don't usually write in books but I found myself reading it with highlighter firmly gripped in hand. I just know I'll be revisiting this one.
0Comment|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 February 2001
'. . . The objective of this book is to provide . . . the means to lift off from . . . struggle and sail into a vast universe of possibility.'
Benjamin Zander is the conductor of The Boston Philharmonic and is well known for his orchestra's passionate performances. Rosamund Stone Zander is an executive coach, family therapist, and private practitioner who brings enormous psychological perspective to enhancing human behavior. They have written a fascinating book in which they alternate as voices in sharing principles and examples in the form of compelling stories.
They have striven to make what they share ' . . . simple, not easy.' The idea is to help you create in yourself and in others 'transformational' improvements.
They share a series of perspectives designed to improve your understanding of what and where the potential is.
First, humans tend to focus on very few things, missing most of what is going on around them. By shifting focus, you will see many opportunities for the first time. Much of this book is designed to do that for you. You will visit our old friend the nine dot square and be reminded that connecting all of the dots in four lines without lifting your writing instrument from the paper requires you to go outside the box that we mentally draw at the circumference of the dots. Be careful about your assumptions! They can fence you in!
Second, measurements can cause us to focus too narrowly on where we are today and encourage scarcity thinking -- the glass is half empty. The Zanders encourage thinking about the glass as half full, citing the well-known perspective of optimism as being empowering. This can help you 'step into a university of possibility.' I like to call this pursuing the ideal practice.
Third, if you assume that people will do well and help them see how they can, they will. Mr. Zander gives every student an A in his class, and simply requests that the student write a paper to tell what they will do to deserve the A. This gets the students focused on excellence, and takes away the tension that harms accomplishment.
Fourth, as a mindset, think of your role as 'being a contributor.' 'You are a gift to others.' How could that change what you do? As someone who thinks that way now, I find it a very useful perspective, and was glad to see it in the book.
Fifth, lead from any chair. This is a reference to involving everyone. Mr. Zander asks his players to write down how he could improve practices and peformances, and pays attention to the suggestions.
Sixth, follow rule number six. That rule is to 'lighten up.'
Seventh, be present to the ways things are. Many of us are disconnected from reality. By re-touching it, we can see more possiblities.
Eighth, give way to passion. Going with your strong feelings allows you to be more authentic, and to go to new heights of accomplishment.
Ninth, light a spark. See you role as creating a spark of possibility to be lit that others can see.
Tenth, be the board of the game you are playing. This makes it easier to see how you can make a difference.
Eleventh, create a vision that generates 'frameworks of possibility' for others. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous 'I Have a Dream' speech is cited.
Twelfth, tell the WE story. Focus on being inclusive and considering what is best for all. Move from I to We, as the Coda to the book encourages.
Each section has exercises you can use to deepen your understanding of the principles and to help you practice, in order to create greater skill.
The principles are similar to those in many other books about improving performance and creativity. What is different about the book are the unique ways that the principles are expressed, the exciting examples in beautiful stories from music and business that will be new to you (as they were to me), and the passion with which the Zanders write. I would love to hear them do this book on an audio cassette! Both do public speaking, so you may get a chance to hear them.
Can we ever get too many great inspirational stories and reminders to live up to our potential rather than our pasts? I don't think so. This book will reignite your passion for making a larger and more positive difference. It will make you more human as you do so.
After you have finished the book, consider where your passion, gifts, and influence can combine to all you to most effectively live these principles. Consider that as a calling for at least some of your leisure time. If you are lucky, you can find some way to make that a primary calling for your working hours, as well. But find that place, and spend as much time as you can there!
11 comment|44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 March 2006
The Art of Possibility from R.S. Zander and B. Zander is a well written and very interesting book about how you can approach your life from a different point of view: Instead of comparing yourself to others and striving for your own survival, you can be of service and make yourself available for others. You can act from a place of respect that gives the people around you the room to realize themselves. If you like those kinds of possibilities, you might also enjoy “Working on Yourself Doesn’t Work” by Ariel and Shya Kane. Their approach of living in the moment and not in your thoughts is very refreshing. You can explore your life and your truth like an anthropologist: neutrally and without judging. I highly recommend it for anybody who is looking for a new approach for a fulfilling and satisfying life.
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 January 2001
This is a book that reaches the head and the heart. It is indeed a book about POSSIBILITY. The read is easy - but the words get you to think and challenge yourself. You get the impression throughout that here are a couple of people who are not just espousing some good practices - they are people who are really trying to enact these practices in their daily lives. If you love music it is an added bonus. Ben Zander provides wonderful insights into the stuggles of professional musicians and into the challenges of musical interpretation. I bought his conducting of Mahler's 9th and on my version I found an extra disc with Ben talking you through the score. Now that's commitment to sharing and learning and a leaf I only wish other conductors would take out of Zander's book. Thanks!...
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 February 2007
Family therapist Rosamund Stone Zander and symphony conductor Benjamin Zander offer 12 practices for learning to take on an attitude of abundance and possibility. You will enjoy Benjamin Zander's charming anecdotes from his experiences as a distinguished orchestra conductor, as well as the philosophy of family therapist Rosamund Stone Zander whose professional background gives her a deeply insightful viewpoint. Indeed, some of the Zanders' stories are so striking that they will stay with you long after you put the book down. We recommend this book to people who like to explore self-development, story lovers, music aficionados, anyone who has taken on a big commitment and other creative types who will savor the authors' unusual frame of reference.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 February 2006
I cannot over state how transformational this book can be. If you believe that if you start to look for something it will find you, then this book has found me at exactly the right time in my life. I will not be under estimating the impact that I, Ben and Rosamund can have on my life and those around me.
thank you.
0Comment|11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 February 2009
I remember seeing Benjamin Zander at one of his lectures seven or eight years ago, and being inspired by his message. This book captures much of Benjamin's philosophy in the topic area of the subtitle, `Transforming Professional and Personal Life'.

The book is jointly written with Rosamund Stone Zander who is a family therapist. Drawing equally on Rosamund's experience and that of Benjamin's conducting the world's orchestras, including the Boston Philharmonic, the book takes the form of a `How to' which instead of providing strategies to overcome life's obstacles, invites the reader into a world of opportunities.

With many references to his life in music in the form of analogy and experience, the book sets out a dozen practices which will bring the power of opportunity into your life. The practices are all simple. Each provides a story based explanation of its value drawn from the personal experience gained in the USA and UK by the two authors, and straightforward instruction on its use.

As always with the best advice, there is no rocket science here, though the book is more powerful for this, not less. For example `Giving an A' simply suggests that by approaching everyone we meet prepared and ready to see their best, this very act has already created energy to improve outcomes and create new opportunities in what they achieve. The book's graphic examples bring these simple approaches to life and provide evidence of the power of apparently simple ideas.

This is a powerful book. I read this book on a flight to Khartoum, and found some of the insights and examples quite moving. Occasionally the musical references left me struggling a little, but served to highlight a need to learn more and in no way diminished the value of the messages.

I heartily recommend this book to everyone determined to improve their lives and in search of simple ways in which to begin.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
'. . . The objective of this book is to provide . . . the means to lift off from . . . struggle and sail into a vast universe of possibility.'
Benjamin Zander is the conductor of The Boston Philharmonic and is well known for his orchestra's passionate performances. Rosamund Stone Zander is an executive coach, family therapist, and private practitioner who brings enormous psychological perspective to enhancing human behavior. They have written a fascinating book in which they alternate as voices in sharing principles and examples in the form of compelling stories.
They have striven to make what they share ' . . . simple, not easy.' The idea is to help you create in yourself and in others 'transformational' improvements.
They share a series of perspectives designed to improve your understanding of what and where the potential is.
First, humans tend to focus on very few things, missing most of what is going on around them. By shifting focus, you will see many opportunities for the first time. Much of this book is designed to do that for you. You will visit our old friend the nine dot square and be reminded that connecting all of the dots in four lines without lifting your writing instrument from the paper requires you to go outside the box that we mentally draw at the circumference of the dots. Be careful about your assumptions! They can fence you in!
Second, measurements can cause us to focus too narrowly on where we are today and encourage scarcity thinking -- the glass is half empty. The Zanders encourage thinking about the glass as half full, citing the well-known perspective of optimism as being empowering. This can help you 'step into a university of possibility.' I like to call this pursuing the ideal practice.
Third, if you assume that people will do well and help them see how they can, they will. Mr. Zander gives every student an A in his class, and simply requests that the student write a paper to tell what they will do to deserve the A. This gets the students focused on excellence, and takes away the tension that harms accomplishment.
Fourth, as a mindset, think of your role as 'being a contributor.' 'You are a gift to others.' How could that change what you do? As someone who thinks that way now, I find it a very useful perspective, and was glad to see it in the book.
Fifth, lead from any chair. This is a reference to involving everyone. Mr. Zander asks his players to write down how he could improve practices and peformances, and pays attention to the suggestions.
Sixth, follow rule number six. That rule is to 'lighten up.'
Seventh, be present to the ways things are. Many of us are disconnected from reality. By re-touching it, we can see more possiblities.
Eighth, give way to passion. Going with your strong feelings allows you to be more authentic, and to go to new heights of accomplishment.
Ninth, light a spark. See you role as creating a spark of possibility to be lit that others can see.
Tenth, be the board of the game you are playing. This makes it easier to see how you can make a difference.
Eleventh, create a vision that generates 'frameworks of possibility' for others. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous 'I Have a Dream' speech is cited.
Twelfth, tell the WE story. Focus on being inclusive and considering what is best for all. Move from I to We, as the Coda to the book encourages.
Each section has exercises you can use to deepen your understanding of the principles and to help you practice, in order to create greater skill.
The principles are similar to those in many other books about improving performance and creativity. What is different about the book are the unique ways that the principles are expressed, the exciting examples in beautiful stories from music and business that will be new to you (as they were to me), and the passion with which the Zanders write. I would love to hear them do this book on an audio cassette! Both do public speaking, so you may get a chance to hear them.
Can we ever get too many great inspirational stories and reminders to live up to our potential rather than our pasts? I don't think so. This book will reignite your passion for making a larger and more positive difference. It will make you more human as you do so.
After you have finished the book, consider where your passion, gifts, and influence can combine to all you to most effectively live these principles. Consider that as a calling for at least some of your leisure time. If you are lucky, you can find some way to make that a primary calling for your working hours, as well. But find that place, and spend as much time as you can there!
0Comment|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 January 2010
I received this book originally as a gift from a colleague and it was inspirational and the catalyst that started some significant changes for me, emotionally and physically. I highly recommend it for anyone prepared to think outside of their own box, as it were. At least you are left with some key messages, lessons and "hooks" to take away from the time invested in reading this. Once completed, I immediately ordered 4 more for presents for others - I hope they have found it as valuable.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 6 April 2006
This book has a super sense of energy throughout and the ideas communicated within are truely fantastic. The Art of Possibility can be as uplifting as you would like it to be, and you can take as much from the title as you feel appropriate.
The best way to explain this title is that each chapter communicates an idea. Each idea is a new way of opening up possibility within your life. The book starts off with stripping away what is invented in your life and truely helps to realise that most of the material things around us are invented. The other ideas in the book follow on to describe plenty of ways to enhance and increase possibility from everyday situations.
The authors describe many of the ideas through examples of their experiences with the method. In fact, some of the examples within the book are the actual reason why they realised the idea in the first place.
The Art of Possibility is a great title for helping to realise how possibility can open up new chapters and be used as an approach to any situation in a positive light and in the hope to get more.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)