Chapter 9: Lighting a Spark

The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

“A “no” can so often dampen our fire in the world of the downward spiral. It can seem like a permanent, implacable barrier that presents us with limited choices: to attack, to manipulate our way around it, or to bow to it in defeat. In other words, a “no” can seem like a door slamming instead of merely an instance of the way things are.  Yet, were we to take a “no” less personally, and ourselves less seriously, we might hear something else. We might hear someone saying, “I don't see any new possibility here, so I think I'll stick with my usual way of doing things.”  We might hear within the word “no” an invitation for enrollment.”

“Enrollment is the practice of this chapter. Enrolling is not about forcing, cajoling, tricking, bargaining, pressuring, or guilt-tripping someone into doing something our way. Enrollment is the art and practice of generating a spark of possibility for others to share.”


If you looked at a “no” differently, what would that change in your life?

Quotes from: Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility (New York: Penguin Books, 2000), pages 125-126.


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