Benjamin Zander, character, effectiveness, self realization

Being the board

Being the board

No – this is not about becoming a director – except perhaps of one’s own life. The Zanders note that when bad things happen to good people it is rather easy to become a victim. This stance, as others have noted, is really a form of self punishment that allows one to be stuck in a mindset that is ultimately self-destructive.

So rather than be a loser in a situation where one should have been a winner, The Art of Possibility suggests that one treat one’s self as the board on which the game is played. Life isn’t predictable – and just because we want it to be a certain way, doesn’t mean that will be the way it plays out. By doing anything, being anywhere, saying anything – we are exposing ourselves to risk. It’s part of life.

And rather than obsessing about why other people act the way they do, enter our path in a negative way or say hurtful or outrageous things – and we have all encountered these situations – the book invites us to ponder what our response might be. Rather than playing injured innocent, there may be some opportunities for learning.