Saturday, May 19, 2012

Week 3 Comment on Kristen McKernin’s Art of Possibility chapters 5-9 post


I agree with your opening point…this is a terrific book to read as we near the end of our program at Full Sail. I was recently talking to a colleague about our teaching schedules for next year. I told her that there was a chance I might only have to teach two preps. (This would be a first for me. Every year since I started teaching, I’ve not only had three preps each year, but every year one of those preps has been a class I’ve never taught before. In five years of teaching, I’ve taught more than eight different courses.) I’m thrilled by the chance to teach only two preps and actually take some time to reflect on those courses and improve them. But my colleague said, “Wow, Kim, so you’ll be done with grad school and only teaching two preps. What will you do with yourself all day?!”

I know that she meant it lightheartedly, but it raised for me the same issue you discuss in your post—what WILL we do with all that newfound time? My hope for both of us is that we move more towards our central selves, and away from the col calculating selves that too often get in the way. Thanks! -Kim

Kristen’s post

This book is really moving me.  I think this book was the EXACT fit to have to read nearing the end of this long journey.  It is really helping me examine my own life and I find myself relating to it almost every page.  I have kept a Word document of my favorite quotes.  I have been so incredibly busy this past year, I have bought my first house and I will have completed graduate school all in the same year.  Both of these have taken up all of my time after work, that I have seemed to "loose myself" in the process.  I have been thinking for weeks what I am going to do next, since I feel like I am not going to know what to do with my time.  I think the next step will be to "find and improve" myself.  I am not unhappy in any way, but I know I can do and be better.  This book is so motivating and is just the right thing to start me on that path!  I especially need to learn to remember the Rule Number 6.  I think that I am going to pass on this chapter to my administration and see what they think about implementing it in our environment.  I think that it would be a great thing to remember throughout our very hectic days.  I have also realized that I need to find my central self because I almost always react with my calculating self.  I over analyze almost everything in my life and go back and forth questioning a decision a million times.  I always try have other people make decisions because I am always afraid I will choose the one that will make someone or others unhappy.  But I guess that leads to learning that you cannot please everyone.

I hope others are finding this book as moving as I am....

Regardless of the changes I would like to incorporate in my life, here are some of my favorite lines that I feel will help me become an even better person:
“Humor and laughter are perhaps the best way we can ‘get over ourselves.’  Humor can bring us together around our inescapable foibles, confusions, and miscommunications, and especially over the ways in which we find ourselves acting entitles and demanding, or putting other people down, or flying at each other’s throats.”  (80)

“When we practice Rule Number 6, we coax this calculating self to lighten up, and by doing so we break its hold on us.”  (81)

“When one person peels away layers of opinion, entitlement, pride, and inflated self-description, others instantly feel the connection.  As one person has the grace to practice the secret Rule Number 6, others often follow.”  (89)

“Mistakes can be like ice.  If we resist them, we may keep on slipping into a posture of defeat.  If we include mistakes in our definition of performance, we are likely to glide through them and appreciate the beauty of the longer run.”  (102)

“Abstractions that we unwittingly treat as physical reality tend to block us from seeing the way things are, and therefore reduce our power to accomplish what we say we want.”  (108)

Downward spiral talk is based on the fear that we will be stopped in our tracks and fall short in the race, and it is wholly reactive to circumstances, circumstances that appear to be wrong, problematic, and in need of fixing. 

“Focusing on the abstraction of scarcity, downward spiral talk creates an unassaible story about the limits to what is possible, and tells us compellingly how things are going from bad to worse.” (108)

“The more attention you shine on a particular subject, the more evidence of it will grow.   Attention is like light and air and water.  Shine attention on obstacles and problems and they multiply lavishly.”  (108)

“Speaking in possibility springs from the appreciation that what we say creates a reality; how we define things sets a framework for life to unfold.”  (110)

“We start from what is, not from what should be; we encompass contradictions, painful feelings, fears, and imaginings, and- without fleeing, blaming, or attempting correction- we learn to soar, like the far-seeking hawk, over the whole landscape.”  (111)

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