One of my mantras is that “Ability is a state of mind not a state of body”. The original version of this was actually “Disability is a state of mind not a state of body”, but words beginning with ‘dis’ hold little attraction: I spend my days focused on ability and possibility thinking instead.
As we skied back from creating the ‘Pole of Possibility’ in Antarctica last month, my mind burned with a billion lightbulbs. In the previous days I had been listening to an audio book about the structure and neurochemistry of the brain and my own neurons had been fired into a state of illumination. No doubt it was all enhanced by the fractal patterns of ice and the light scattered into rainbows that sparkled across the icescape. But how on earth had we come to be on this exploratory adventure skiing to a horizon that merges the most serene and pristine mountains on the planet with the heavens?
How do surprising and unusual futures come to pass? How do we truly live in the realms of possibility?
I contemplated the decade or more that had led to that moment, noticing the twists and turns, the iterations of the plan and the team. There were occasions when the whole idea had been tossed to the side for something more urgent, or when it had been abandoned and left festering. But this particular project, the ‘Pole of Possibility’ had been like an itch that kept demanding a scratch, constantly recalling my attention. I was often bamboozled by the obstacles. I knew that careful attention, diligent planning and experimenting, alongside medical and mobility technology would enable us to be successful. The daily distractions and ‘sand’ of life often succeeded in pulling me away, but I couldn’t let go. Questions of ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ became more present. It was time to truly commit to delving deeply into possibility.
Committing to a ‘Possibility Mindset’ seems critical to shift us to a view where we are leading, designing and creating with a powerful and transformative lens. With possibility at the forefront, we focus on what we can do, on how we might solve, on how we overcome and negotiate challenges big and small, personal and collective. Starting with the end in mind and then reverse engineering the baby steps back to our current reality is a way to start breaking down the overwhelm of big possibilities. Constantly checking our perspectives, our mental narratives and our fixed ways of thinking enables us to free up the blocks, allowing us to be curious, creative and to challenge the status quo.
So, here I write to encourage you to DREAM. Dream big and bright. Believe that we can. Possibility is at the core of ensuring that we inspire and nurture an attractive, appealing, healthy future. In the realms of possibility we are explorers: seeking, learning, adapting, discovering, ingredients vital to flourish in our uncertain, rapidly changing, potentially overwhelming world.
If more possibility mindset sounds appealing for your life or work, please get in touch about an Adventure in Possibility. Consider joining Karen on 12-16th May in Scotland for the first open Adventure in Possibility or to enquire about future dates and opportunities.