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Imagine the Possibilities . . .

December 8, 2010

Imagine the Possibilities . . .

I love this quote from Patañjali, a sage who lived sometime between 150 and 300 BCE:

“When you are inspired by some great purpose,
some extraordinary project,
all your thoughts break their bonds;
your mind transcends limitations,
your consciousness expands in every direction,
and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.
Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive,
and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far
than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”

These insights are as true today as they were then. When are inspired and pursue something of significance, wonderful things can happen. Beyond creating a greater good, we become energized. We see new possibilities. We feel a greater sense of purpose and meaning.  We feel more alive and that we are making a difference.

The trigger is inspiration. How do we become inspired? Some of us find inspiration all around us and it exhilarates our senses. For others, inspiration does not come so easily. I am not sure why but I have a theory, or at least can speculate on one cause.

Have you ever been in discussions when various problems or issues are being discussed and comments are made about the hopelessness of the situation? These may sound like:

  • “There’s nothing we can do about it.”
  • “It’s hopeless.”
  • “Nothing ever works in solving it.”
  • “I don’t know what we can do to make it better.”
  • “The problem is not going away.”
  • “It’s not our problem.”

Or perhaps we are inspired by an idea or endeavor but then listen to negative messages that we tell ourselves or hear from others, such as:

  • That won’t work.
  • It’s impractical or impossible.
  • It’s a waste of time.
  • It’s been tried before.
  • You’re being unrealistic.

These phrases reflect a way of thinking that excludes the search for possible solutions or actions that can alleviate the situation. They discourage. They assume that the current state is inevitable. They close or never open the door to creative thinking, which sparks exciting ideas and identifies possibilities. Inspiration is dampened.

Imagine where the conversation could go and the possibilities that could be entertained if the discussion focused in questions such as:

  • What can we do?
  • Where can we start in addressing it?
  • How can we have an impact?
  • What are different or new ways of approaching the problem?
  • What personal commitments can we make to improving the situation?
  • Who or what can we support that is already working on it?
  • How can we help this to succeed?

When we begin imagining possibilities and thinking positively, creative ideas are likely to flow. Our mind expands. We feel inspired. We feel more alive.

How can you capture for yourself the invigorating feelings that Patañjali describes, and so you can become a “greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”

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If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in “Have Your Choices Created the Life You Desire?

We post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Steve Weitzenkorn

Steve Weitzenkorn, Ph.D., is a learning innovator, organizational advisor, experienced facilitator, and lead author of Find-Fulfill-Flourish: Discover Your Purpose with LifePath GPS – a book, tool kit, and workshop series focused on guiding people toward more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

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