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An excursion into possibility

Landmark Insights: An excursion into possibility

Our preferences sometimes tend toward comfort, familiarity, safety—but in opting for those we often miss out, even to the point of giving up advancement, intimacy, adventure. We’ll have explanations as to why we hold back, telling ourselves it’s easier to avoid something than it is to deal with what can be imagined, created, or committed to. While those decisions might have the “appearance” of freedom, they limit what’s possible. When we get wrapped up in our circumstances, concerns, we can lose sight of what’s possible, settle for less, and essentially adapt to things as they are. Among the major themes to which literature repeatedly turns—love, loss, identity, ambition—none may be richer and more consuming than regret (regret about some lack of action or initiative, regret that we did or didn’t express something, regret that we didn’t live our lives fully).

When the possibility of power, effectiveness, and freedom arises, there’s a concern we might not be able to live up to the possibility. Lack of confidence and holding back go hand in hand. Creating a breakthrough, stepping out, taking new ground requires disrupting our old conversations. There is no right place to begin, but the pull is there to move what we see or imagine as possible into action. Real power occurs when we know we have something to say about the way things are—that we have a voice—that we have access to the state of affairs beyond just reporting on them.

When we invent ourselves by our saying—we begin an excursion into possibility. In Helen Keller’s words, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

Gopal Rao, Landmark Forum leader
Gopal Rao
Landmark Forum leader
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