2011 A Year of Yes
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Breakthroughs are brought forth, created, generated—spoken first as possibility
By Joe DiMaggio, MD
Breakthroughs begin with holding a picture of what if, what might, what could be. Breakthroughs come from being committed to something even if the path to achieve it is unclear. Breakthroughs aren’t something we make, because to make something is to take what’s there and change it—a breakthrough is to take what isn’t and have it be. A breakthrough is a discontinuous result—being someplace without having covered the distance between where we started and where we wound up. Breakthroughs evidence themselves quantifiably but aren’t created from that realm—they’re always moving in a positive direction but aren’t additive. Breakthroughs allow for sudden powerful insights that take us past our self-imposed limitations. Breakthroughs alter our sense of who we are, alter the quality of our life, alter being alive. Breakthroughs are brought forth, created, generated—spoken first as possibility.
We don’t give the idea of breakthroughs a whole lot of thought—we mostly focus on the day-to-day business of living. If we get stopped or stuck along the way, we naturally attempt to figure out more, better, or different scenarios to accomplish what we are after, but most often do so within the same framework, leading only to incremental improvements. Given, however, that both what we’re engaged with and how things occur for us are shaped by language, we have the power to author and alter our lives. Language gives us direct access to ourselves, to who we are, to creating possibility—not possibility like options, but possibility like the boundless dimension that’s added to the world by the human ability to create. Things that live as a possibility have a much different impact on the quality of our lives than those things that live like more, better, and different. Breakthroughs are about creating an extraordinary life as a place from which to come, rather than a place to get.
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