Give Yourself an A…

 In Reflections

“This A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into.” —Benjamin Zander & Rosamund Stone Zander, The Art of Possiblity

One of my favorite books about thinking differently about leadership and success is The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander.

While these wise souls share many practices in their book, my favorite is their invitation to give everyone (including yourself!) an A. We can all relate to the stress of trying our best to get a good grade and the judgment that followed when we did not receive the grade we strove for.

An A can be given to anyone in any walk of lifeWhen you give an A, you find yourself speaking to people not from a place of measuring how they stack up against your standards, but from a place of respect that gives them room to realize themselves.  Benjamin and Rosamund Stone Zander.
The Zanders note how we listen more attentively to those we’ve labeled A students or most-valued-employees. If we didn’t engage with preconceived notions of someone’s value or grade, what new wisdom might we hear from others? How might giving an “A” before anything is said, done, or accomplished open you to new ways of addressing any challenges you’re facing right now?
May you live into your “A” today and may it open up possibilities for more peace, love, and joy.


“One’s only rival is one’s own potentialities. One’s only failure is failing to live up to one’s own possibilities. In this sense, every man can be a king, and must therefore be treated like a king.”

―Abraham Maslow

As of Now

“All things are possible until they are proved impossible. Even the impossible may only be so, as of now.” ― Pearl S. Buck

All of Who You Are

Giving yourself an A is not about boasting or raising your self-esteem. It has nothing to do with reciting your accomplishments.

The freely granted A lifts you off the success/failure ladder and spirits you away from the world of measurement into the universe of possibility.

It is a framework that allows you to see all of who you are and be all of who you are, without having to resist or deny any part of yourself.

—Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander, The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life

May you see and be all of who you are today.

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