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Comment on libette: Giving Way to Passion

Vettriano, J. (1992). The Singing Butler II. Retreived from: http://www.jackvettriano.com

Vettriano, J. (1992). The Singing Butler II. Retreived from: http://www.jackvettriano.com

Beyond giving up. I think that may be why we sometimes procrastinate. So we will be forced into the “second way” described by Zander in chapter eight of The Art of Possibility.

My teacher tried to bring that out as often as possible. Passalacqua was a passionate artist. His son is an artist as well. He draws the first way.

I point this out because the younger puts his deceased father’s work on his website as if it is his since they share the same name. But anyone who studied with his father, knows the difference right away. His father worked with passion and emotion and it is strong in his work. It’s what makes the difference between a good artist and a great artist.

Sometimes, actually many times, I struggle to draw or paint with a stifled worldly control, to look like the other guy. My natural way isn’t like that. I would draw in this false controlled way and say to Passalacqua, look, this is hard for me.. he would respond sarcastically, “congratulations”.

He once asked me, “does it have to be painful?” I have often needed coaxing to let what is around me go, but it always delivers a much smarter painting with greater ease, when I do.
Monday, July 27, 2009

1 Comment
I love this: “Congratulations”. What a great summary. Also this question “does it have to be painful?” Why did he ask you that? Your stories about Passalacqua are facinating to me. It seems that he was truly a master teacher. The 2nd way is, of course, the best way, and I am facinated by those who find a way to live there perpetually. I for one am certainly not like that, but think that I could become that if the stars aligned just right. Sometimes I wonder what it will take to thrust me into that other realm.
Sunday, August 2, 2009 – 01:35 PM


Practice #12: Kumbaya

Hands of the world. (n.d.) smray. Source: media.photobucket.com

Hands of the world. (n.d.) smray. Source: media.photobucket.com

Zanders’ advice for helping us achive the possible is bookended by this final thought: Why have enemies? Be a “WE” as they phrase it. Don’t be a “you and I” be a “WE.” They go from the macro to the micro and back in a few pages. Israel and Palestine. USA vs. the Terrorists. You and your spouse. Your child and you. Your employer and you. Nelson Mandela and his Truth and Reconcilliation Commision are offered to the reader as a perfect example of the “WE” mindset. Is life really about justice? Is it really about revenge? Retribution? Or, is life about LIVING? Mandela realized that what South Africa needed the most was to get on with the living as a nation, as a “WE.” I don’t believe that Mandela thought justice unnecessary, or sub-human. I believe that he was smart enough to realize that the kind of “justice” that would occur would only be a setback to his long term vision for South Africa.

The Zanders’ obviously yearn for a world in which we can all live with the “WE” mindset, and it is a goal I believe is worth trying to achieve. That being said, I marvel at the way we try to achieve it. I’ve alluded to this in previous post, but I’ll say it again: We will never have world peace if we aren’t at peace with the person sleeping next to us at night. We can’t achieve world peace if we can’t put aside our differences with our mother or father, brother or sister, neighbor or co-worker. Peace has to start on a local scale. Like really local, like inside of yourself. I know (and am related to) people that aren’t even at peace with themselves. How can we expect to accomplish peace on such a grand scale with division in our own families, neighborhoods, and communities? It reminds me of a motto about winning that our wrestling team had when I was a freshman: “If it is to be, it is up to me.” Substitute the word “WE” for “me” and you’ll be close to what the Zanders are getting at.


Zander, R. & Zander, B. (2002). The art of possibility: Transforming professional and personal life. New York: Penguin Books.

Practice #11: Envision

Optimism. (n.d.) Source: aviary.com

Optimism. (n.d.) Source: aviary.com

It seems to me after reading this far in “The Art of Possibility” each practice has the same profound message: Be positive, live, dream! I believe that one can truly begin to live once one has mastered the principles laid out in this book. A life lived under the storm clouds of doubt, self-pity, and self-constructed barriers is no life at all, and certainly not one that God wishes us to live. God did not bless us with the gifts we all have so we could all run around and try to figure out how to limit ourselves. Yet it is our fallen nature to do just that. I think the devil loves for us to walk around in a pessimistic fog because it prohibits the very thing that the Zanders are advocating: Living a life full of joy to such an extent that it benefits not only you, but everyone around you. Imagine the possibilities if one in 100 lived this way. Speaking for myself, I impact over 100 students a day. And though impacting them, I impact my students’ parents and perhaps even my students’ future children! And that’s only the students in my life. I still have all of my co-workers, church members, and neighbors. 1 in 100 can make a big difference! Can you be 1?

In general I am an optimistic person. Still, sometimes those self-imposed barriers stand proud and strong. This book is helping me improve slowly by forcing me to confront issues I perhaps wasn’t even aware that I had.

Anywho . . .back to practice #11. As I read though the chapter, my mind kept wanting to apply the principle to my choirs. We can let many things distract from the ultimate business of making beautiful music. ”

“I don’t want to sit by her.”
“I don’t like this music.”
“My head hurts.”
“My boyfriend dumped me”
“My voice is changing.”
“My parents are splitting up.”
“My friend died.”

True. But why are we here? We’re here to make beautiful music. We’re here to let music make a difference in our lives and in the lives of the audience. If we truly believe that our task is a worthwhile one, we can’t let anything stand in the way of it. As long as you have a voice, there is NOTHING that can stop you from accomplishing that!


Zander, R. & Zander, B. (2002). The art of possibility: Transforming professional and personal life. New York: Penguin Books.

Show Me What You Learned (Blog, Blog, Blog, Blog)

My parody of E-40 and Keak the Sneak’s song “Tell Me When To Go”

No video, just a static picture.

The lyrics can be found here

On a serious note, knowing more specifics about convergent culture and copyright law will help me as the collaboration is a goal of mine for my final project, and the law part will help me stay legal. The book “The Art of Possibility” probably had the greatest impact on me that will not only help me going into the media project and finishing the thesis, but with my teaching as well.


Blog gang sign. (n.d.) http://blog.theavclub.tv

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press

Zander, R. & Zander, B. (2002). The art of possibility: Transforming professional and personal life. New York: Penguin Books.

Practice #9: Sign Me Up

close-up of a man sitting on a couch holding a shoebox (n.d.) Clara Griffin. Source: fotosearch.com

close-up of a man sitting on a couch holding a shoebox (n.d.) Clara Griffin. Source: fotosearch.com

The Zanders give multiple examples to illustrate practice #9, which they call enrolling. They advise not to take “no” personally and view it fatalistically. Instead they encourage the reader to interpret “no” a different way. This other way is the same way that my manager trained her salesmen to think about “no” when I worked at Nordstrom selling mens shoes (which was such an awesome job, by the way). No simply means one of two things. One: “I’m not convinced” and Two: “Not right Now.” In a way I see a pretty good connection with the practice of giving everyone an “A”. The process looks like this: No one in their right mind would not want to own a sweet pair of shoes. If they are unwilling to buy these shoes, it may be because they don’t understand the value of sweet shoes. This I can fix by enrolling this person. It also may be that they can’t afford these sweet shoes, which I cannot fix by enrolling. However, if I do enroll this person, it may be that when they CAN afford some sweet shoes, they will come back to me and get them. Enrolling is basically selling people. Enrolling is easy if you are passionate about something as the Zanders obviously are. I am passionate about shoes. Very. I enroll people into buying sweet pairs of shoes all the time, and I haven’t sold shoes in years. It’s something I do naturally because of my passion.

Teachers need to have this skill of enrolling as much as anyone, if not more, because we have what our students need. If my students are less than thrilled to sing the music I pick out for them, its because I haven’t enrolled them. Enrolling them is (theoretically) easy to do because I am passionate about what I teach, which is something not everyone can say, unfortunately. If they aren’t on board, it is my fault not theirs. Let the enrolling begin!


Zander, R. & Zander, B. (2002). The art of possibility: Transforming professional and personal life. New York: Penguin Books.