The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart, Tasmania (Australia) has at times been quite a talking point. Many people say that the installations have to be seen to be believed, that MONA tends to test most people’s interpretation of what art is. I tend to agree: until I visited MONA on New Year’s Day, it had never occurred to me that fornicating skeletons could be considered art. And, yet, apparently they are.
When we arrived at the museum, I was blown away by the very first art installation: a device that enabled drops of water to form words that are generated from the current top headlines appearing in Google searches. I found it fascinating, watching “fireworks”, “bushfire” and other topical words being formed by many individual water drops.
The lights flashing in time with our daughters’ heart beats were rather cool. The “fat” Porsche, designed to demonstrate society’s tendency towards over-consumption was thought-provoking. The oil installation was clever and intriguing.
And then, there was the poo machine.
The poo machine really does poo, at 2pm daily. My lesson learnt is don’t go there at 2:03pm. The smell is far from pleasant.
As we made our way through the many different and wonderful installations, a feeling of wonder rushed through me. However, there was also something else and eventually it dawned on me: It was a feeling of possibility. This wasn’t only a place for strange, wonderful and smelly objects. It was a place of possibility, a place filled with treasures created by people who had seen a possibility and made it a reality. It felt magical.
And so I started to think: What enables one person to see a water drop word creating machine as possible and another to not have the possibility occur to them at all?
I don’t believe that this is necessarily related to any skill or talent that an individual may or may not have. Rather, I hold an opinion that there are potentially infinite possibilities that can become available to us and, while we see some possibilities, we are simply blind to others.
When I reflected on why some possibilities become available to us and others don’t, what occurred to me is that this is related to how we are “being” in our interactions in life. And, if this is the case, then I don’t think that our possibility blind spots need to remain blind spots forever.
In everything that we do, we operate from a “way of being” that is relevant to each situation. Our way of being is made up of what is going on in our language, emotions and body. Our way of being informs our behaviours and, from our behaviours, we take action.
Different ways of being result in different behaviours and therefore different action being taken, which means the actions that we take can be both enabled and limited by how we are being. If my internal language is about how I am not very creative, my emotional space is one of anxiety about whether what I create will be useful, and my body embodies these my language and emotions, the actions that are likely to be available to me will be different to those available from a way being that includes self talk about how capable I am, an emotional space centred in ambition, and a body that embodies these.
If we consider seeing possibilities as taking action, then it stands to reason that different ways of being are going to make different possibilities become available to us. It feels to me as though the ways of being from which we can operate are endless, which means that there is potentially no limit to the actions that can become available to us, including the possibilities that we can see and achieve. This has led me to form the assessment that the possibilities that become available to us are limited only by our way of being.
This opens the door, I think, for us to accept that we are capable of seeing and achieving anything. It also opens the door for us to notice when we are not seeing possibilities, and to shift our way of being to enable new possibilities to become available to us.
To me, this is quite an amazing thought: endless possibilities, potentially waiting for us to give them an opportunity to become available to us.
Points to Ponder…
Think of a situation that you may be finding challenging at the moment:
- What possibilities are you not seeing?
- How could you shift your language, emotional spaces and/or body, to allow new possibilities to become available to you?
My passion lies in coaching people to become the most resourceful version of themselves, and helping new and upcoming leaders who may be struggling with everyday life as a leader. I believe that the ability to be whatever we want to be lies within each of us, and sometimes it is useful to have help in finding what and where that is.