Its all invented!

At a recent talk, I was truly inspired. I attended a talk by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Benjamin Zander. His talk was titled: “The Art of Possibility”. He had a vibrant, enthusiastic and energetic discussion about seeing the possibilities around us, giving people “A’s” before they even start their performance and on living in such a way that we leave people around us with ‘shiney eyes’.

I left Mr Zander’s talk with a big smile on my face, but more than that a sense of possibility in my heart. I bought his book and read it. He mentions a concept that has been churning in my mind over the last few weeks…He states that everything is “invented”

Think about it, we live in a world where we find security in measuring everything.

We draw our sense of who we are, where we fit in, how we relate to those around us, how we perform and what we expect from others, on measurements.

We govern our societies by rules that are measured. We make and break sport records based on measurements. History, science, biology, mathematics and even languages are measured within certain defined criteria. Our financial periods and our project deadlines are defined in measurements of time.

Measurements helps us make sense of life.


The misuse of measurements sometimes lead to frustration, stress, unreasonable expectations, and communication gaps.

So – if measurements are meant to assist us in managing our progress (which is a good thing), why can it also be the source of so much unhappiness?

If everything is invented, it surely implies that we have the power to reinvent those concepts.

What my peers deem as success or happiness, is their invention. I can invent my own ‘measurements’ or criteria for my own happiness or success.

Realising this has helped me a lot . I have become aware that challenging conventional thinking, does not necessarily equate to rebelling or being difficult. It is often necessary because the original thinking was also at some stage someone else’s invention. This original ‘invention’ might have been flawed or the circumstances might have changed in such a way, that a new invention is required.

Ultimately I suspect that the greatest thing I’ve learnt about this, is that I have the power to invent and to re-invent and that most things around me started out as someone else’s invention.

 “The best way to predict the future is to invent it” ~ Alan Kay


~ by Danie van den Berg on 24/03/2010.

One Response to “Its all invented!”

  1. “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

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