Do you ever catch yourself in a conversation or train of thought that could best be described as a “downward spiral?

It’s so easy to mindlessly go that way. But what if we could make a state of mind called radiating possibility a habit?

Today on EWC, we introduce you to an unlikely source for coaching about how to choose your point of view.

Image: Sun rising over landscape

Source: Chris Nguyen CA

The world-renowned classical music conductor, Ben Zander gives one of the most entertaining and thought-provoking talks I have ever come across. Here’s something I think puts his life’s work into a nutshell:

Since 1979, Ben Zander has been the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic. He is known around the world as both a guest conductor and a speaker on leadership — and he’s been known to do both in a single performance. He uses music to help people open their minds and create joyful harmonies that bring out the best in themselves and their colleagues. 1

You might assume Ben Zander is talking about music, but behind it all, he’s really urging us to consider the way we choose what’s possible in almost any moment.

This could be one of the most important and entertaining talks you’ve ever seen.

If you are not a classical music fan, no worries; look for the analogies. We’ve studied this video in our business with our entire staff. And I’ve used the insights when working with my teenagers.

There are so many parallels to be found in Ben Zander’s message.

This entertaining piece can transform us all. Enjoy!

Via: PopTech 2

Do you know about the TED stage? is one of the most interesting corners of the web and EWC features the best of their talks a couple times each month. If I do say so myself, EWC and TED are the only places I have found where smart people, curious and hopeful, can always come away transformed. Check out our list of Must-See TED Talks!

But when it comes to this talk, what do you think?

Did you let yourself get absorbed by the analogies, or miss them because you were telling yourself you don’t like or understand classical music.

I have to admit, I shut down the first time I watched this when Ben started into that lengthy music lesson. But then I watched it a second time with a more open mind and I was transfixed. I could remember moments in my family and business life when people were playing the game of life exactly as Ben was instructing us to notice.

I knew people who were just mechanically going through the motions and those hitting their notes all the way to the back of the room.

Here are some of the concepts that made Dr. Chuck and I smile, and we’ve used them faithfully ever since:

The Shoe Salesman

Which guy are you most often; “Situation hopeless, they don’t wear shoes,” or the other salesman, “Glorious opportunity! They don’t have shoes yet!”

We can slowly train ourselves to recognize the downward spiral earlier and earlier, and eventually find radiating possibility in almost every moment.

Giving People an “A” Ahead of Time

I had to listen to that part a few times before I could actually try it. And now, I adore playing with this concept all the time: holding doors open with a warm smile, letting people ahead of me in traffic while beaming warmly at them. I compliment strangers on the little things I notice about them. I constantly let people know about it when they’ve done or said something that impressed me.

“How Fascinating!”

We have been using that concept with regularity in our office ever since our team studied this video. We try to celebrate mistakes as opportunities now. Really! It can be done!

One-Buttock Playing

We spent an entire year transforming our business into a “One-Buttock Dental Office”, when it comes to passion for excellence and connecting with our patients.

It’s been all Radiating Possibility ever since.

Try watching the video a second time and look for the insights you can take right into your day today! If nothing else, notice when your mind is doing the downward spiral, and find one bright spot in the situation.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes by

We may not be able to be happy all the time, but in every moment we can find something to be grateful for.  – David Steindl-Rast

That comes from a wonderful TED Talk that I can recommend for you next. Take a look at our article called Want to be Happy?

52 minutes

Want to Be Happy?

Do you <em>want</em> to be happy? Brother David Steindl-Rast's take on "how to be happy" in his TED Radio Hour podcast on NPR.

Read More

Radiating Possibility on the Web…

How often is our conversation a reflection of attitude rather than a true picture of the situation?

That’s why I founded I was beginning to buy into the downward spiral of the negative 24-hour news cycle, even though I knew that was not an accurate picture of the whole situation on our planet.

Since first seeing Ben Zander’s video, I’ve written over 600 articles for EWC about the most extraordinary innovators, wonders of nature, and remarkable places on this planet, and I now know that the downward spiral is a conversation we do not have to join.

If you’d like a place to visit on the web where you can come away both smarter and happier, we publish one article each day – on any subject under the sun – to prove it’s still amazing world.

Oh, and you may not know that Ben Zander has written a very good book about this Radiating Possibility versus the Downward Spiral. It’s called The Art of Possibility. I keep my copy – dog-eared and underlined – right beside my bed with some of my very favorite books!

Meanwhile, stay curious, open and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda


Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Even better, subscribe below to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!



  1. “The Transformative Power of Classical Music.”, 2008. Web. <>.
  2. Zander, Benjamin. “Benjamin Zander – PopTech 2008.” Vimeo. PopTech, 10 Jan. 2011. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.

In this Circle

Welcome to a Happier, Less Stressed You!

12 minutes

[ Conspiracy of Goodness ]

By Dr. Lynda

Did you know that in five to ten minutes a day you can improve the way your brain process the world around you? This simple technique is a great way to help reduce your stress and increase your happiness. Give it a try!
Read More

Radiating Possibility or the Downward Spiral? Our Choice!

30 minutes

[ Business ]

By Dr. Lynda

Do you ever get caught up in a "downward spiral", either in conversations or trains of thought? Here's a world-renowned teacher to share a fascinating alternative mindset: radiating possibility!
Read More

This Year, A Resolution of Mindfulness!

12 minutes

[ Philosophy ]

By Dr. Lynda

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo explains the impact the way we think about time has on our lives! Now, this New Year how can we best use that knowledge to become more mindful people?
Read More

Secrets to the “Happiness Advantage” at Work

18 minutes

[ Business ]

By Dr. Lynda

Want to be happier at work? Solid science predicts we actually control 90% of our happiness and only 10% is related to our circumstances! Today, Shawn Anchor tells us how to nurture the "happiness advantage" in our work and home. Amazing!
Read More

Retrain Your Brain: Mindfulness

9 minutes

[ Happiness & Hope ]

By Dr. Lynda

Sometimes our own thoughts can lead us into a deep, dark, and endless pit. Thankfully, there just so happens to be an easily learned way to lighten it up a bit! Today we learn about Mindfulness and all it can do to help us dig our way out.
Read More

How to Finish Your To-Do List and Run a Marathon in One Day!

19 minutes

[ Creativity ]

By Dr. Lynda

Could you check off your entire to-do list in one day? It's not just possible, you can do it while having fun, doing what you love, and taking time to reflect! Here's how!
Read More

Change a Bad Habit With Skill Not Will

17 minutes

[ Food ]

By Dr. Lynda

Need the skills to change a bad habit? It turns out, will power may have nothing to do with your success. Here's what does!
Read More

What Makes Us Happy?

27 minutes

[ Curators' Best ]

By Dr. Lynda

We can all think of a a lot of things that makes us happy, but what if we didn't need things and circumstances to be happy? Former biochemist turned monk Matthieu Ricard give us a leap forward on that!
Read More

The Surprising Science of Happiness

22 minutes

[ Business ]

By Dr. Lynda

In today's featured TED Talk, Dan Gilbert looks at the science of happiness and give us an insight we might use every day to create our own sense of joy, even when outcomes don't go our way. Take a look!
Read More