Ellen Langer

The Psychology of Possibility ·

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Listen to Counterclockwise

One of the new concepts in Counterclockwise that I’ve introduced is the idea of a psychology of possibility. Although it shares some similarities, it’s not the same as positive psychology. But that raises the question, what exactly is the psychology of possibility?

It’s the study of what might be, rather than a description of what is. Why are we so sure we can’t improve vision beyond 20/20; think ourselves thin/ reverse virtually all brain damage? We need to free ourselves from constricting mindsets and the limits they place on our health if we want to find out and recognize the difference between uncontrollable and indeterminate. While we may not be able to control something now, that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to in the future. So we should be asking “How can we do it?” rather than “Can we do it?”

It’s no mere academic question, especially when it comes to matters of our health and well-being.