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Chief Possibility Officer

Have you ever heard the term CPO: Chief Possibility Officer before?

The first time I came across it was in the book The Miracle Minute by Mary Morrissey and I was reminded of it again recently. I heard Marianne Williamson in an interview say, “consider the possibility of infinite possibility.” I loved the sentiment but the response of my friend was quite different.

“That is a statement that doesn't mean anything,” he said. “It’s just a bunch of that new age fluff.” It was too much for him to even consider and he felt it represented false hope. I had heard Marianne speaking with reference to healing but for my friend it was tantamount to saying that anyone who had died from an illness had died because neither the patient nor the doctor had been able to find the right possibility for healing despite having an infinite number.

Ok. I had to concede that put in those terms it seemed far off base. However, I still think that one must believe in possibilities otherwise we would get nothing done. Being Veterans Day in the United States I was reminded of a story I had written about a combat veteran titled It’s Not All Ugly published in Airforce Magazine early in 2011.

Chris Downey, a Master Corporal at the time, worked for the Canadian Forces and had been hit by a bomb—an improvised explosive device, or IED—while on deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. His injuries had been extensive. Every bone in Chris’s face was fractured and many were broken. Most of his teeth were blown out and his mouth ripped apart. One eye so severely damaged it would never see again. His right arm was burned, his hand lacerated, shrapnel wounds all over and one lung collapsed.

From Afghanistan he was flown to Germany for emergency treatment. Normally he would have stayed there for only a few days but a volcano in Iceland delayed his departure to Canada for twelve days. He used that time to work on his possibilities. Despite having a tracheal tube in his throat and his mouth wired shut he found a way to talk. And apparently they couldn’t keep him quiet after that!

And when he decided that he would walk off the aircraft in Canada - so that his family would not see him at his worst - he created another possibility. And twelve days later he did just that, walking down the aircraft steps without any assistance. Slowly and a little unstable yes, but on his own and on his terms. Chris could have done nothing and no one would have blamed him. Most of us have a hard time managing when we just stub our toe. Instead he looked for the possibilities and ways to aid in his own healing.

How are you living your life? Is each day a new set of possibilities, or more of the ‘same old, same old’ stuff? What about in this moment? We can choose the thoughts we think in each and every moment. And every thought matters.

What would happen if you declared yourself the Chief Possibility Officer for your area, whether at home, in the office, or for your body? The possibility could be anything from changing the heavy energy around you to a lighter one of laughter; or testing a solution before declaring it unusable; or possibly eating a really healthy meal today?

Would you be willing to try?

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