Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Working Wonders: How to Make the Impossible Happen

Ryszard Praszkier

Working Wonders: How to Make the Impossible Happen puts forth the message that the difference between what’s possible and what’s not is, to a great extent, a construct of the human mind. And it’s one that we can change.

I coined in this book the term possibilitivity, i.e. the propensity for perceiving insurmountable challenges as doable.

Against all odds, and often against the authorities and even their friends and families, these individuals have attempted the “impossible” and “magically” made it possible. Take for example Preeda Limmontakul, an innovator and entrepreneur from Thailand: when he was 29, during finalizing one of his innovations, he was in a terrible car accident. He awoke in the hospital to discover that he had suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury and would never walk again. Preeda Limmontakul didn’t despair – just continued making plans for the future, this time from the hospital bed. He used his time in the hospital to develop a new business, which he launched with great success. When I met him, I had an overwhelming feeling that, although disabled and confined to a wheelchair, he radiates positive energy. He changed the attitudes toward disabled people and has empowered disabled people to follow their dreams.

And imagine, nobody believed he could pursue his business goals when he was still in the hospital. ‘Preeda’, they said, ‘stop day-dreaming, you are totally disabled…’ However he overcame this obstacle because his possibilitivity level was really high.

The difference between what’s possible and what’s not is, to a great extent, a construct of the human mind. And it’s one that we can change.

The book explains in simple and engaging language the mechanisms that shape the mind: how it builds walls to protect itself and how we can tear those walls down to open the mind to challenges. It shares stories about remarkable people who have made the impossible possible and, in doing so, have changed the world for the better. On a deeper level, the book identifies possible neurological and psychosocial mechanisms that limit the brain, and mechanisms which may open it up to exploring the seemingly-impossible.

The book concludes by presenting a portfolio of ‘Do It Yourself’ ideas and exemplary techniques that can serve to augment individuals’ and teams’ possibilitivity.

It was as an academician, a practitioner, and a writer that I decided to write this book. However, this is not only an academic endeavor. My aim here is to provide a simple and straightforward exploration of the potential each of us has and to provide tips and methods for peeling away self-imposed limitations and unlocking that potential. This book is my way of sharing my fascination with the magic of the mind and my profound belief that this magic is available to all.

At my webpage I wrote the  manifesto:

For writing books my passion is to delineate academic-level ideas in a simple, understandable way. It means avoiding the academic jargon and, instead, using a vivid, “normal” language.

Moreover – the issues should be illustrated with colorful case studies. Finally – the flow should conclude with possible applications and DIY tips.

In line with this framework I make my books readable and engaging for readers of diverse walks of life, even if they address quite advanced issues. And they bring solutions!


Find out more about Working Wonders: How to make the impossible happen

Working Wonders_Cover


Reviews and endorsements:

‘How do you learn from actual stories? When reading through Working Wonders by Ryszard Praszkier, you cannot but learn about real people and new ideas. Humanity is always progressing and human ingenuity can transform the impossible. The book is an invitation to be taken seriously by persons and institutions alike.’ Andrea Bartoli, Professor and Dean, School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University, New Jersey

‘In our working and private lives, we wall ourselves within a pen of our limitations. Ryszard Praszkier will tell you how to make yourself free to create and succeed. This perceptive book is based on the author’s surpassing experience as a leader, practicing psychologist, and researcher. Take advantage!’ Vladimir Zwass, Inaugural Gregory Olsen Endowed Chair and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Computer Science and Management Information Systems, Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey

‘Ryszard Praszkier not only inspires us to achieve the impossible, but provides us with a social and biological understanding of how unconventional systemic breakthroughs happen. A must-read for all current and future social entrepreneurs to inoculate themselves against that inevitable response of ‘It will never work!’ from their peers, family, colleagues, and competitors.’ Orit Gal, Senior Lecturer for Strategy and Complexity, Regent’s University London

About The Author

Ryszard Praszkier

Ryszard Praszkier is an emeritus professor at the Institute for Social Studies, University of Warsaw, Poland. He has merged decades of practical experience in the field of social i...

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