Thinking Magically™ | Success as a Hobby – The Little Mistake That’s Costing You Big-Time

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Then quit.
No use being a damn fool about it.”
– W.C. Fields

Let’s face it. Most of us get our results by stumbling into them. We acquire our outcomes largely by chance. And we make our decisions normally based on our hunches. Then we wonder why we aren’t more productive, prosperous, or thriving.

To put it simply, I find that many people just don’t know any better and so they treat success like a hobby. A spare-time activity. A sideline.

Like any other hobby, we seek success because of the pleasure we believe it will bring us or the pain it will help us avoid. But . . . we actually pursue prosperity in a leisurely or unbelieving manner. We believe that, if we just periodically think about it and do our occasional wishing for it long enough, good fortune will eventually find us (if not seek us out), fall in our ready-and-willing laps, and then we will nod with a knowing smile because “we’ve had it coming all along.

But, most of us, in the end, are just success hobbyists and abundance dabblers. We are prosperity amateurs who look admiringly at other people’s wealth rather than looking at how to make our own desired outcomes a reality.

We hoodwink ourselves by coming up with elaborate reasons why we must postpone getting what we really want. We think we have all the time in the world, when we really know that we’re all running out of time and that “when the time is right, it will happen” is nothing but a smoke-and-mirrors approach to abundance.

To put it another way — If you don’t take the time to learn how you own success works, then you will only have the time to know how someone else’s success works.

So, what’s the difference between an amateur at achievement and a professional winner? The professional gets paid.

With money.

With love.

With time.

With something.

There is a constant giving and a taking. Priorities are set. And abundance and prosperity are front burner items at all times. Professional winners are constantly doing what is needed to keep the flames that burn their dreams into reality fanned, fiery, and intense.

If you are an amateur, you are mostly doing a little and waiting a lot. Professional winners do a lot and demand a lot. Amateurs at success play around with and daydream about the concepts of luxury and plenty and bounty. Professionals will accept nothing less than a real-world experience of those things.

One of my personal abundance principles is simple: Success always, always, always happens. Do you?

This means that, no matter what you do or do not do, there’s going to be a consequence for, a result to, and an outcome of whatever it is that you’re doing or not doing. You can’t stop such a phenomenon. There is always a by-product of “you.” The challenge is that most of us don’t take the time to define what we want, refine how we’re going to ensure that we get it, and combine our dreams with our abilities to form imperative and necessary deeds.

Today, I want you to do three things — only three straightforward things.

First, I want you to define the One Outcome that, if you had it, would change your life forever in a positive way. I want you to write it out in as much detail as you can. Use flowery words. Use emotion. Use visual language. As they say in the movie business — show, don’t tell.

Second, I want you to refine your success habits to align with your One Outcome.  Most of us have skills, routines, practices, and ways of doing stuff that we know guarantee us success at particular tasks.r Most of us, however, have never taken the time to really map out and connect those rituals of success with the real results we want. We just keep plodding along with our day-to-day lives sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. I want you to change that inconsistent results pattern, with a new one.

Finally, I want you to combine your One Outcome with your success habits. Antoine de Saint-Exupery once wrote: “True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.” I’ll go a step further: True success and abundance come from the enjoyment of creating, deeds done, and the suspicion that you have a choice in the matter.

Stop treating your attainments in life as hobbies. I want you to play. I don’t want you to be the plaything of others. Take hold of your dreams, your desires, and your decisions.

I would love to continue the conversation with you by you subscribing at or you joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level.

© 2015 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

Thinking Magically™ | Finally Making Yourself Great

“This is a man in need. His fear is naked and obvious,
but he’s lost . . . somewhere in his darkness.

His eyes wide and bleak and tortured. I can soothe him.
Join him briefly in the darkness and bring him into the light.”
– E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

There’s something truly unique about consistently successful magicians.

Yes, they have a need to entertain.

And they certainly have a need to get results.

And their need to impact the world around them is obvious.

They are really incomparable, however, in their ability to love themselves enough to play in the darkness, if needed, and bring themselves back into the light.

But I don’t love myself,” you say. “It’s all about pleasing other people.” Or “I just wasn’t raised that way.” Or “I’m not selfish.”

When you say things back to me like that, I get a sense that what you’re really saying is that you simply don’t want to think about loving yourself because it has too many messy details for you to deal with. After all — who the hell are you to deserve so much of your own love?

Well, let me put it to you another way. You won’t routinely create and manifest your desires with certainty and faith and power unless you have a little self-love thrown into the mix. That’s right — a little pride in what you’re doing is needed. A small conceit. Even a slight vanity.

In other words, if you don’t care about yourself and your desires, then why should anyone else?

One of the best ways for you to recognize, acknowledge, and develop a HEALTHY SELF-LOVE of yourself is to write a self-love letter to yourself. I don’t mean the type of cavalier and obvious letter we wrote when we were kids as part of a school project. I’m talking about a real romantic — perhaps even erotic — letter to yourself explaining why you are such a fantastic addition to the Universe.

Don’t worry — this only takes 15 minutes! And if you don’t have 15 minutes to devote to changing the way you think about yourself, you’ve got bigger challenges to address. So . . . quit the excuses and the embarrassment and the self-censorship that is running rampant through your head right now, grab a piece of paper and a pen, and let’s get to it!

Here are some ground rules to help you —

1.  You are the hero or heroine of the self-love letter. Not anyone else. Not anything else. You are the champion of your own life. You are the defender of your own honor. You are guardian of your own beliefs. You have special powers and special wants and special needs and you are here to save the world.

2.  You aren’t perfect. No one is. Your self-love letter isn’t about an ideal or about excusing away flaws. This is about writing things down about yourself that you’ve uncovered as you continue to make your way through Life’s field of battle.

3.  Understand why you’re writing this letter — to woo and have a love affair with yourself. There’s a reason behind everything you’ve said, done, and thought. The choices you’ve made have a lot to do with the way you talk to yourself — that programming that keeps running all the time in the background of your mind. In your self-love letter, you seek to be brutally honest about all those things you find beautiful, captivating, and enchanting about yourself.

4.  When you get to the point where you say, “Maybe I shouldn’t write that down,” you’re actually on to something important. The thrust of a self-love letter is to tear down the firewall that normally keeps your passion from spreading to everything you do.

5.  You want to fall in love with yourself. In deciding on what to put in your self-love letter, there is only one formula: Does what I’m writing make me hunger to have more of that? Don’t worry . . . you’ll feel it to the depths of your spirit when you write down the really revealing and significant and seductive stuff. Just write what you’d love to read if it was sent to you by a secret admirer.

6.  Keep it real. This isn’t a self-love letter of fiction. Find those dimensions and deeds and desires of yourself that are genuinely positive and sincerely attractive.

7.  Don’t say “I love you” to yourself until the very end. You already know that you love you. That’s why you’re writing the letter. But, like every good story, you want to show and not simply tell. And like every good love affair, you don’t want the end to come before the adventure runs its course.

Now, with these 7 guidelines in mind, start writing your self-love letter. Right now. Right here. No excuses.

Fill it with admiration. Note your reliability. Outline what your desires have allowed you to accomplish. Summarize how your joys and delights have permitted you to share, interact, make love with, and find time with others. Have you saved a life? Have you changed a life? Does it matter that you’ve lived at all?

Once you’re finished with your letter, notice how you feel. Then, put your self-love letter in an envelope and place it in a nice, safe place. Periodically, revisit your self-love letter and remind yourself why you’re worth loving! And be sure to keep writing new self-love letters. It’s a ritual you’ll thank yourself for many times over.

I would love to continue the conversation with you by you subscribing at or you joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level.

© 2015 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

Thinking Magically™ | Admit It . . . You’re Lost in Space

Crying is all right in its way while it lasts.
But you have to stop sooner or later,
and then you still have to decide what to do.
— C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair

What happens when you don’t know what to do with your life?

It’s not malaise — there’s no physical discomfort. You’re just uneasy in your own skin, in your own world, in what you believe you should be doing.

It’s not angst — there’s no anxiety about the world and your personal options. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You have complete freedom and that’s what seems to be causing the challenges.

You don’t know how to spend all your freedom and all your options and all your opportunities in the best way possible.

Is it melancholy? Not really. There’s no “thoughtful sadness” present.

You’re not depressed.  You’re not unhappy. You haven’t even gotten to that place that the Meredith Grey character on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy calls her “dark and twisty place.”

But life just isn’t as exciting anymore. Perhaps it never was.

Perhaps, you just don’t know you’re going through this at all. Or in the first place.

This way of feeling and being and experiencing is kind of like the passage from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — you know the one:

Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
I don’t much care where –” said Alice.
Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
– so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

Let’s get to the bottom of all this right here and right now and cut through all the hocus-pocus. When someone tells me that they don’t know what to do with their life or that they can’t decide which path is the right one for them and so they remain stuck in place, what they’re really saying to me is: I don’t want to make the decision in the first place.”

You’re saying you don’t know because you don’t want to know.

But, I really don’t know what I want,” you say.

I understand.

Everyone goes through some level of indecision at some point in their lives. The difference is that consistently successful magicians, when faced with hesitation or uncertainty or doubt, find the underlying cause of their lack of a firm path forward. And, once fathomed out, they utterly destroy the head game that was plaguing them.

Here’s a little secret for you: Most of the time, this experience you’re having is one of lack of “doing” not a lack of “knowing.”

It was George Bernard Shaw who said: “Doing what needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you great.”

If you are one of the people I described, above, I suggest — just for a moment — that you stop struggling with the question: “What do I want to do with the rest of my life?” In its place, start embracing and answering and acting upon the question: “How do I want to spend my life today?”

The person who doesn’t know what they want to do with their life is really just saying, “I don’t want to make a mistake” or “I don’t want to disappoint” or “I don’t want disturb.” If that goes on too long, then you cease living the life you were born to experience and decisions will be made for you by others who do know what they want.

So, let’s change things up a bit for you. Pretend for a moment that you can’t make a mistake and you can’t disappoint anyone and you can’t disturb the status quo. Now, how would you spend your life today?

To put it another way: If you had the power to control your dreams and could dream anything at all tonight, and you could experience every pleasure, every outcome, every delight, what would you dream about while you were sleeping? Now, how can you take those dreams and turn them into deeds in the waking world today?

You may like to tell me and others that you don’t know what you want to do with your life. You may have even been saying this for so long that you’ve begun to believe it yourself. But your instincts, if you will just listen to them, know full well that’s not true. And . . . those same gut feelings will lead you unerringly to the deeds that you have to do today.

All you have to do is listen to yourself.

And you can easily prove this all. Pull out a piece of paper and something to write with. Now give yourself 10 minutes and, in that time, write down three action items that will change your world TODAY! You’re not to be concerned with year-end, or next month, or next week, or even tomorrow.

When you’ve reached the end of your 10-minute session, look at what you’ve written down. Notice if there’s a pattern. Notice if your deeds take you towards pleasure or if they run you away from pain. If your deeds are not quite right, go ahead and revise and fine-tune them.

Now, act upon those three deeds TODAY.

When you’re done with them, ask yourself: What’s different now? I’m willing to bet you’re going to discover and remember the joy of being alive and having accomplished something wonderful — getting to know yourself all over again.

I would love to continue the conversation with you by you subscribing at or you joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level.

© 2015 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

Thinking Magically™ | 10 Magical Fragments of Goodness to Keep You Going

“Once a day, especially in the early years of life and study,
call yourselves to an account what new ideas,
what new proposition or truth you have gained,
what further confirmation of known truths,
and what advances you have made in any part of knowledge.”
– Isaac Watts (The Improvement of the Mind to Which Are Added a Discourse on the Education of Children)

Where has the time gone?

We approaching the end of the first quarter of 2015!

Can you believe it? Whoosh. And the time has flown by.

Have you stopped and examined where you are as compared against where you thought you’d be three months ago? That’s right, it’s time to take a break from the flurry of activity and measure yourself against your own personal concept of success.

I have made a practice of self-examination and musing and reflection on my own deeds and intentions. In doing so, I routinely go back over my own notes — little Post-It® notes and random scribblings — that I put in my journal. There I find the concentrated wisdom that I’ve uncovered, discovered, observed, and had gifted along the way.

What do you create?

Do you ever create such notes for yourself? Do you ever go back and sit down with them like they were old friends and you just need to catch up with each other?

I thought it might be fun to share some of my own little treasures with you so that you, too, can be inspired, prompted, and propelled to get and do and think even more. In doing this, I am reminded of Herman Hesse’s quote: “Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else. . . . Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”

I do not pretend to be wise. But I have found some wonders you might enjoy —

So . . . Without further ado . . . Here are some of the fragments of goodness that have recently guided me. One of these is mine. Most are from others.

All of this is rocket fuel!

Knowledge is not magic. Doing is magic. — Scott Grossberg

I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. — Haruki Murakami

What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it. — Alexander Graham Bell

The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive. — Bill Watterson

Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. — W. Clement Stone

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.  — Daniel Burnham

Those who can’t change their mind, can’t change anything. — George Bernard Shaw

Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can? — Sun Tau

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything. — Warren Buffet

My general attitude to life is to enjoy every minute of every day. I never do anything with a feeling of, “Oh God, I’ve got to do this today.” — Richard Branson

As you can see, these quotes come from all types of people in all types of industry and from all walks of Life. Inspiration can come from anywhere and from anyone.

What little tidbits of wisdom have guided and directed and inspired you recently? I would love to continue the conversation with you by you subscribing at or joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level.

© 2015 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

Thinking Magically™ | 12 Books That Will Turn You Into a Magician

March 1, 2015 2 comments

Books are a uniquely portable magic.
– Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)

People love to ask me what books I’m currently reading. I read a lot. A lot. Usually three or four books are going at any given time. And that doesn’t include the articles, blog postings, social media accounts, etc. that get my attention.

I think the more intense and useful question is: What books are some of your go-to materials — you know the ones — those books that you consistently refer back to for motivation, additional insight, and inspiration?

While my list changes as I find new, exciting authors and discover timeless wisdom in older tomes, here are twelve books that I find incredible for bringing magic to my life! These are not in any particular order. They cover a variety of subjects. Naturally, there are more.

But this should be a grand start for you:

Illusions – The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah (Richard Bach)
“Remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place. You’re going to die a horrible death, remember. It’s all good training, and you’ll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind. Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution is not generally understood by less-advanced life-forms, and they’ll call you crazy.”

Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The New Complete Edition (Richard Bach)
“Jonathan Seagull discovered that boredom and fear and anger are the reasons that a gull’s life is so short, and with those gone from his thought, he lived a long fine life indeed.”

The Champion’s Mind (Jim Afremow)
“Excellence can be achieved only today—not yesterday or tomorrow, because they do not exist in the present moment. Today is the only day you have to flex your talents and maximize your enjoyment. Your challenge is to win in all aspects of life. To reach that goal, you need to set yourself up for success by winning one day at a time. Procrastination is no match for a champion.”

Zen in the Martial Arts (Joe Hymans)
“A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in his every action.”

A Course in Miracles (Helen Schucman)
“When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.”

In the Shadow of the Shaman (Amber Wolfe)
“We are mapmakers charting our own path. The path of the shaman leads us in and out of the chaos of pure Nature energies— a collage of elements spinning around us. For a moment in time this collage of chaos crystalizes into a clear vision. We chart our experiences and take our bearings. We travel on, just as the shamans of old.”

Creative Visualization – Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life (Shakti Gawain)
“Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart truly desires must come to you.”

The Last Word on Power – Executive Invention for Leaders Who Must Make the Impossible Happen (Tracy Goss)
“The new master paradigm that you are about to invent is rooted in a particular type of declaration: a declaration of possibility. A powerful declaration of possibility can move the forces that alter the world. From the moment it is spoken, this declaration lays the groundwork for action in a new realm: a specific realm of possibility, which you define, that did not previously exist as possible. The new realm of possibility you declare is founded solely on your stand for that possibility— without precedent, argument, or proof. Said another way: A declaration of possibility brings “what is not” into existence as a possibility.”

Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives (Dan Millman)
“Wake up! Wake up! Soon the person you believe you are will die – so now, wake up and be content with this knowledge: there is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all ONE, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humor, and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life; just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are for more than you imagine. you are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else too! It’s all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, just be happy. You are already free!”

War as I Knew It (George S. Patton)
“A man must know his destiny . . . if he does not recognize it, then he is lost. By this I mean, once, twice, or at the very most, three times, fate will reach out and tap a man on the shoulder… if he has the imagination, he will turn around and fate will point out to him what fork in the road he should take, if he has the guts, he will take it.”

Integrative Hypnosis: A Comprehensive Course in Change (Melissa Tiers)
“Because when we do rapid change work, what we are really changing are belief systems. I think the most important filter we experience the world through is the one guided by our beliefs. They govern what we see as well as how we heal, or unfortunately, don’t heal.”


What do you think? I would love to continue the conversation with you by you subscribing at or joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level. Post some of your own techniques on my pages on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

© 2015 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

Thinking Magically™ | I Challenge You to Success

February 22, 2015 1 comment

At the end of the day, how long it takes to form a particular habit doesn’t really matter that much.
Whether it takes 50 days or 500 days, you have to put in the work either way.
The only way to get to Day 500 is to start with Day 1.
So forget about the number and focus on doing the work.
– James Clear

That’s right. I’m throwing down the gauntlet. For years now I have been provoking you, teasing you, urging you to participate in your own success. Now, I’m just going to be blunt about it.

Do you want success or not?

That’s not really a fair question . . . you see, everybody is successful at what they do. Some are just more successful at only being “good enough” or “failing” or “sleepwalking” through Life. We’re all successes. We’re just not all successes at what we want to be successful at.

So, let me ask it a different way — Do you want positive, profound, and powerful success or not?

You might be thinking that everyone will immediately scream “YES.” It’s true that lots of people want this type of attainment. Most, however, are not willing to actually do anything to make it happen. (What? You thought it was just going to be handed to you?) Most are content to say to themselves and others: “I’m a good person. I have good intentions. I think good thoughts. treat people fairly and I work hard at my job. But nothing seems to go my way.

The difference you need to know

The difference between really consistently successful people and the rest of the world is that really consistently successful people see the end they want to reach before starting out on their journey. Oh, their destination might change along the way, but that’s a conscious decision that they make. In the beginning, they have an imagined future they’re headed for before they take the first step. The rest of us usually fall prey to what Bill Watterson so amply described: “The truth is, most of us discover where we’re headed when we arrive.

So, here’s my challenge to you — I dare you to create a fully dressed, expansively imagined, and vividly designed future for yourself!

Just how great can you push your imagination while ignoring everyone else?

How much farther in Life can you really go if you want to?

Who would you be if you had everything you want?

Most of us are failures at dreaming

Most people are not good dreamers — we are good havers and endurers and toleraters. We have become excellent excuse-makers. In fact, take a moment and ask yourself how many little lies you have created for yourself so that you don’t actually have to get off your ass right this moment and do what’s necessary to be the success you’ve always dreamed about.

Are the consistently successful people you know about smarter than you? Probably not.

Are they more creative than you? Probably not.

What they are, however, is harder and more intense workers than you. They go out and do epic shit. They work hard at being their version of whatever success they have conceived. And they take great delight in their achievements and yet remain restless so they just keep DOING MORE.

Most consistently successful people don’t pay any attention to — or they certainly don’t get mired down in — the setbacks and obstacles and challenges they encounter. They don’t complain. They don’t believe in bad luck. They believe in themselves and their visions and their outcomes.

I challenge you . . .

I challenge you to start basking in your dreams of success.

I dare you to savor the process of success.

I appeal to the child in you who remembers what it’s like to have superpowers.

I want you to have the courage to ignore the adult fears that keep whispering (if not screaming) that “you’re not good enough” or “you’re not deserving enough” or “you’re not being realistic.

I personally guarantee that you will find the demands of working through this challenge fairly unimportant and insignificant when eventually compared against the ultimate letdown and frustration that being ordinary brings. You don’t want to be ordinary, do you?

You see, what I’m really challenging you to do is see yourself in a whole new light — in a whole new way — in a whole new possibility. I’m challenging you to realize that you are in a state of never-ending change. And I’m challenging you to fashion the destination to which that unending transformation is leading.

Charles Du Bos once wrote: “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” Are you willing to make that sacrifice? Are you willing to set aside your Past in order to enjoy your Present and celebrate an ecstastic Future?

To put it another way: If you know yourself to be a magical being — filled with power and charm and pleasure — then why would you continue to pretend to be something that you’re not? If you are a magician — one who intentionally creates and transforms and manifests outcomes — then you are a magician. And all the deception you’re doing to yourself and others is only going to bring you frustration until you start being authentic.

If you’re going to manifest your intentions, then start looking like someone who manifests their intentions. If you’re going to create futures, then start acting like someone who creates futures. If you’re going to have abundance, then start thinking like someone who has abundance. And if you’re going to transform Life into a world lived on your terms, then start being that transformation in every breath you take and every movement you make.

Stop being an imposter

Stop being false.

Stop copying failure.

Stop making excuses.

And so, in the end, we come to this inquiry —

Can you rise up to the challenge of being who you would like to be and can be if there weren’t any rules in the world?

Magicians don’t follow the rules of others. They make their own rules. They know the Universe is pliable and yet it always conspires for their own success — if only they imagine that success in the first place and then take massive action to make it real.

What do you think? I would love to continue the conversation with you by you subscribing at or joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level. Post some of your own techniques on my pages on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

© 2015 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

Thinking Magically™ | Stay Relevant With Me

February 15, 2015 Leave a comment

Harper was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to make an impression.
She didn’t want to be forgotten, even if it was for all the wrong reasons.
— Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain, Bass Backwards and Belly Up

What’s With This Thing I Keep Hearing About?

I’ve been hearing A LOT lately about the concept of “relevance.” People tell me they want to be “relevant.” People who run business tell me they want their businesses to be “relevant.” They say these things as if being “relevant” — the very word itself — has some enchanting connection to the world and people and success — as if being “relevant” is either-or: win or fail, black or white, yes or no concept. Then, again, I wonder if most of the people who blindly toss that funny word — “relevant” — about (like it’s a Wham-O Super Ball® hoping that the word, alone, will continue to bounce and have impact) really know what it means to anyone, including themselves.

It’s Really About Being Essential . . . And We’re All Essential

Let me suggest that we start agreeing on a common meaning for being “relevant” so we, at least, talk to each other rather than blindly talking past each other. And let’s start with the idea that being “relevant” implies there’s such a thing as  being “not relevant.”

If we substitute the word “essential” for the word “relevant” maybe we start getting closer to what we all implicitly mean when we cast aside people as being “irrelevant.”

Some people use the word “relevance” to mean up-to-speed with new technology and methods. They will tell you that if you don’t use the latest engineering, science, apps, and management methods, you are doomed to failure. Thus you are — “not relevant.”

Don’t you think this is such backward and foolish thinking?

Newfangled is Not Always Best

New is not always better.

New is not always efficient.

New is not always effective.

Sometimes it is.

But not always.

Let me give you an example. Tom Hanks is well-known for his love of typewriters. It’s an obsession of his, really. And he works on a typewriter. Many of us grew up with typewriters and would never go back to this type of Luddite tool once we’ve embraced what a computer has to offer. These are preferences, though. Tom Hanks and his working style are still relevant.

The concept of whether someone or some business is relevant or essential or necessary or indispensable comes down how they or it work and the outcomes that are achieved — not necessarily the tools they use. Consistently successful magicians — those who get systematically kick-ass results — have reliable patterns for attainment. And boy do they deliver the goods (just look at Tom Hanks’ accomplishments).

Sometimes they will use new technology.

Sometimes they will use tried-and-true old-school methods.

Sometimes they will use a hybrid approach (Hanks, by the way, has even offered a new iPad app that lets you use your iPad as a typewriter).

These models of abundance know that EVERYTHING IS RELEVANT!

To put is another way — you can’t create relevance.

You simply prioritize.

Choose Your Own Relevance

So, with an understanding that what we really want in our lives and in our businesses and in our relationships is to be the priority — to be the only logical choice for ourselves and others — here are some things you can consider putting into your magical toolkit to stay “relevant”:

1. Always keep learning. Every magician knows that you only die when you stop moving. Keep embracing new ideas. Keep discovering old ideas. Keep synthesizing the old and the new. Take an alchemical approach to life.

2.  Embracing new ideas means actually working with them — not just understanding them intellectually. Just because I’ve said that “new is not always better” does not mean that “new is not better.” Great magicians study new wizardly techniques and tools and ideas all the time. They get a working knowledge of them and then prioritize (there’s that word again) how and if they will be used.

3.  Stay flexible. Improv artists (I’ve written and talked before about the importance of improv training and that type of mindset for really taking your accomplishments to new heights) know how important the concept of “of course” is to any setting. Aesop (yeah, that fabled guy) once wrote: “The little reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed over.

4.  Keep seeking to know yourself. There is a gap between where you are and where you want to be. The challenge for most people is that they fall in that gap and don’t ever climb out. And worse — if they climb out, they don’t fill in the gap so they fall right back in, again. It’s trite to just say, “know yourself.” Take some action and write out your worldview — what’s important to you, what are the rules you live by, how do you make your decisions.

5.  Live in the moment. How funny that I work with all types of people and most have a similar pattern — they plan and vie and work for a future goal and then, when they get what they want, they’ve already moved on to another goal. I’m the poster child for being restless. I get being wired to be continually moving. But what good is achieving something if you’re not there to enjoy it? There’s nothing wrong with taking a respite and celebrating an accomplishment. Hell, celebrate the journey, the dance, the song of life. There’s always time to get moving, again.

So, you have a new challenge — framing yourself for yourself (and others) so that you stay connected and applicable to the world and people around you. I’ve given you a few solutions for you to apply. And I want to hear how they are working for you.

What do you think? I would love to continue the conversation with you by you subscribing at or joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level. Post some of your own techniques on my pages on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

© 2015 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

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