“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about.
What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re
willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”
– Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
Begin with “why?”
If you want to be a magician, the first decision you need to make is . . . to be a magician. And before you make that choice, you should ask yourself: “Why do I want to be a magician?”
I’ve seen may fair share of people who want to yield magic — or at least appear like their magical — for the sake of controlling others, feeling more important, and intimidating and gaining some advantage over those less knowledgeable. You’ve seen them. They’re the perpetual show-offs. The ones with swelled heads. The incessant talkers. The people who disunite and divide and separate people from their desires and their money. And they’re the ones who will tell you that their dreams are bigger and brighter than anyone else’s.
I’ve also experienced the exceptional people. Those who want to discover and employ their magic in powerful, positive, and productive ways. Those who create results that move the world forward and thus stir all of us to act better, be better, and feel better.
You can easily tell the difference between the two types. The former leave you exhausted and distressed and plundered. The latter leave you wanting more and you are brimming with possibility every time you think of them.
Then make the magical choice
If you want to be a systematically successful magician, you need to make the decision to be consistently extraordinary — not in the sense of imposing yourself on others but in the sense of transforming the world around you.
The decision to be a magician carries with it an obligation. You see, once you start to use magic, you bind yourself to those who are part of or who witness your magic. Antoine de Saint-Exupery put it another way: “You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose.”
Magicians who are worthy of their magic are also responsible for the worth of that magic. They are accountable for both the experience and the outcome of their magic.
So . . . How do you decide to be a worthy magician?
7 Steps to a magical life
STEP 1. Love the magic. Magicians love the process of magic and the activity of doing the conjuring; not just the effects that are achieved. Magic is as much the impact of a magician’s passion as it is of their skill.
STEP 2. Start by doing something magical. Deciding to be a magician can start with simply looking around you and beginning to see the charm and excitement and ripeness with possibility that already surrounds you. Then, you need only start to preach that magic to yourself. It’s so easy to see the negativity in the world. Trust me that it’s just as easy to see the opportunities. And it’s also as easy to just start acting like a magician.
STEP 3. Learn from other magicians. Find those role models who are already living and exemplifying and creating the magic that you want to embody and pattern yourself after them.
STEP 4. Codify your magic. Your success as a magician will be directly proportional to how well you systematize your success. Magic must become a pattern and practice for you. Only in that way do you do you develop the skill and knowledge necessary.
STEP 5. Design your magic. You can either let your conditions define you or you can define your conditions. Consistently successful magicians are able to take what they have and use it to their advantage or they figure out what else they might need and go and get it. The words, “Oh, well,” have no place in a magician’s life plan.
STEP 6. Neither a finger-pointer nor a crybaby be. Stop with the excuses. Stop with the blaming others. Nobody wants to know why you couldn’t pull off your magical plans. Be accountable. Be reliable. And stop complaining. If something goes wrong, fix whatever went awry so it doesn’t happen, again.
STEP 7. Be a rebel, a nonconformist, and stay restless. Always challenge what your eyes and ears are showing and telling you. For a magician, the world is pliable — not something to be mechanistically accepted. For a magician, the ordinary is just a starting point from which to levitate.
For the most part, being a magician depends on just making the decision to be a magician. Becoming a master magician may take you a while. Rest assured that moving in that direction will bring you a life of charm and desire and excitement and wonder.
Because that’s what magicians do — they do magic.
But, be warned: once you choose a life of magic there’s no going back because living an ordinary life will simply disappear.
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