“The first thing you have to know is yourself.
A man who knows himself can step outside himself
and watch his own reactions like an observer.”
– Adam Smith (The Money Game)
There’s a great set of questions that the host of Inside the Actor’s Studio, James Lipton, likes to ask his guests at the end of each segment. Lipton got the idea for doing this from the French show Apostrophes when that show’s host, Bernard Pivot, chose to ask his guests something called the Proust Questionnaire. You might have seen the same thing on the back pages of Vanity Fair magazine.
The interesting thing is that Marcel Proust did not create the questions back in the 19th century. He merely answered them. He answered with such candor, a zest for life, and so much liveliness, that the whole thing soon took on his name. (Hint: If you get nothing else out of this article, you might consider that as a model for success in and of itself.)
The Proust Questionnaire is a kind of personality test; a series of questions that lead you to reveal aspects of yourself. Every consistently successful Magician needs to know as much about himself as possible. Today, I’m giving you a series of questions—some adapted from The Proust Questionnaire, itself, and some from other sources. All of these need to be answered by you and then considered for what they reveal.
1. What is your Magic good for?
2. What is your Magic not good for?
3. What are your favorite qualities in a Magician?
4. What are your least favorite qualities in a Magician?
5. What is your chief characteristic?
6. What characteristic are you lacking but would like to have?
7. Under what circumstances should your Magic be shared with others?
8. Under what circumstances should your Magic not be shared with others?
9. What do you appreciate most in others?
10. What do you despise most in others?
11. What is your idea of happiness?
12. What is your idea of fear?
13. What is your idea of success?
14. What is your idea of misery?
15. What is your greatest triumph thus far?
16. What is your greatest regret thus far?
17. If you were not you, who would you want to be?
18. Who would you never want to be?
19. Who are your heroes? Why?
20. Who are your heroines? Why?
21. Who are your villains? Why?
22. What do you care about?
23. What do you not care about?
24. What seems impossible to you?
25. What seems to always be available to you?
26. What is your most important secret?
27. What does everyone know about you already?
28. What is the one word you would use to describe your Magic?
29. What is the one word you would never want used to describe your Magic?
30. Why does your Magic deserve to be spread out into the world?
31. Why does your Magic not deserve to be spread out into the world?
32. What is your most treasured possession?
33. What is your least treasured possession?
34. What would you like to make a possession that you don’t already have?
35. What possession do you wish you had never acquired in the first place?
36. What famous Magician do you most identify with?
37. What famous Magician do you least identify with?
38. How do you want your Magic to be remembered?
39. How do you want to be remembered?
40. What is your favorite motto?
Your Magic needs to be shared with the world. But, people need to witness that Magic and say, “they deserve to have such a gift.”
Answer these 40 magical questions, contemplate the answers you give, and you will be well on your way to being worthy of your Magic.
Remember, you can also continue this conversation by subscribing to my blog at http://thinkingmagically.com or you joining me on any of the major social media sites to take this discussion to an even deeper level.