BELIEFS I LEARNED FROM STUDYING THE WORK OF TONY ROBBINS, DALE CARNEGIE, AND MANY OTHERS OVER THE YEARS. I HOPE MY WORDS INSPIRE YOU TO CONTINUE GROWING AND LEARNING FROM SUCH GREAT MINDS AS I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE THEN GO AND HELP OTHERS. I DON'T CLAIM THESE TO BE MY IDEAS I ONLY STAND AS PROOF IN THE POWER OF THEM IF PRACTICED. I BELIEVE IN YOU.
People ask me what my secret is to success and I simply say, “Dream.” Why is it that when we become adults, we are suddenly not supposed to dream? Dreams and your desires, your wants and your needs should not be ignored. Dreams built the first airplanes, the first light bulbs, and the first kites. Dreams create the wonders of the world we live. Please do not give up on your dreams for they are truly the essence of life.
Below, I have created an acronym for the steps you should take to accomplish your dreams. This a powerful formula that will help you create the life you want. You can plug this into every area of your life and the more you use it the more it will become a part of you and begin to function without help. If you master these steps nothing can stop you from being whatever you want to be. Nothing is impossible if you have the right map to get there. I know this works and it is a proven system that I have used for years teaching others how to overcome fears and pattern themselves for success in any area of life.
In my life I have used this method to achieving my goals; small or large. I use it everyday to make hard choices and everyday to lead me on the path I want to be. Procrastination no longer has a hold on me. You will find your excitement and energy levels increased. You will be on you way to your dreams and soon living in your dreams. Imagine how good that will make you feel. I urge you to simply trust in me and put these ideas to work for you. You will be amazed when you wake up a year from now and you have achieved things you never thought in your wildest dreams could ever happen to you. You will wake up and you will be the ____________. Imagine it. Then go get it. Start here with these simple steps.
Let us break these down individually and get a clear understanding of each step. If you use these steps as a map to success you’ll be able achieve your dreams. We have all heard the sayings, “Study, Practice, Teach”, “Leaders are Readers”, and “Successful People do what unsuccessful people won’t.” While these are all great sayings and can create a successful attitude toward your dreams, I have devised a secret method that should give you the tools that you need to create momentum and movement in order to take action toward your dreams. It is the actions in each of these steps that create change and if any step is skipped, there will be a challenge to overcome. Take these steps seriously and enjoy the rewards.
Start by asking yourself a very simple question, What do I want? To get the right answer you must ask the right question. Allow me to take a minute and explain a few things about nuero-conditioning and about our states of mind.
Everyday we ask ourselves questions like, should I trust this girl/guy, do I hate this person, should I order the tuna or turkey for lunch, should I call them back? These are just a few examples of questions that we answer each day without even thinking thoroughly about them, which helps us achieve either pleasure or pain. In order to realize what we really want, we must understand that the questions we ask throughout the day are guiding us and changing our states every second, minute, and hour of the day. Your mind will find ways to answer the questions you are asking yourself. If you ask yourself negative questions such as, am I stupid, am I overweight, am I not smart enough, your mind will find answers to these negative questions. I challenge you to ask yourself the right questions. Ask yourself, how can I better myself today, how can I feel better about myself, how can I help someone or this person, how can I be more positive, and most importantly, how can I achieve what I want and have fun doing it?
Each day anchors are created in our minds. Anchors are flags or signs that are placed in your mind when something of emotionally strong content happens to you. Then in the future when the flag is remembered or triggered by any of your senses your mind then follows the anchor set forth. While we are in a strong/positive state of mind anything that happens gets consistently linked or associated with being strong/positive. You are all familiar with Pavlov’s dogs where the dogs were anchored to expect food every time the light turned on and when the light turned on with no food, the dog still salivated and reacted to its anchor for hunger. The key to creating anchors is being in that strong state of mind and then consistently getting linked to that state of being. In order to create a strong state of mind it takes a positive change of your physical and emotional state. You must change your physical being, your posture, your breathing, and your focus.
Let us try an experiment.
Imagine a close relative and/or loved one that has passed away. Remember after the funeral sitting quietly alone with a plastic plate full of tiny bite-sized foods that you couldn’t fit down your throat as your stomach was now nearing it and your mind was outside your body wandering around the room hovering over people babbling about heaven and the way things were. Tears roll down your face uncontrollably and you use the embossed white napkin to wipe your eyes and nose clean so the babbling people won’t see your sadness and want to comfort you with a shoulder pat or innocent,” Are you okay?” Nothing mattered. Nothing. I miss you so much everything reminds me of you, the couch pillow you used to lay your head on, the broken frame of us on vacation that you always wanted to replace, and me, I remind myself of you and I hurt.
NOW STOP! Come back to reality. Notice how your physical being, your posture sunk lower, your breathing slowed, and your shoulders dropped. Notice how everything changed. If the phone would have rang and you picked it up during this imagination, you probably would have sounded depressed. It takes your entire body to get into a state of depression.
Let us try another experiment.
Imagine for a moment when you were the hero. A time when everyone looked up to you, everyone wanting to be you, and admiring you. You did it! You won the game! You solved the problem! Remember how you felt when you saw the faces of your friends and family, how they were sparkling. Your heart was beating out of your chest in excitement. Your mouth could not help but keep smiling as this was the happiest day of your life. Not one person had to say anything, the smiles and laughter was clarification enough of your success. Everything around you seemed to be brighter and the world was smiling upon you now. You wanted to go around to all the smiling faces and give them all a big kiss on their rosy cheeks. You achieved your goal! You were standing so tall.
NOW STOP! Come back to reality again. Notice how you are sitting much taller, breathing deeper, and your heart is beating faster. With every state there becomes an anchor. It must be created with emotion and it must be continually repeated. If you have a tendency to ask yourself why am I not successfulwhile you are in a depressed state of failure, your mind will answer those questions and those answers will come from your state of mind in and at the time of asking the question. Your mind will say, because you aren’t smart enough, you don’t have what it takes, or you don’t have the personality to be successful. This is what is stopping you. The best part is, NOW YOU KNOW! The next time you get in a state of mind that is negative and ask yourself a question that leads to negative answers, you will realize it and you can immediately change your state. You will sit up tall and you will imagine yourself already successful. You will ask yourself, what can I do today that will lead me to the success I desire?
As a child, like most of the lucky ones, I was taught about goal setting and the power of writing things down in order for my thoughts to be clarified and manifest them into something real. Although I was taught this at an early age, it wasn’t until much later that I put these principles into practice. We were living in a studio apartment with a total square footage (including bathroom, kitchen, living room, and bedroom) of 380 square feet. It was fabulous and our first place together as newlyweds. My wife was attending Northern Arizona University full time while I performed magic at every small show I could book. This included birthday parties, restaurants, and even getting dressed as a clown and twisting balloons to look like animals (mostly dogs). We made just enough to scrape by and although we had no space for even a small bed, we felt happy. I think back and know that it was one of my favorite times in my life. We didn’t live alone in this space, along with my wife and I , we enjoyed the company of Hip Hop, our nether-land dwarf rabbit and the star of every children’s birthday party in Northern Arizona, and four doves, Clubs, Spades, Hearts, and Houdini who every night were trained in the hands of a clumsy magician who had not yet realized his calling was not a dove magician. Even so, every night, our studio apartment would turn into a darkened stage-like setting to seemingly train these feathery friends. There was much life in that little studio apartment. I struggled with the fact that I wanted better magic gigs and after a night of contemplation, I remember the lesson taught to me by my father so many years ago about goal setting. The lesson of writing it down. If I could write down clearly what I wanted, the universe would have a magical way of giving it to me. I started writing. I wrote on a white board that had been mounted on top of my drafting table where I spent many hours working on illusion plans and sketches. I numbered the goals 1 through 10. I won’t be going into detail about every goal that was written in permanent black ink, but I still have the board that is no longer attached to the table and number 8 is “write a book.” It has been 8 years since I wrote that goal down, but here I am, writing down the last few chapters of a book that only within the past few years I have had passion enough to start. Other goals that I set were number 9, “earn $100,000.00 within a year,” number 3, “buy a home and have a studio in it to paint and practice my art,” number 2, “create an income as a professional magician and become well-known for my secrets,” and number 1, “start a family.”
The seasons changed, my wife graduated, and we decided to make a move to somewhere that would be better for my performing dream: Las Vegas, Nevada. We moved to a small apartment and struggled to make contacts and build clients while most of our things stayed in storage. After about a year, I began working full time as a magician and we purchased our first home. It was perfect for the two of us. Upon unpacking several things we hadn’t seen in a couple of years, we came across the old white board, unattached to the table with the black permanent goals written on it. We hadn’t even looked at these goals since we had lived in that studio apartment much less thought about the writing of them. Yet while reading them over again, we noticed that within the minute span of time, the majority of the goals had already come true and it seemed the other goals were just a matter of time as we felt we had been working toward them, unconsciously perhaps.
This is the closest occurrence in life to real magic I have ever witnessed and it still surprises me every time I look back at my goals that I write down from the past years. Now, I write goals on a daily basis; short term goals and long term goals knowing that they will come true. I follow the steps to create a path of what I want and the universe rewards me. You need only to have the desire and a take-action attitude and life will manifest it to you, when you are ready, when it is your season.
Finally I hope you understand what dream building we are looking for here. With this knowledge, write down the dreams and desires you are searching for right now in your life. If you do not write them down you will not have them. I believe that and you should or will believe that. You must make your desires and dreams physically real to you and your universe by putting them on paper. Start with short term goals and desires and then expand on them. Ask yourself,
What do I want financially in one year?
What kind of relationships do I want?
What do I want to learn?
What do I need to change and what will that change bring to me?
Do I want to be happier?
Do I want a better Job?
Do I want to be in better shape?
Do I want to overcome a fear?
I hope this gets the ball rolling. Now lets pick one on your list. I want you to write a paragraph about it as though you already have it. For example, if you wanted to make $100,000 by next year, your paragraph might look like this:
I recently was able to pay off all debts and I paid a cash down payment on the home of my dreams in a great area where there are great schools for my children. I am planning to take a vacation for the first time in 8 years. I finally was able to buy a new suit for work because my old one was just that OLD. I think this had a major part in me getting that promotion. I was able to give $10,000 to charity and help 4 families be able to have a Christmas tree this year.
Make it real to you. The more you are able to visualize this as though it has already happened the easier it will be to understand what you are really heading for. You must anchor so much joy in this dream that you cannot imagine your life without it happening. Then imagine what life would be like 5 years down the road. Then 10 years and last, 20 years. Remember that while writing this, you must pay close attention to thoughts that are negative towards what your writing. These thought should be written down on a separate paper and then using the pain and pleasure method attack these to eliminate them from stopping you. Get clear in your mind what you want. Then move on. You will have time to re-evaluate your desires later on so do not second guess yourself.
Run with it. Creating and discovering actual steps and things you can do each day to achieve your goal is your plan of action and the blue print to build the life you want. This is considered, at first, the most difficult step to take towards your dreams because most of us are afraid of change, afraid of making choices, and afraid of taking action. This comes from a fear of failure and making the wrong choices, but can be overcome using the steps in this book. Successful people tend to make decisions more quickly, yet they also tend to change their mind rather slowly. Unsuccessful people tend to fear making decisions and change their mind rather quickly. You must become comfortable with failure. You cannot be afraid of making the wrong choice. You only really learn from your failures. Therefore, in order to become a real leader, you must fall on your face and learn why you fell and why on your face. The first thing to do is anchor in your mind and believe that failure is a learning opportunity. Once this is accomplished, your mind will not hesitate to make these type of choices that will change your life. It will bring you great pleasure to fail. This should be your goal. You can become comfortable with failure through understanding the pain and pleasures of what you used to call your biggest failures.
Years ago I had a grand plan to book dinner theatre shows. I was knowledgeable about the cost of the theatre, the cost of the dinner for myself and for the guests, and the cost of the production, but I was lacking in knowledge of how to market and advertise for the show. This obviously created a problem for the success of my show when booking it. At first my strategy worked. I would print tickets, send press releases, and network with other business people to promote the show and as the date got closer, tickets started selling and I could see money signs and success. The first show would sell out in less than a week with people turned away at the door. It was a full house with standing room only and I felt proud of my production. I made a pretty good profit for a 90 minute show yet this success was short-lived and the next month, there were only 80% of the tickets sold. Then, the next month’s show was 50% sold, then 30% sold for the next show, until finally we had to shut the doors on that venue. A failure by every means in my eyes. I felt like quitting after five hard months of rehearsals and ticket sells. And still, all that hard work came up short in providing what I needed. Plus, on top of all the hard work put into the performance, we were running an insurance office that we started, thinking we would build some residual income for years to come. This too failed. The long hours and seemingly no rewards turned into the failing question, why? Why was I running so hard?
I now understand and am still learning from those events, which at the time, seemed like total failures. In the passed few years I have had dozens of calls to perform for private engagements from people that either saw the theatre shows, or people who heard of the theatre show and hadn’t had the chance to attend. I learned valuable marketing insight and fine-tuned many performance routines during preparation for the shows. Without those few shows to rehearse for, I probably wouldn’t have come up with certain routines that I have and use today in my performances. These things I am thankful for and thankful that I failed. To challenge yourself especially when you know that you could or will fail is the true test of a master.
With this in mind, you want to ask yourself what can I do today, tomorrow, to bring me closer to my goals. For example, I wanted to create an income that would reach six figures within a year. My action plan was simple, in order to have a six-figure income I would need to perform in two hundred shows that would pay me five hundred dollars each show. I figured that was a good average. Some shows demand more and therefore I charge more and some demand less, like a children's shows, and I invoice them accordingly. On average, I could earn a hundred thousand if I accomplished booking two hundred shows this year. Every time I send out mailers to a hundred businesses, I would receive two shows through the follow-ups and leads. I couldn’t possibly send out enough mailers to create the income I wanted, but I could use it as a starting point. Therefore, I set a goal that I would send out five letters a day equaling thirteen hundred letters a year, which equals twenty eight shows. That was a good start, but not quite there yet. At every show I do I try to market myself as much as possible. I figured that every ten shows I do I would receive three referral bookings from word-of-mouth or direct referrals from that particular client. In addition, I always follow up with mailings to former clients who tell their business partners about my service. I followed the same basic method to figure how many shows all forms of my advertising was bringing in. Then, I took out the expenses and came up with a plan to accomplish the goal I had dedicated myself to accomplishing. With my situation and knowledge I had, I could not imagine how I would be able to create the income I had imagined was possible. I tell you this because at first I figured I had failed and did not reach my goal. Yet as the year progressed and I put my action plan into actual action. I found myself looking for ways to improve my progress. At the end of the year I didn’t quite make it to my goal but with the amount of extra shows I added to my schedule made it easy the next year to accomplish my goal. Without a clear set of plans you will find yourself wandering in the woods lost in your dreams instead of running with your dreams. Write down all ideas you have that could help you become more, earn more, and achieve that which you want. Then put it into a plan breaking down what you can do each day.
Be flexible. Re-analyze what is working and what is not working. Too many times we set goals, but don’t review them as our beliefs change and we change. This is the area which is handled with the most care. You must take faith in the mentors you have and trust that change will help. We will work on what your innate beliefs are and if they are in line with your goals. You must constantly be aware of those things that are holding you back. For Example, the phone call you get once a week from a very negative friend that just brings you down. You can still be a friend to this person, but more than just being a neutral friend, try to challenge yourself to help them have a more positive outlook on life. When I ask people in my workshop to write down emotions they felt in the past week. Most will name depressed, lonely, scared, angry, you get the idea. Some will have one or maybe two positive emotions that they felt or that they recognized feeling.
You must train yourself to look at all areas of your life and ask yourself, is this helping or hurting me? This step allows you to learn from learning and if you don’t fear change you will feel empowered to make changes. See what is working well in your plan/sketch and what is not working, but be careful of your own dishonesty. If you fear failure you will not look at what didn’t work to create what you wanted and then you cannot and will not ever change your approach, therefore never changing or growing.
You will only learn if you learn to love failure as a lesson. When evaluating your approach you may see results such as, 1. your goal was to have/earn more money, although after two months of working hard at your plan/sketch you realize that in order to achieve your goal of what you wanted, you must give something up that you love, 2. you realize that your mentor has gained that which you admire and want although he/she has not had to sacrifice as many other things as you had. These are just a couple of examples that I have seen in my evaluation of myself. After you have decided what needs to be changed in order to reach your goal, you must ask yourself if you are willing to do those things which you need to do to change. For example, are you willing to sacrifice that which you love to get what you want? Is your goal more important to you?
You may realize you are capable of more. You may realize that what you wished for is not what you really wanted and have to change you goal completely. You may realize that you found new ways to grow. Whatever the case of your evaluation, you must always be challenging yourself.
This is the step that once you gain success will allow you to keep it. If you get complacent you will get lazy which will hurt you in all areas. Complacently is one of the leading causes of divorce. In the beginning of any relationship there is excitement that drives you. You love every little thing the person does and hang on their every word. Then, as the years go by one may become comfortable, maybe too comfortable and we start to take for granted the little things that made you fall in love in the first place. You must always look for the new things in life that will create excitement and keep yourself from becoming complacent. Often I will grab my wife and say come on I have a surprise for you, and take her for a walk at midnight to look at the stars. Surprise her with a special dinner at new restaurant we have been wanting to try. Surprise your loved one with a movie night and watch one of their old favorites. Keep a secret list of things they want or things they say they want to do someday and do it. This is very important to attaining a life full of love and happiness. Remind yourself that your loved one is not ordinary, that all those quirks that you used to love about her/him are still there, but you have missed them, you are the one that must change. The most important thing in life is not a bank account. It is not a car or a house. It is living a good life. Good friends, good family, and good times. These things will create good memories. That is what keeps you warm at night (but the money certainly helps).
Evaluate your goals, yourself, and your life honestly and truthfully and trust that if you keep moving and changing your patterns to benefit yourself and the people you love, you will achieve your ultimate happiness and live your dreams completely.
Talk to every major leader in the world, and they will tell you who their role model is, someone they look up to or use quotes from. Find someone who has achieved the level of success you want and is doing what you want to do and mirror them. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Certain people have already achieved and created the tools that you need to find your own success. I have heard some leaders say that you should focus your energy on one mentor at time. This could be a mistake. Imagine telling yourself to not be mentored or influenced by another successful person just because you already have one. This could block many, many different learning experiences that could truly be your missing link to your happiness and success. It is ignorant to think that your mind can only handle one mentor and his/her teachings at a time. One can never have too many heroes. Your hero could come in many different shapes and sizes and I don’t just mean this literally. Your hero can be a person you actually get to sit down with from time to time and talk to or he/she can come from reading a book or attending a seminar. How many books have you read in the past year? How many classes or seminars have you attended? If the answer to these questions are a zero or a low number, challenge yourself to find something you are interested in and read a book on it or find a class in your city and attend. If you do not, you will see zero percent growth. Jim Ron says, ”For things to change, you have to change”. Once you decide to look for things that are in line with your dreams you may find that the advisors/mentors you look up to are not always those you expect.
As a goal being set and after spending many hours writing scripts for our shows Kim and I still found that our best lines and moments often came from our audiences. I recall midway through a theatre performance I had asked a nice elderly gentlemen to help me on stage with my next piece of wonder. He looked like he had been enjoying himself and like he had plenty of spirit for the comedy banter he would soon find himself in the middle of. He took the stage and seemed a little too comfortable in the spotlight, which made me excited and without hesitation I asked his name and what he did for a living. He followed up by stating his name and then said he was unemployed. This got a good laugh. I told him he was in show business now and to smile real big, to show your teeth. I turned to retrieve a deck of cards from my table at stage left when I heard the audience burst into laughter. I quickly turned to see what had happened and I saw the 70+ years old gentlemen, partly hunched over smiling from ear to ear with his lips folded over his gums as he was holding his teeth in the palm of his hand showing the audience his teeth. He was laughing so hard I thought he was going to fall off the stage. He did just what I told him and he smiled, showing his teeth. I learned from that man as he was honest and willing to have fun even if it wasn’t written. Most of the time I perform I have a general idea of what I want to say but I find this freedom much more rewarding in the end. After the show he told me how much fun he had and offered to travel around and be permanently in our show. He laughed and I am excited to see what another 10 years of live performances will bring.
The real lesson here is that you should always try to love your audience/people. I heard once that Harry Blackstone, Sr., one of America’s great fathers of magic, used to walk on stage and under his breath before he spoke to the audience he would whisper to them, “I love you, I love you all”. I think this mind set has helped me connect with each member of the audience. This is also important in meeting or having sales calls, or anytime you think it is important to build rapport with people. Love for your audience/people will allow them to be comfortable with you and that’s when the fun begins. That’s when they will teach you.
If you simply change the amount of experiences you have, your life will start to change in dramatic ways. Find people who inspire you, motivate you, challenge you, and let them mentor you. By letting them mentor you, you must listen, and have love for who they are and what they are saying. LISTEN. LISTEN. LISTEN. The people that are already successful have so much to teach and you will only benefit if you listen, write it down, and evaluate it. The most ignorant thing you can do is find a mentor that you look up to and then tell him/her all the things you have done to be successful and to be who you are today. That is not the purpose of having a mentor, for your own block wall to talk to and make you feel better about yourself. LISTEN and listen some more.
You will find yourself saying I could have stayed up all night and not thought of those things that you will hear. This mentor or hero will train you how to become a hero or mentor to another and when this happens, then you may talk and tell that bright person the things that you have learned on your journey. This is the natural process and is necessary for all of us to grow. In order to become a master at anything you do all three practices: study, practice, and teach. Study, Practice, and Teach. This is true for all areas of life.
You will find that you will learn even more about your practice when you teach someone else. Again, this is the universe rewarding you for helping another person. The reward may come in ways unexpected and unanswered, such as learning something you thought you had mastered and now is something unknown. Be grateful for the experiences and knowledge you have and repeat the cycle: Study, Practice, Teach.
Failure means knowledge and you must change your approach. At first you don’t succeed you change your approach and try again. A long time ago I learned it is impossible for me to fail. Even if I don’t succeed or if the outcome isn’t what I dreamed it to be, I learned something and in my mind learning something new means success. There is no failure if you can change what you think failure is. I know it sounds bogus but your beliefs come into play with this move step often. For example, one of my mentors, Master Kravitz, a Kung Fu and Tai Chi master, I learned much of my devotion to martial arts and Tai chi, which has served as a guide to my life ever since it found me. I am no master, although I am practicing everyday to better myself. The thoughts I shared earlier in the book about the leaf that holds on to the tree too long during fall missing the beautiful trip down stream because the water freezes in winter, is a perfect idea of letting go of what you think you want in order to get more.
Try this little exercise. Take your hands and hold them out in front of you as if you going to clap them together. Then, using only your right hand push against you left hand, push hard! Notice how your left hand automatically resists and begins pushing back causing you to struggle and waste energy fighting something that would make no difference. Your left hand could have simply moved back or moved out of the way. To stop a punch of such power that if it impacted your face would possibly do permanent damage, which do you think would be better to do? 1. Tense your neck and face preparing for impact, or, 2. simply try not to be there when the punch came by moving out of the way or moving with the force, not against it.
This is a very powerful lesson to learn. In life everything has its season and if you are trying to harvest your field in the winter you will struggle to be successful. You must become aware of your season. If you are struggling in one area, instead of forcing yourself to fight against resistance, try changing direction for a few moments and see what magic that creates. Every artist will tell you that you can’t force yourself to be creative. Most will tell you they have something they do to condition themselves to be in the place spiritually to create. When they can’t seem to get started or seem stuck they tend to walk away for a moment. Creativity is a pure channel from where I don’t pretend to know. Many books have been written about this subject and one thing that they all tend to have in common is the fact that we all block our own creativity.
If your mind is talking you are not creating. You must get your mind to become calm like a lake without ripples. You must not react to emotional thoughts as they come and go, in and out of sight through your minds eye. Imagine your thoughts like waves of the ocean and as each thought comes in it builds and builds then it drifts back to sea leaving you calm once again until the next wave invades your mind. You must learn not to react to these thoughts and give them time to come and go. This will give you power over your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are not your thoughts telling you that you are not smart enough, not pretty enough, not young enough, too young, too poor or any negative thought you have. All the mind is doing is filtering and organizing your thoughts due to importance. If you react to your negative thoughts you are flagging/anchoring them to come back over and over again. You must come to terms with your mind to create your dreams and accomplish the MOVE step.
Write down the desires you long for. Think about it like this, don’t think about your toes, you are thinking about your toes aren’t you? Don’t think of a black cat, a black cat is all you can think about isn’t it?
Your mind will take you and reveal every answer you ask it. I will teach in later chapter about Dream Pages, a tool that opens that gate and frees your mind and creates total self power and inner knowledge. These pages I will teach you about are the most important thing in this book. They will change your life no matter where you are now. Ever test drive a car and then when you leave the dealership for the next month you see that model car everywhere? Your mind has a filter that which is activated by what we desire. If you get emotional about our desires and write them down, you can almost sit back and watch them reveal themselves to you. You will find yourself asking, why did I not see that before?
Now before I end on the Move step I want to tell you about a very interesting evening I had a few years ago. I had been asked to perform for an Indian Reservation Youth conference, for the Tohono O’odham Nation, which would be attended by about 200 youth and leaders. They made me feel welcome and loved the magic and comedy I presented. For an hour plus I entertained under a tent on a stage made from plywood that creaked when I walked. At one point of the show a very skinny, hungry dog joined me on stage, not because I invited him up, but because he was looking for food. I laughed and made the best of it. After all, they were well responsive and respectable.
After the show, Kim and I were invited to eat with them and share in the festivities of the rest of the evening. I understood from my teachers that eating was usually not a good idea because one never knew the manner of certain people and would not want to offend anyone, but I thought that because of the modest setup and how impressed they were with the show I would accept the invitation. Also, Kim and I were hungry and we were two hours away from anything at all. This was in the middle of a desert like I had never seen before and was a very poor community although they filled our plates high and we enjoyed a great evening with our new friends. They gifted us with a friendship pot hand-made with images of children holding hands around it. They told us it was a gift they give to friends who become family. After we ate, they all gathered around to hear stories of our magical adventures.
Kim took over the conversation for she commands attention with her charm. Secretly as she talked about all the times she had to save me from a total disaster, I organized my next piece of magic in my mind and planned carefully what effects would work with all the elements that one has to deal with in this art. I had it, the next piece of magic I would attempt needed to look spontaneous. The effect is very clever and the secret is even more devious.
(The effect goes something like this: while realizing my shoe is untied I magically tie it up by simply kicking my foot so the laces flap about and tie themselves back up. It always gets a great reaction and the magic it leaves people with is wonderful).
Finally, the right moment presented itself and I began with the effect. Kim having been with me for 10 years now knew exactly what I was up to and before I could even say a word she says to me, “Rodney your shoe is untied.” As I began looking at other peoples’ shoes I saw only boots in the circle of people watching us and suddenly then, I spotted the one pair of shoes with laces, Yes, I thought and without looking up and with no hesitation, I went on with my patter saying, “How did you tie those?” I wasn’t sure what had happened, but I could feel the mood in the room drop and all was quiet. What had I done? I was almost afraid to look up because I have felt this feeling before, which is a different story, but I looked up and right away realized that those shoes with the laces belonged to a young woman who had lost both her arms. I think everyone in the room wanted to help me out of this situation, but they all just stood there staring in total silence.
I was the magician whose shoe came untied and looked around the entire room and pointed out the one person with no arms and asked the question, how do you tie your shoes? I was immediately humbled and I changed my tone and asked her politely if she had had someone help with her shoes or if she had learned how to overcome this problem and had a clever solution to offer a magician in my time of need. I then realized what a great opportunity I had in front of me. I would teach her to tie them without using her hands. After taking a deep breath, I told her that I had a dream a while back and in this dream was that I had lost both my arms and it seemed in my dreams that I was okay with this until I tried to put on my shoes and lace them up. I continued saying, In my dream I worked out a way to tie them myself. “Watch,” I said as I kicked my leg just a little and my foot flicked about. You could hear the laces lap about as they twisted around themselves into a perfect bow. As I looked up the room was still quiet and with tears in her eyes she thanked me.
“Failure is only the opportunity to more intelligently begin again”