When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift…
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before your song is over.
– David Weatherford Source
It’s not a race.
Personally, I often find myself frustrated that I still do the same magic tricks I have been using for years, despite having loads of new tricks stacking up indoors. Yet I’m still always looking out for the next big new card magic trick that will be that ‘reputation maker’. Why does this happen? Here’s the reason……..
I’m trying to run before I can walk.
Essentially, I’m ‘grazing’ on tricks. Buying new magic tricks with full intent on putting it into my act, learning it quickly, thinking ‘yeah, that’s good, I know that now’, then off it goes to the stack of tricks I’ll add to my act. I’m running too fast. Let’s just stop a moment and think back to when we all first dipped our toes in the world of magic. We happily spent hours studying a trick, sleight, move or script, and enjoyed the learning experience. The thrill and enjoyment were the learning. Then, alas, we experienced the joy of performing and the buzz of the reactions, which in comparison, was much more satisfying. So we instinctively chose to chase the buzz of the reactions rather than the content pleasure of practicing and learning magic. We are moving too fast. Stop. What really is the rush?
But I owe it to myself to have the best act I can.
Of course, you do. And it’s commendable that you want to progress and reach that point. However, my belief is there is no such point of arrival. You never get there as there is always another hill to climb. If you have the hunger to better your act and tricks right now, you will always have that hunger, so no need to rush.
A good meal is made, not by half cooked intentions, and such a meal wouldn’t satisfy any hunger. A good meal is made from well balanced and well cooked ingredients, and to use these ingredients you need to have a complete understanding of their possibilities and workings.
To be great magicians we need to understand our tools fully if we want to get the full benefit from them and in turn satisfaction. The problem is we live in a world now where everything is instant. Instant food, instant movies, instant shopping, instant music and now instant magic downloads too. The list goes on, and we easily forget that quality takes time, and more importantly focus.
Magicians are made one trick at a time.
Going slightly off subject, but my father used to be a very successful builder, carpenter and architect. I grew up in a world where I’d see a blank piece of paper become a detailed house design. Then I’d see that building grow brick by brick over time. Inevitably, the result would be a beautiful individual home, one of a kind. The main point I learnt from this is that my father insisted on only working on one house at a time from start to finish, despite what work was offered. If we truly wish to gain satisfaction from our magic, we need to apply this approach. One effect at a time, and slow down our urges to learn the new. Truth be known you already know enough, as my father did. It was how he applied his knowledge that moved him forwards.
Not seeing the wood from the trees.
If you find yourself sat staring at all your magic tricks wondering where on earth to begin. All that temptation is staring you in the face. It’s hard to choose where to begin. Can’t see the wood for the trees? There is only one answer. Pick up just one single trick, and put everything else out of sight.
DO THIS: Turn off this device right now, pop some music on and enjoy that learning process all over again, just like you did when you began learning magic. Learn to love learning again. It’s the best part of the journey, scenery, and destination you want to find.