Unexpected Problems = Unscheduled Practice

We all face adversities in life we do not expect, “accidents” that throw us off our track. We can choose to view them as obstacles that prevent us from getting what we want or we can choose to ‘reframe’ and view them quite differently.

In the film Batman Begins, Bruce Wayne deliberately got himself thrown into a prison to fight criminals behind locked doors. There were many quotable lines in the film, but there’s one part I really liked that inspired me immensely.

 

Bruce Wayne in Prison

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Choosing the Path of Personal Power (Part 3) – Terry Fox

In my last post, I wrote that many people who see themselves as failures in life tend to have the victim’s mindset and surrender their personal power to circumstances and people around them. Today I’ll write on one exemplary story which is of the total opposite.

This is the inspiring story of Terry Fox.

You may have heard of the Terry Fox run, an annual charity non-competitive marathon event held in numerous countries around the world in commemoration of Canadian cancer activist Terry Fox, and his Marathon of Hope, and to raise money for cancer research. Do you know how the Terry Fox story began?

 

Marathon of Hope

Terry Fox in action

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Choosing the Path of Personal Power (Part 1)

To walk a thorny road, you may cover its every inch with leather. Or you can make sandals.

The above is an ancient Indian parable of a man who wants to walk across the land, only to discover that the earth is covered with thorns.

He has two options: one is to pave the road and to tame all of nature into compliance. The other is to make sandals, which is the internal solution. Which is better or easier? Which is the empowering choice? The answer is not based on a submissive world or overpowering force, but on intelligent preparation, cultivated resilience and inner resourcefulness. The latter choice is the path to empowerment, your Personal Power.

Path to Personal Power

Two Choices

 

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How to Develop Magical Confidence – Secrets of a Magician (Maxim #5)

Finally, the last Maxim on ‘How to Develop Magical Confidence – Secrets of a Magician’. Hope it has been a useful series for my readers. Feed your mind with the final idea.

 

Maxim 5 – Be Prepared

There are always people in your life that you need to impress: your bosses, colleagues, clients, prospects, friends, family members, even strangers. The question is this: At what price would you pay to really make an impression on them? To what end would you go to make your “performances” work to win your audience?

The best magicians would go to whatever extreme end to win their audience over.  Advance preparation is the key. Sometimes the preparation takes place within the first couple of minutes of their tricks while they were casually chatting to their audience. The audience thinks they are just warming up, but in actual fact, the magicians are performing the most crucial parts of the show during that key couple of minutes. It’s called misdirection. Also, many times, preparation can take days, months or even years of careful planning. Magician Michael Webber said that you should be so far in advance ahead of the game that the audience doesn’t know that a game is being played!

In Maxim #4, I wrote about Practicing Your Outs, which is also a type of advance preparation. And there are more.

 

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How to Develop Magical Confidence – Secrets of a Magician (Maxim #4)

Two more maxims to go. Today, we’re already on Maxim #4. To read on my earlier posts on the series, here’s Maxim #1, Maxim #2 and Maxim #3.

 

Maxim Four: Practice, Practice, Practice

One of the lessons that all magicians learned early on is to make the difficult look simple. And the only way to do that is through lots of practice. Mastery is only a matter of practice away. And they have to put in the hours to reach the level of mastery to be confident in front of the crowd.

Done poorly, a magic trick can be seen across the room. Done well, it’s invisible even to the person nearest to the magician. To do that, his technique has to be so effortless that there’s no “tell”, no extra tension in the muscles of his hands. Truly invisible.

That’s what magicians do. They devote many years of their lives to practice so hard to perfect techniques that no one can see! They use the mirrors, they use video recordings, and they use real people to practice with. Until they develop the right habits in movement, that they can flow effortlessly during performances.

Nobody wants to watch a performer make something difficult looks difficult. The audience won’t have much confidence in the performer. They like to see perfection, they like to enjoy masterpieces, they expect you to be at your peak and at the top of your game. To wow them at every performance.

How does a top magician like Steve Cohen practice? In his book, he let his readers in on his secret practice routines. Here’s a summary:

 

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