What’s this all about?
Magicians are in the business of creating experiences that are absolutely mind blowing. No matter how impossible it seems, however, tricks work by making use of fundamental principles.
If you look at business leaders who are massively successful, it can seem like it happened as if by magic. They started a company and *POOF* they’re incredibly successful.
Success, no matter how incredible, is the result of effort applied in accordance to certain fundamental principles. I’m going to explain how magicians do what they do to help you understand what it takes to be successful in your own way.
I’m not supposed to do this.
I’ve consulted for Criss Angel. I’ve performed at the world-famous Magic Castle in LA. I’ve entertained United States troops stationed overseas.
I’ve been in magic my whole life, and I know my way around the world of mystery.
What I’m about to tell you is absolutely forbidden in the magical community; I’m going to reveal the secret to every single trick you’ve ever seen in your life.
Not only that, once you’re in the know, I’m going to explain exactly how you can use that knowledge to conjure results in your personal & business life that will look like pure magic to outsiders.
Anyone looking in won’t be able to comprehend how you can get incredible results, but you and I will both know there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Magic is boring.
There, I said it.
That’s the biggest secret in magic; just how simple it truly is.
People want magic to be this exotic thing that lives in a secret dusty room holding arcane knowledge, rituals, spells, and even a hex or two. But when it comes right down to it, magic is elegant in its simplicity.
Sure, there are magical masterpieces requiring feats of engineering and technology that are phenomenally complex to create, but no matter how complicated the machinery every single trick you’ve heard about is built on fundamental psychological principles that apply across all cultures.
Those principles reveal truths about how we, as people, navigate the world, make decisions, & think about ourselves.
I’m going to dive into what it all means for business, relationships, and beyond.
*pulls a book on the shelf which swings open to reveal a dusty room, and walks in*
The Secret To Every Magic Trick Ever
“The magician creates the context for logical assumptions that are later shown to not be true.” ~Jonathan Pritchard
Forgive me for quoting myself, but I want to make sure the world knows I said it first.
There’s a lot going on in the quote, so let me break it down piece by piece, and explain how it applies to other worlds outside magical performance.
This is the agent of action. This is the person who is making things happen. This is you.
Since prehistory, magicians (shamans, spirit guides, etc) have fulfilled a very important role in societies as someone who understands the forces of nature, and uses that knowledge to bend reality to his/her will.
They are considered to be in possession of knowledge that is beyond ordinary comprehension, and capable of creating miracles.
I love that idea because it is so very close to reality. Everyone knows something that seems so obvious to them, but appears completely mystifying to anyone else. In this way, we are all magicians of our own lives. We understand the world in a unique way, and we can all use that power to create amazing results.
…creates the context…
Context means everything. Context is the reason a comedian can call someone a name and everyone in the room laughs, but if you try it at a bar you’ll get a lesson in manners outside in the parking lot.
Context is the basis for relationships. Nothing exists in a vacuum. Everything exists in relationship to everything else in the universe. It’s the circumstances and facts around an idea or situation that helps shape its meaning.
How context is built, and used, has far-reaching implications.
A magician is on stage in a theater. People know that the magician is going to be performing tricks, and that it is a performance. These are all parts of the puzzle that come together to provide a context for the audience to enjoy the magical performance.
The experience is further crafted through the performer’s words, actions, music, lights, and every other tool of stagecraft at his disposal. Every element in use helps create a context which creates a reality where magic lives.
Just like the magician, you create the context in which other people perceive you. Everything you do, everything you say, everything you wear, etc. creates the context in which people can understand you.
Once you realize you are in control of how you are presenting yourself to the world, you can start taking ownership for the results you are getting (or not).
…for logical assumptions…
“I am turned into a sort of machine for observing facts and grinding out conclusions.” ~Charles Darwin
The magician shows a coin in his right hand, drops it in his left hand and closes his fingers around it into a fist. With the wave and snap of his fingers the coin vanishes.
Your eyes saw the coin in his right hand, and watched the hand turn over above his left palm. You know the coin drops into the left palm because gravity is a fundamental force of nature. Logical.
And that’s where the magician leads your mind astray.
It’s logical to assume that if you turn your hand over, the coin will fall to the floor.
What’s not logical is to think a person has spent 20 years learning how to hold a coin with the muscles of the hand in a way to make it look empty from above.
The magician doesn’t announce, “Behold, my empty right hand!” He just behaves in a way (creating the context) that would make you think it’s empty (logical assumption).
If he were to state “My right hand is empty” he knows you would immediately challenge him immediately. Instead, he behaves as if the hand is empty, your mind tells you it’s empty, and you believe it. After all, why would you lie to yourself?
To help us navigate the world, our minds help build guidelines and general rules about how the world works (like gravity will make a coin fall from an open hand when turned over), and uses these as shortcuts to decision making.
These assumptions operate at a level that precedes conscious thought. You aren’t even aware that your mind is doing that for you. If you want to discover what kind of assumptions you’re working with, look to the major points of conflict in your life. You’ll be sure to find beliefs and ideas about what is true about the world that is out of alignment with reality.
The most powerful way to change your perception of the world is to challenge your beliefs and fundamental assumptions about reality. It can be uncomfortable, but if you want change in your life, you’re going to need to work on the assumptions that are dictating your reality.
…that are later shown to not be true…
In the example of the coin disappearing, your assumptions about coins dropping towards the floor creates a narrative in your mind that tells you that the coin is now in the magician’s left hand.
The more you trust your own conclusions (based on “logical” assumptions) and the longer you hold those beliefs, the stronger the magical effect will be when it’s revealed that things aren’t how you thought they were.
In the context of a magic show, this experience is fun. It makes people laugh, clap, and gasp with wonder.
In the context of the real world, this experience can be devastating. You thought you had the contract and your client (seemingly) suddenly goes with another agency. You thought your partner was faithful, and you find out they’re not.
The list can go on forever.
And, it can be incredibly empowering.
You thought you couldn’t depend on anyone else, but the whole community shows up to help you (The plot behind, “It’s a Wonderful Life”).
Things aren’t always as they seem, and if you find yourself in a reality where things don’t match up with how you thought they are, then it’s your assumptions that need revising.
That’s the secret to magic and success.
Context is everything, your assumptions dictate your perception of reality, and sometimes life isn’t what it seems (and that can be a great thing!).
If you’re interested in understanding more about the psychology of why people do what they do I invite you to check out more articles on the site that will get you results that look like MAGIC.
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Let’s start a conversation.