Finally back in the pool!
About 10 years ago I started to lap swim going at least three times a week – I worked myself up to 1000 meters a swim.
However covid put an end to this.
Today I finally got back in the pool.
It will take time to work myself back up to where I was – but it feels great to be doing it again!!
There is great magic in the journey!!
Another succesful presentation of my “REAL MAGIC – Simple Effective Solutions To Complicated Problems” VIRTUAL LECTURE for magicians.
This time for the International Brotherhood Of Magicians Ring 49 in Hamilton, Ontario – my old stomping ground.
This is where it all started for me. Such a thrill to be back lecturing after all these years!
It’s been a crazy year with almost no time to update – that is about to change. The update part 🙂 Stay tuned!
The Magical Power Of Belief!
If you are, or have ever been a pet owner, you know there is a special almost magical bond that develops in this kind of relationship. Such was the case with our dog “Houdini”.
At first glance, our lovable puppy seemed to be just like any other dog; affectionate, playful and carefree. However, as time and experience quickly marched on, a most uncanny “psychic” ability started to develop.
We acquired our Lhasa Apso “Houdini” as our older dog approached 16 in human years. The concept was that a puppy would breathe new life into our aging old friend and make the inevitable life expectancy transition easier to handle. In reality, it did even more.
And contrary to popular belief, it was not I who gave Houdini his name, it was his breeder. It seems the lady had been calling him “Harry”, and when she found out my profession pleaded with us to name him “Houdini”. A name, which I might add, he’s lived up to many times.
In fact, the first night he stayed over at the Vet’s, he escaped from his cage three times!! However, all these escapades could not prepare us for the magic that was to follow.
You see “Houdini” has developed a magical, almost psychic ability to open doors. Now before you think me mad, please hear me out.
Houdini can open a door by concentrating on it. How does he do it? He believes it will happen!!
When Houdini wants to go outside, he does not bark, scratch or draw attention to it like most dogs. He actually does the opposite.
Houdini simply stands in the room and stares at the door. Regardless if there is anyone around or not, he just stands there silently transfixed, staring trance like at the door.
If you come in and ask him “want to go outside (?)”; there is no response. Houdini just stands there and concentrates even harder on the door. He does this to the point where someone (regardless of where you are in the house) will actually feel strangely compelled to go to the door, open it and let him out!! And time is not a factor.
He will stand there for as long as it takes. It is almost as if Houdini is mentally visualizing the door opening, his going through it, and then mentally projecting his image out into the world.
I can see my old Psychology Professors shaking their heads over this one, and yes, I do know better. Animals such as Houdini do not have “psychic powers” or “mental reasoning abilities” or even “a mind as we know it.”
However, as someone who has studied animal conditioning, behavioral sciences and personally trained dozens of animals from doves to Bengal tigers I can tell you this; it looks like something magical is happening here.
Houdini may not be aware of it but he is actively demonstrating some of the key behaviors that anyone who has achieved “what at first seems impossible” knows. This knowledge is the real secret to creating “Real Magic”!
1) Know what it is you want to have happen. Be very clear about your end result and actually visualize it happening.
2) Believe that it will happen. There are no if, ands or buts; this will become a reality.
3) Be committed to making it happen, no matter what. Get prepared to do whatever it takes and for as long as it will take. Remember there are no unrealistic goals, just unrealistic time lines.
4) Do it, make it happen. Elicit whatever skills and help you need to turn your goals into a reality.
Yes, I know there are those who will say that Houdini’s story is dribble; that this whole door thing is just coincidence, fantasy or a dog gone, self fulfilling prophecy. To others its just fun to imagine and think about.
All I know is that there is magic in believing no matter who you are, and we are not reminded enough about this!
Please keep in mind that almost everything we take for granted today, was at one time impossible. Also, remember to look for the magic in the simplest things; it’s just waiting to be discovered. Dare to dream, smile and make magic happen! Create your own magic!
Remember Real Magic can happen only when people believe in themselves and are passionate about making a difference in their own life and the lives of others! Have focus! Be passionate about what you do! Create your own real magic!!
“All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.”
The end of August, beginning of September always holds a special place in my heart. It’s a magical time of rebirth, celebration and the excitement of future adventures.
Firstly, starting on August 17th and running through to September 5th, it contains the birthdays of my wife Suzanne, our daughter Jacqueline, and myself. A definite time to celebrate and appreciate all that we have.
It also signals the return to school.
And having a spouse (very recently retired) who’s whole career was in the educational sector, as well as our daughter who is into her next level of education (University in Toronto and LA), it signals a very special, emotional response from us all. A “childlike” excitement of what the future holds.
But more importantly it serves as a cue to myself that there are some very basic teachings we have to remind ourselves of time and time again. We innately know these lessons, but sometimes we need to revisit them.
In this regard I think Robert Fulghum said it best…
“All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.”
All I really need to know about how to live and what to do
and how to be I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the
sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life – learn some and think some
and draw and paint and sing and dance and play
and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic,
hold hands, and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.
Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:
The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody
really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even
the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.
So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books
and the first word you learned – the biggest
word of all – LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.
The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.
Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any of those items and extrapolate it into
sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your
family life or your work or your government or
your world and it holds true and clear and firm.
Think what a better world it would be if
all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about
three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with
our blankies for a nap.
Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put thing back where
they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you
are – when you go out into the world, it is best
to hold hands and stick together.
(© Robert Fulghum, 1990. Found in Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, Villard Books: New York, 1990, page 6-7. )
WOW! Let’s face it – this really says it all. When we embrace, and put into action, these simple lessons what a magical difference we make in ourselves and the world.
As we move into a new school year please remember the “Magic” that special lessons like these – and more importantly the difference that YOU – can make! It can be REAL MAGIC!
After all, Real Magic is nothing more than coming up with simple, effective solutions to complicated problems, and then doing something about it! But Real Magic can happen only when people believe in themselves and are passionate about making a difference in their own life and the lives of others! Have focus! Be passionate about what you do! Create your own real magic!
PS: My BAND TOGETHER – No Bullies Allowed is a great way to reinforce these important messages. For more information on how this can happen please CLICK HERE.
PPS: Have a great time in school this year!
Revealing some Magic Secrets behind these, and many other, Canadian Credited Inventions.
There are hundreds of great inventions from all over the world, however in honour of Canada Day I wanted to explore the magic behind some of our own inventions.
If you were to ask any Canadian to name something invented in Canada, the more common answers you most likely would get are Insulin (Banting and Best), the Telephone (Bell) and the Robertson screw (Robertson). In reality there many more, such as those listed in my title.
The Light Bulb, although credited to Edison, was actually first patented by Henry Woodward and Matthew Evans in Canada in 1874 two years prior to a patent being granted to Thomas Edison. Edison later purchased this Canadian discovery when he was making his original investigations and before he obtained his own patents.
Five-Pin Bowling was invented in 1909 by Thomas F. Ryan in Toronto, Ontario, at his Toronto Bowling Club. It was created in response to customers who complained that the ten-pin game was too strenuous and took too long to play. He cut five ten-pins down to about 75% of their size, and used hand-sized hard rubber balls, thus inventing the game of five-pin bowling.
Instant Mashed Potatoes was invented by the Canadian scientist Edward Asselbergs in 1962. Although the mashing of a potato probably dates from antiquity, the industrial method of “preparation of dehydrated cooked mashed potatoes” was not created and patented until 1962 by Asselberg.
The list goes on and on: the Canadarm, Electron Microscope, Wonderbra, Basketball, Superman, the Paint Roller, Bloody Caesar, the Pacemaker, IMAX, and the BlackBerry, just to mention a few more. For a more complete list of Canadian inventions visit:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Canadian_inventions
However as diverse as all these inventions are, the systems behind their creations remain quite similar (and not just Canadian).
SOLVE A PROBLEM! The most successful inventions and innovations BEGIN by someone having a desire to “solve a problem”. There is a need that already exists (whether commonly known or not) for something that solves a problem or advances our way of life. And the greater the problem the easier to fuel the next step, passion!
PASSION! Once you discover that something needs to exist to solve this problem, and YOU realize you can do this, a fire is born. This fire becomes a burning passion! An itch that cannot be scratched enough until this problem is solved – no matter what it takes! You need to constantly feed this passion so seek out those who can help you do this and ignore the naysayer.
NEVER GIVE UP! This in many cases is actually the hardest step – doing whatever it takes to achieve your goal, for as long as it takes. In reality it can be easier said than done; because no matter happens you have to keep moving toward you goal! The magic word here is “sacrifice” – how much are you willing to give up to do what needs to be done?
As a life long “magical student” I have become quite attuned to these “simple steps” that when employed correctly can produce truly magical results. These are powerful results that can benefit not only our own lives, but the world at large.
So what is the take away? Are there some basic steps that just might help us create our own magic?
Life is about the moment! If something ‘sparks” a great idea in you – act on it – NOW! .
Hang around positive people who will support YOU! If you want to move forward you will need help from those that will build you up – not knock you down.
Be passionate! Sorry, life is over way too soon – go for it NOW!
Never quit. As the old saying goes (but hey its true), when life gives you lemons make lemonade – or better yet a “new style” lemonade stand. Keep going and always look for a better way to help others.
That’s how we make Magic happen!
Remember Real Magic is nothing more than coming up with simple, effective solutions to complicated problems, and then doing something about it!
But Real Magic can happen only when people believe in themselves and are passionate about making a difference in their own life and the lives of others! Have focus! Be passionate about what you do! Create your own real magic!
PS: My program THINK LIKE A MAGICIAN – How to create a “making the impossible, possible” FOCUS shows students exactly how to do this.
PPS: HAPPY CANADA DAY!