I am a magician and a mentalist.
I do magic tricks with playing cards, paper napkins, coins, and balls. I can also do mentalism – an art form in which you “predict” outcomes and “influence” the behavior of people.
While learning magic for the last few years, I have incidentally become better at many other aspects of my life and work. I feel like I am a better trainer too.
Let me elaborate.
The first thing I did to learn magic was to watch a lot of magic. In learning about the art of misdirection, I have learned to observe better. My eyes and mind are tuned to read between the lines better now. While I no longer enjoy magic shows as much (because I understand the tricks), I think I am a much-improved version of myself as far as attention to detail goes.
I have also become better at having a “poker face” and in “emotion management”. During the performance, any unnecessary expression of emotion can ruin the trick. It gives me better control in negotiations with clients as I am learning how to keep emotions in check.
Performing an engaging and entertaining magic show needs much more than an understanding of tricks. One needs to draw learnings from public speaking, improv, and theatre to be a great performer.
Magic is an art form unlike any other. If you look at just the tricks and secrets, you may feel it is trivial or even childish. If you look at the impact it has on the audience (when done well) it can be very profound.
For decades, magic has been a great hobby for many and has helped them become better by virtue of practicing and performing. I am also finding that it can be quite therapeutic and empowering.
Give it a shot. You don’t have to do it professionally. Just buy a deck of cards. Watch some youtube videos. Learn some basic tricks. Fool your friends. Entertain your colleagues. You will have a lot of fun too, and it’s a great stress buster.
Watch this space as I share more insights and specifics on how magic can transform your life and work.