Blinking In Business

If you’re a mentalist, like me, you’d instantly recognize the number 793.8. I’ve often thought of getting it tattooed somewhere on my body it’s that important.

What is it?

The Dewey Decimal number for the library’s Magic & Mentalism section.

First Mentors

The mountains of North Carolina isn’t well known for being a hotbed of magic, so the authors of the 5 or 6 books in the McDowell county library were my first mentors. Every day after school I’d spend 2 hours reading & re-reading every page of each magic book on the shelves.

If you’ve never read an instructional magic book, there’s a peculiar thing you’ve probably never thought about.

How do magicians practice without a volunteer?

The answer in all the magic books from the 50’s I grew up reading is to run through the routine while standing in front of a mirror. This gives you the best approximation of how a spectator would see your trick.

This helps you understand a volunteer’s sight lines, how to hold your hand to make sure nobody sees the card hidden there, and so on.

Mental Hiccup

There’s a peculiar thing that happens, though. When you’re practicing that secret move nobody is supposed to see, your brain “helps you out” by making sure you blink when you do it in the mirror.

It’s the weirdest thing.

To you, the trick looks perfect. Every time you do the “move,” there’s absolutely nothing to see. . . to you. In the mirror, it seems flawless.

You think you have all the moves down perfectly, but you’re completely unaware of your habit of blinking.

Until you try it out in real life, for a real person.

“I saw that.”

You’re more surprised it went wrong than they would be had it gone right.

“There’s no way they could have seen the move!” you think. But there’s no arguing they nailed you.

How?!

It’s a complete mystery to you.

The problem is, you’re completely unaware of your blinking habit. It’s completely subconscious.

Much like using verbal fillers like “uhhh,” “umm,” “like,” “ya know,” etc. They fly right under the radar.

Flash Forward 70 Years

Nowadays everybody has a whole production studio in their pocket; HD video cameras in every phone.

They see everything.

Now, you can record your routine, and replay it exactly as you performed it.

The camera doesn’t blink.

Now you can get an unbiased (and brutally honest) view of how you’re actually performing. No illusions.

You need an outside view of your performance to identify your weak areas. Improving is almost impossible without it. Otherwise your tendency to blink will keep you blind to what’s going wrong.

Blinking In Business

How many managers & CEOs have you seen who are driving their business into the ground, but they’d rate themselves as fantastic leaders?

Weird, right?

It’s the same mental hiccup that helps you protect the idea of who you are against the reality of who you are when they’re in conflict.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

Few people are capable of honestly & accurately evaluating themselves.

Fewer still are willing.

Better Than Video

As good as having an unblinking eye is for improving, there’s something that works even better: a real life mentor.

Having someone who is an expert at identifying where you’re “blinking” in business & life, and who can show you what to do instead, will help you improve the absolute fastest way possible.

It’s an unfortunate reality that those who would benefit the most from this kind of help are the least likely to seek it out.

If you, however, are interested in helping yourself get more out of life, let’s talk.

I’d love to help you stop fooling yourself.

Success Will Destroy You

When I first started performing, I didn’t trust the audience. I would finish a routine where I predicted the future, moved objects with my mind, or influenced someone’s choices, and people would clap like crazy. It’s amazing stuff, and it’s no wonder people would applaud!

But I didn’t believe it.

I thought they were bored, disappointed, or just clapping because that’s what’s expected of them.

Maybe they were, who knows?

Point is, I’m not psychic so I have no real idea what they were thinking.

What was really going on was I was dealing with my own impostor syndrome, and feeling like I wasn’t worth the positive attention I was getting.

Eventually I figured out that nobody has to clap if they don’t want to. They seemed to be doing it on their own volition because they genuinely wanted to show their appreciation.

I’d made it past the hurdle of self doubt without tripping.

Since I passed that test, life tries to destroy me using a different approach: success.

After shows people love to come up and shake my hand. They want me to sign autographs. They tell me how much they love my show (& by extension me).

Basically every single person I talk to afterwards has nice things to say.

It’s an illusion.

What I’m experiencing is the result of a self-selecting process. Turns out, the only people who are willing to stand in line to talk to me are the people who liked what I did. If someone isn’t a fan, they won’t waste their time; they’ll just walk out. This creates a situation after shows where I’m only encountering people who like what I do.

This can destroy me.

It gives me a false sense that there’s no need to improve. There’s no need to continue working on my craft. There’s no need to put in more effort.

That’s a lie.

Success requires constant struggle. Constant improvement. Constant reevaluation of choices.

Moral of the Story

Don’t believe your own hype. Thank people for the kindness they show you, but don’t make your choices based on the opinions of others.

Stay grounded, and don’t lose your drive.

Trapped In The Mirror Dimension

Your thoughts aren’t real.

You might feel that statement is so painfully obvious that it doesn’t need saying. Before you click away, let me explain why the problems you’re having right now are a direct result of you believing they are.

Trust me, I’m a mind reader. I know what I’m talking about.

Have you ever been mad at yourself for being mad? Are you depressed that you’re depressed all the time? Are you anxious about being anxious? What the hell is going on?

This kind of meta-worry is a byproduct of our incredible ability to think. Thinking is an abstract process in a dimension that’s not real.

It’s like looking at a mirror.

You can see it. It’s right there. Every detail is reflected perfectly for you to see. But, when you reach out to touch it, and all you feel is the smooth glass surface.

Same goes with your thoughts. You can see them. You know they’re there. But you can never touch them.

When we reflect on our problems, we’re holding a mirror up to a mirror. The result is an infinite tunnel of reflections. Each image is another abstracted reflection of a reflection of a reflection and so on down the rabbit hole forever.

This is exactly what’s happening in your mind when you worry about worrying. Or get sad about being sad.

How Do You Escape?

When you’re trapped in a mirror dimension, everything is backwards.

When you’re trapped in your mind, the solution is almost always the opposite of what you think you should do.

This why your pursuit of happiness is making you miserable. This is why chasing wealth is making your poor. This is why your need for acceptance is making you lonely. This is why your pursuit of achieving enlightenment is just making you miserable.

Seems like the faster you run towards happiness, the faster you become miserable.

You’re trapped in a way of thinking that is completely backwards. You’re inside the mirror.

The only way out is to see your thoughts for what they are: abstract non-entities. They’re conjured apparitions without weight or form.

Your thoughts aren’t real.

You believe they’re real, so you take action in the physical world that leads to the complete opposite effect than you intended.

Your continued refusal to accept this fact is the direct result of you believing your thoughts are more real than the world you live in.

The harder you fight reality, the more pain you experience from your delusions. That’s why the sages throughout history have said that your reality is simply a mirror of your inner state. You eventually realize you’re the one hitting yourself. You don’t see the world as it is, you see the world as you are.