Magic Is Misunderstood

This week, I ran into a LinkedIn post by an entrepreneur I respect who had written an article suggesting that creativity wasn’t magic and how this was a good thing.

When Magic is your #2 corporate value, it’s safe to infer that I vehemently disagree with the above thesis.

Magician Doug Henning used to say, “The art of a Magician is to create wonder. If we live with a sense of wonder, our lives become filled with joy.”

To a receiving audience, exceptional magic makes you feel that awe and joy. So much, you crave seeing that trick again. Or, at the very least, feeling that feeling one more time. While the audience feels one thing, the Magician has worked feverishly to provoke that emotion. They are not in the same emotional “wonder” mindset. They are unemotional while at work.

Catch a Magician away from the stage, and they will tell you that magic is not a trick. Magic is a blend of skill, craft and, above all, preparation.

“Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.” – Teller

“I think anybody can do any of these if they train.” – David Blaine

If you look down the list of “magic” definitions, you land on the following:

“A quality that makes something seemed removed from everyday life, especially in a way that gives delight.”

For many business/brands, wouldn’t you want to give delight to your customers? Of course. That means unemotionally stepping into the shoes of your customers looking to create an emotional response that creates joy or wonder when they interact with your brand.

And that last detail mentioned above takes a professional.

I will be the first to admit while everyone is creative, not everyone has what it takes to be a professional creative. While everyone can try Magic, not everyone has what it takes to be a professional Magician. While everyone can shoot a jump shot, not everyone has what it takes to be a professional NBA player.

Creating magic takes a lot of skill.
Creating magic takes a lot of craft.
Creating magic takes a lot of practice.

All of the above did make me wonder the following:
If a Magician does a trick to themselves, is it magic?


As they say, “it takes two to tango.” Add in an audience (even an audience of one) and let the magic begin.

Who is helping you step into the shoes of your customers to create awe, wonder and delight?

If you don’t believe in magic, you don’t practice magic.
If you won’t practice magic, you certainly won’t create it.

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