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(Perception)

 As a magician, obviously the subject of how things appear (or disappear for that matter) is very important. In relation to the individual and self-esteem, the ways in which we see ourselves, as well as our abilities, is a key to development. This subject is dealt with in great detail, as it is my belief that how we look at the world and our relation to it is of primary importance in building a strong base for a positive self image.

     I feel that it is the most important first "key", because in the process of developing a better sense of who we are, it is good to identify our strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of what we can and cannot do can really help improve our self confidence, because when we know what we're good at, or what needs work, then we have a good point of reference for learning other things.

    I have a wonderful illustration about how our first impressions often can guide us to a limited perception. As an example, three distinctly different sized ropes are shown. I ask the group if the ropes are the same or different. They are obviously different lengths, but other than that, they are all exactly the same, i.e., color, material, each has a knot on the end, etc... Interesting how quickly we make distinctions based on size, color, upbringing, what mom or dad does, how big or small the home is, etc...

    My main illustration here is that while we do have differences, we share a great deal of similar aspects as well. Recently, one very astute student raised her hand and said, "We are all different, and that makes us the same!" This is precisely my point, that we all have unique talents and abilities, and that makes us special in our own way. One particular arena that can cause problems for young people is that we too often focus on outstanding individuals, placing them on a "pedestal", making their accomplishments much more important than other people. A good example is the salaries of football, basketball, baseball and golf professionals. Unfortunately, this can cause unrealistic goals if a child is physically challenged, or happens to be a small white boy who wants to grow up to be a 7' tall, African-American basketball player!

    This is where I talk about ways in which we perceive ourselves and the world we live in can have a great impact on what we are able to accomplish. Much of the time, if we believe we can do something, there is a much greater likelihood we will be able to do so. However, when we have a strong disbelief, even if we set out to try, it can actually keep us from accomplishing what we so strongly desire. In many instances, someone may say, "Oh, you could NEVER do that!" which in turn becomes the very incentive necessary to drive a young person to succeed, where otherwise they might not have tried in the first place!

    Finally, a word about the word 'try'... I once knew a motivational speaker who brought this most valuable of concepts to me. He took a pen, set it on his outstretched palm, then asked the volunteer on stage to "Try and remove the pen from my hand". She of course reached over, and picked up the pen. He then said, "No, I want you to try to pick it up. You did pick it up!" There is a subtle difference, but one that is worth noting. It is a matter of perception. A matter of thought. We often look at a situation, and being uncertain of our ability, we may say, "Ok, I'll try". Many times, when we do that, we have set up an unconscious "pattern" that makes it very difficult to accomplish the task. Especially when learning new skills (like Algebra or Geometry, for instance) the perceived difficulty makes the process of learning entirely impossible so that no matter what one does, there is no way they will learn. On the other hand, the reverse is also true, in that if we approach learning new things from an excited and enthusiastic attitude, we greatly increase the possibility for success!

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Contact:

Star Alexander

(208) 610-8656

star@magicbystar.com

 

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