I watched a move today called “My Life In Ruins.” It’s a film about a tour guide and her tour group as they travel through Greece. As you can imagine, during the movie things don’t always go as planned- in fact things don’t go very well at all. In the middle of it all, with everyone complaining, exhausted and defeated, Richard Dreyfuss rallies the group by making the following statement:
“You’re looking for obstacles rather than looking for magic.”
How many of us orient our lives this way out of habit, not out of purpose? We notice what’s going wrong, we make excuses for why we can’t follow our dreams, we allow the inevitable challenges to overwhelm us into submission.
About six weeks ago, I found out about the “Change Your Mind Workshop,” hosted by 4th Street Training and Ken Block of the band, Sister Hazel. I really wanted to go. Really, really wanted to go. And the first place my mind went to were all the reasons I couldn’t go. My thoughts, in no particular order were:
1. It’ll be too expensive for me at this time.
2. What if it’s filled up already?
3. There’ll be too many people.
4. Airfare and hotel will be impossible to get.
5. I won’t be able to make time for it.
6. They won’t have vegetarian food (Talk about a ridiculous obstacle…).
7. What if the workshop isn’t very good?
8. I’ll have to go by myself.
9. I’ll have to get on a plane (I’m not a very good flyer).
10. I’ll have to justify going to the people around me.
I don’t know about you, but it exhausts me just to read that list.
I had pretty much written off the workshop before finding out anything about it. Thankfully, something inside of me urged to dream of the magic; to consider the alternative what-ifs: What if it isn’t too expensive? What if it’s just the right number of people? What if it’s an incredible experience?
So I sent an email to the coordinators, asked lots of questions and received the first of the magical answers. It was ridiculously inexpensive since it was the first time they were holding it and would need us to provide substantial feedback, there were still spaces available, the hotel had space and yes, of course, there was vegetarian food available.
Bolstered by the idea that maybe magic was out there, I also found that the airlines were having a sale, rental cars were abundant, I COULD make the time for the workshop and everyone I told about it was more than supportive, they all told me I HAD to be there.
Of course, you can guess the end to this story. I went to the workshop, connected with a number of truly amazing people and experienced a level of life-changing magic I cannot even put into words at this point.
–All of which I would have missed out on completely if I had allowed the obstacles to obscure the magic.
We expect obstacles to surround us, we see them clearly and we can rattle off every one that appears in our day-to-day lives. But what about magic? Do you see the magic? Once you recognize that it surrounds us as well, it’s hard not to find it every single day.
When was the last time YOU went looking for magic?