Teaching Your Brain To Do Magic

The brain is a wondrous thing! It is under used. Many years ago I was walking along the street with a friend and a chill came over me. I said to her, “I just got a chill. That happens sometimes and the next morning I always get a cold and sore throat. It’s like a forewarning.” And she said, “You expect to be sick and you will be. Why not tell yourself over and over that you are not getting sick.” I went to bed that night saying to myself I am not getting a cold. I am not getting a sore throat.” Guess what. I was fine the next morning. I haven’t had a cold in years. What does that have to do with magic?

We had a customer that was trying to teach himself how to do the one handed cut. He said he was working on it for weeks. I told him to keep on going. He would get it eventually if he kept at it.  Then a couple of weeks later he came in and told me he got it, but said he realized he could have saved himself a lot of trouble and learned it a lot faster. How? I asked him. He said he should have tried with his left hand first. Once he learned it with his right hand he thought it would be cool if he could do it with his left hand and to his amazement he could do it almost immediately. I had a good laugh. I explained to him that he had established the pathways in his brain when he had learnt it with his right hand and the switch to his left was a minor change.

The point is if you are trying to do a move that seems impossible, and give up, of course you will never do it. But if you keep at it, you’ll get it.

Which brings me to my granddaughter. When she was 6 or 7 she saw a juggler doing the Devil Sticks at a street festival and everyone was encouraged to try out the props. She was determined to learn how to do it. I gave her a set from the shop and she practiced and practiced all year. She finally learned how to do it and could do flips in the air and all kinds of stuff with it. The following year I went to the festival with her. She picked up a set of the sticks and started performing. Two guys were standing beside me watching her and one said, Hey, let’s try that. It looks easy enough. That little kid is doing it. So they both tried and could not for the life of them understand why she could do it and they couldn’t. Practicing teaches your brain. You just have to keep going until your brain gets it. If you give up learning a move because you think it takes too long to learn or that it’s too hard, that’s what separates you from the greats!

 

 

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One response to “Teaching Your Brain To Do Magic

  1. Ironically, the way your customer learned the one-hand-cut is exactly how I learned. I had tried for weeks with my right (I am right handed) and then, out of the clear blue sky I discovered that I could easily do it with my left hand and still do it with my left hand. As you say, practice makes perfect. These days I am trying the “double lift” and the “Elmsley count”. Practise practice practice!
    Marc

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