Learn A New Trick

    leanWhen I was a young kid I wanted to play football. I was small, uncoordinated and to be perfectly honest had no business being on the football field. But it was a “house league” and any kid that paid the fee had a spot on the team. I knew nothing about the game. Being raised in Canada, I loved hockey but for some reason I wanted to try something new. Half the time I didn’t know which team I was on. I was younger than most kids on the field and it showed. In fact, I was so pathetic I would dance in the middle of the field.
    I would also pretend I was actually filming the game and stand to the side operating an invisible camera. Once, I had to pee and just ran off the field and hit the porta potty. The coach didn’t even notice I was gone but the people in the stands sure did and they were loving it. My mother would attend every game. One day she started up a conversation with a gentleman and asked him which kid was his. He said, “Oh, I don’t have any kids in the game. I come to watch that kid right there.” He pointed to me. Yes, it was quite pathetic but likely entertaining to many. I say all that to say this; I was out of my element. My skill set was zero. I was…well… in need of a new trick.

    Football was a new trick but obviously there was no skill or desire attached to it. I tried many new tricks in my life. You likely have as well. I’ve played piano, guitar, and even tinkered on the drums a bit. I’ve played organized hockey, football, soccer, baseball and even tried lacrosse. I’ve been into cars, computers, art and backgammon. Working out, growing sprouts, travelling and creating mobile apps. I’ve excelled at some and others have been a disaster. That’s how we learn. Many years ago, when searching for a new trick, I stumbled across…well…tricks. Magic, illusions, prestidigitation. I studied sleight of hand, mind games and how to fool and persuade an intelligent mind with misdirection, persuasion and body language.

    I was 18 at the time of this discovery and it became an obsession. It has carried me through my entire career as a speaker and an entertainer. Your passion doesn’t have to be your lively hood, it’s great when it is but that’s not always the way. Sometimes work is just work and your passion will lie in other areas of your life and that’s still a wonderful thing. Your passion can lie in a charity. Your passion can be writing the next best seller or screen play. Your passion can be investing in your children or other relationships. Climbing that mountain or skydiving off it. Your passion can be giving your time and resources to others or creating the next great start-up company.

    There’s a whole world out there. Regardless of what your passion is, your life will be more complete when you connect with what excites you. Don’t have a passion? Then go out and learn a new trick. Be open to what’s around you. What excites you? What do you connect with? What’s that hidden gem that you’ve cast aside because life got in the way? Find it, experiment and experience the joy that comes with doing what you love. It’s ok to invest some time and effort in yourself. You never know what opportunities might show up and put you on a new and exciting course. Let’s always be on the lookout for new things. Why? It’s fun. Maybe we’ll try’em once and forget about them. Or maybe we’ll find that exciting new thing that changes everything. So, who knows… you may find me learning to fly a plane, painting a new masterpiece, designing the latest trinket or inventing a new flavor of bubble gum. There are lots of new tricks out there. You won’t find me on the football field though. Been there done that. I think I’ve even got some film from those days. No…wait…that was just imaginary. Right?