Today, Memorial Day, is a day of remembrance when we honor and pay our respects to those who while in the military and serving our great country, the United States of America, lost their lives. Our appreciation, hearts and prayers go out to them.
It Landed on Top of Us
As always, we have an ear to the development of new cultural phenomenon. In January of 2020 we still sought out in-person experiences including movies, events, yoga lessons and so on. But then as recently as the early 2020s, things began to change rapidly.
COVID-19 overturned our lives forcing us to stay at home. Now relegated to being shut-ins due to the Coronavirus, we had extra time to become conscious of the large divide that existed between us and our fellow Americans.
In March of 2020 things took an extreme turn. We then found ourselves staying home much of the time with the only relief from this difficult adjustment coming to us in the form of digital access. Digital became our connection to entertainment and communication.
Sorting it Out
Many of us did our shopping for food and more via the internet. The longer we stayed indoors, the more we feared that the virus that could catch up to us. But with extra time available to us on the computer, we sorted things out in a way we had never done before. We got more organized than ever about the important things in our lives.
Every End Seems to have another End
Now with variants of COVID on the rise, we ask ourselves will this ever end? Is the “new normal” that everyone was talking about (several months ago), happening now? Just when hope pops up, another negative force pushes us back down again. And thus, digital grows and grows as businesses that were not set up originally to be digital, now must adapt or close.
Moments of Panic
We hope that things will be better for our children when they grow up. Will they have access to the same freedoms and enjoyment that we had when we could safely travel outside?
Art Versus Commercials
Today’s date is special and soon we are going to tell you why. Meanwhile, every step taken is a step closer the realization of our passion which is to make a difference by helping others to make a difference through our challenge: USA Make a Difference! There’s no reason why commerce can not participate in doing things for the common good while simultaneously creating visibility for their business offerings. I was raised in a household in which marketing was considered bad. It was due to the fear of being brainwashed by television commercials that my hippie parents had. And speaking of commercials, as I write this, the music I’m listening to on YouTube is being interrupted by commercials. Annoying I must admit.
History in the Making
All right, time now to focus on why this day is a special one. Welcome to December 17, 2020, otherwise known as Wright Brothers Day. That’s right, on this day in 1903 there were two brothers who changed the world’s transportation means forever. Near Kitty Hawk North Carolina (now known as Kill Devil Hills!?) is where they did their famous launch of a plane that marked the first time in history that a heavier than air contraption actually flew.
Escaping the Pandemic
And not that long after, my idol Erik Weisz, better known as Harry Houdini, did his escape while on a plane’s wing! But airplane’s of course were not just about magicians doing stunts on them, the Wright Brothers revolutionized travel. The irony today of course is that air transportation has a hit a wall due to the lovely Pandemic that most of us want to remove ourselves from, a prison of sorts that even Mr. Houdini would not be able to escape.
Soundtracks Can Set the Mood
I’m listening to house trance psychedelic on headphones as I write this. I find that sometimes I don’t just block out other noise going on near my home office (sitting cross legged on a bed with a laptop) but it can gives the illusion to me of typing things that are profound, because they have a soundtrack to go along with them. But when the music is shut off, it is really just another blog entry.
As some of you know I’m a big fan of the Stamas Bros. I enjoy their humor but as some of you have told me in the past, these brothers should not quit their day jobs.
But even though a lot of you may not find the Stamas Bros even remotely amusing, I am going to put a link in this site to their latest escapades.
If you are not over 50, male, and an avid reader of comic books when you were a kid, you probably won’t get some of these references.
Watch this Stamas Bros sketch at your own risk.
Believe in Yourself
Belief in ourselves and our dreams is vital. There are many different ways to achieve this, and it is likely that you have come across some of them thus far in your lifetime, not matter what age you are. Think back to the time that you were most brave about your ideas. Maybe you now think that your prior confidence was ill founded, that you did not really have the knowledge and experience then to realize you were on the wrong path. Or were you?
Remember the Confidence
If you are in your 40’s you probably have memories of you being young and dumb and not knowing any better, yet you accomplished much in comparison to how you feel about yourself now. Even if you are only 22 and younger, you likely too can have had times that you think back on now, when you had more confidence in yourself. How do you get this back?
One Way to Believe in Yourself More
One way to get it back is to realize you are “you,” no matter how old you were then in comparison. Sometimes it can seem that being younger then was the reason people would listen to you more because of your age then. This brings to mind a hobby I had as a kid, that I fully intended to act on as an adult. Well time changed and other opportunities opened up so I left that dream and started another. And ironically all these years later I am returning to the practice of that hobby and am finding myself through doing it to remember how I once felt, to believe in myself.
Some of the magicians who have been nominated for the “USA Magician of the Year,” award are not living. My 12 year old daughter was just here asking how it is possible for someone who has gone to the great beyond, to be a winner on National Magic Day also known as Houdini Day?
An Impact on Magic
I told her that giving a “Houdini” on Houdini Day (October 31st was the day of his death) is a way of paying our respect to those conjurers both living and no longer with us. This is because those who have truly given to the art of prestidigitation live on far beyond their passing from this world.
Those nominated also consists of performers who have influence me in my life in magic. It has really been a thrill to meet those I read about when I was a kid and a “semi pro” magician performing at birthday parties, club events, schools and more.
Who Do You Think Will Win
How about you? I know that some of the readers of this blog are conjurers themselves and to them I ask “who do you think should win?” Most “finger flingers” know of the majority of the members in this lineup of greats. If not before, we will see you on Houdini Day (Halloween) when we’ll not only try to communicate with the master himself on “the other side” but additionally will announce the winner of the title “2020 USA Magician of the Year!”
Testing Has Been Done
It is an exciting time indeed. Our new organization is putting out a new eBook. With the success of our prior magic eBook within the first 2 days being the leading publication in sales, we are now reaching out to an audience in the non conjuring world. The offering is for those who wish to make a difference in their business or their own self promotion. This is shown via marketing techniques we have used and tested ourselves, that have been proven to work.
Although the actual distribution process is still in the works, we are meanwhile working hard to ensure that our eBook be as successful as possible. The way we are helping to make this happen is through the development of a platform that will both do market research (in terms of the things that our future customers need) as well will deliver the written work to the user making the purchase.
Details to Come
We can’t get into the detail about this yet but will alert you of the online sales process once it has begun.
Almost Let Myself off the Hook
You’ve probably heard it spoken to you, or maybe you’ve spoken to others the phrase “I’m too busy.” Well the fact is, if you have prioritized your life and business, you may very well be too busy. But don’t let yourself off quite yet. What is it you really want to be doing? Have you made time for that or are you “too busy” to work on it. I know that I do this frequently. There are projects that are pressing, such as writing for this blog at least once a month, that I almost let myself off the hook today.
As I thought about being “too busy” to put up a post here, I pulled back for a minute. Why am I too busy to do a blog entry? Isn’t this what it’s all about? Of course it is. You can motivate yourself even if you are too busy to do so. How? Put everything into perspective and look at the stuff that matters. Family of course matters first and foremost. Friends are up there. Business is too. So why would I want to write in this blog?
“Good Morning” is the Priority
I’ll let you in on a little secret, I motivated myself to write in this blog using a technique myself and my brother talk about frequently that we call “Monetize your life.” The premise is simple. There are things you do and could well have to do, that could be used in some kind of product, service or art piece. Keeping a blog at one time or another has either been one of these or even all three. I turned “being too busy” into a motivator telling myself that doing this blog is important to me. And it is! Excuse me now as I go and say “good morning” to my family!
I am fortunate to be a part of a creative community that meets regularly online via Zoom. It makes a difference in this pandemic to be in contact with like minded people. I also have been looking a lot at quotes of well known individuals. This includes Albert Einstein, who was the subject of a book by a dear friend of mine who sadly passed last year. One of my favorite saying of Einstein is:
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
This resonates with me. We as a culture do get caught up with “success” that is based on monetary gain and can forget the bigger picture. What matters most is our relationship with ourselves in which we deem what matters to us. I believe we do have a choice and that what you think about can have an impact on what you encounter. I believe it is vital to focus on the positive.
If you are like many people who use technology a lot, chances are that you get a phishing attempt every other day or so. There so many cunning and insidious ways that technology can be used against you, as well as it being a tool for inspiration.
The Good of Technology
We try to have our focus on the “good” or technology, because even after all these years of being attacked and bumping our head against walls, there is still a little bit of idealism present.
Take a Chance
We’ve talked about idealism before. It is something that is necessary to create and yet these days it is in short supply. Not that there aren’t a lot of people who still have it present within them, it’s the acting on it that is the problem. One can feel something positive but never externalize it. Hopefully we’ll all take chances with it because the world today needs it badly.