Work the Magic

Jun 18, 2013 by

magic hat

Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller…the comedic magicians that perform in Vegas, says in a recent article in Spirit magazine (p. 51) that they distract you to pull off an illusion. But when it comes to relationships it isn’t all smoke and mirrors; it is the nuts and bolts to work on the relationship. Penn says, “ Don’t fall into the trap of making yourself the audience to your own life, getting consumed by creating an illusion of success. Instead, be the ‘magician’ who focuses on the nuts and bolts and does all the work to pull off the trick.”

This is so true in life, leadership, and generally in relationships. You see so many want to try to pull off the illusion, rather than do the nuts and bolts work in life. It is about working hard to complete the “trick.” Life and relationships take effort and an investment of time and energy. We often say, “marriage works when you work at your marriage.” The same is true in relationship…you and I need to work at and invest ourselves in those relationships. How do you have more friends? Be a friend. What do you want from others? Offer these yourselves. Be a supporter, encourager, and builder of others.

One of our family values includes the concept of a good work ethic. I am convinced that so many of us want to try to find the “illusion” to hope we don’t have to work at life and relationships. We want the quick fix, no conflict or challenges in the relationship, and simply expect the “trick” of relationships to work. It isn’t magic that makes relationships work as Penn states about life, rather a commitment to put in the nuts and bolts of time and effort, not to try to fool ourselves of no effort. Greta Scacchi says, “A relationship requires a lot of work and commitment.”

How many of us have learned the art and science of investing in our relationships? Many of us have taught our kids about being a friend and quoted the famous statement, “If you want friends, you have to be a friend.” The relationship is rewarding, but like so much of life it just doesn’t happen. The trick then are the nuts and bolts of time, effort and energy…hare work into relationships. We can all carry the illusion for awhile, however it will not last.

  • When is the last time you chose to make contact with a friend to re-connect?
  • What effort are we willing to put into a relationship?
  • What do we expect to get out of the relationship?
  • How are you choosing to be a friend to have friends?
  • How are you committing to your marriage to make it not only make it work, but honestly make it wonderful?
  • What are some practical practices you use to grow your relationships and put in the work?

When we realize it isn’t all and only about us, and honestly decide to invest in others, then the dividends of life, love, and healthy relationships pay off for both them and you.

Penn and Teller are more than just magicians. In this article Penn reminds us it takes work and not just magic to hope our relationships work. But when we work the “magic” of a relationship works.

~ Jim

Spirit, May 2013

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