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PhotobucketDear Leodini,

Please help me.  I love magic so much.  I practice diligently every day.  Still when I perform for my friends and relatives, they always catch the trick.

I’m so ashamed of myself.  I can’t amaze people, so how can I amuse them?

I will stop doing magic if you can’t tell me how I can amount into something as a magician.


Magical Salamanca


Dear Magical,

I had a similar experience a couple of years ago. I devoted time and energy into building and rehearsing an act.

PhotobucketDespite my extensive preparations, my act still bombed big time on its first performance. The flop was so devastating I wanted to resign from the human race. The only thing that kept me from hanging myself was the need to save my magician’s rope for the next show.

Also, I couldn’t make the Knife-thru-Arm work to slit my wrist.

I’m not a motivational writer.  What I may say to you may even de-motivate you.  But here is the awful truth: practicing diligently every day is not enough to attain expertise.  You have to spend more hours in practice than that.

According to experts, you have to spend 10,000 hours before you can reach expert, let alone genius, level in your endeavor.

How long is 10,000 hours, you might ask.  Well, success gurus estimate that that is roughly equivalent to four hours of practice a day for a period of 10 years.

PhotobucketMozart  began composing at an early age of about 10 or 11, but it took him 10 more years of creating music before he began to produce masterpieces.

Most so-called tennis prodigies start learning the game at age 7.  It’s only when they reach 17 that they become champions.

Even Bill Gates did not become a billionaire instantly.  He spent a decade programming before he became outrageously successful.

So if you haven’t been into magic for 10 years yet and are not performing magic for at least four hours a day, don’t be discouraged if you fail or flop in your performances. Messing up your tricks is part of the learning process.

Give yourself some slack.  Bear and grin after each failure.  Then move on.

Don’t give up on your magic.  You still have a long way to go before you reach expert level.  Remember, the finish line is 10,000 hours away.

I myself have not arrived there yet, and I started performing at age 9.

The reason I’m lagging behind?

PhotobucketI’m a slack-off.  I enjoy watching TV more instead of practicing my coin roll.

Also, I don’t follow my own advice. I don’t trust myself when I assume the role of a motivational guru.

So don’t be like me. Listen to my sage advice.

Stay magical,