By Jonathan Robinson
We all want more peace, joy, and magic moments in our lives. Unfortunately, modern-day life is filled with a lot of busyness and WMD’s (Widgets of Mass Distraction). How can we easily tap into the wonder and joy we may have known as kids, and do it quickly in our time-crunched lives? That is a question I have tried to answer for over 40 years.
As you may know, I’m always looking for simple and powerful ways to bring more joy, love, and presence into our lives. Recently, several teachers have told me about a method that only takes 8 seconds to do, and yet it can have a profound effect on your life. I call the technique the "That’s Magic" method. Before I reveal it to you, first you’ll need to know a little background about why it works so well.
The Magic Behind the Method
Our brains tend to habituate to whatever we experience a lot. That means that the first time you see a big screen TV, you probably thought it was friggin' amazing. Yet, now that you’re used to them, big screen TV’s no longer astound you. Unfortunately, this tendency to get used to stuff can end up snuffing out all our wonder, joy, and delight. What’s needed is a simple way to retrain our brain that we live in a world filled with magic, miracles, and enchantment. After all, most four-year-old kids often experience the world in such a manner, so why can’t we?
It ends up we can, but we need some method to "shake-up" our brain out of its complacency. Ideally, the method needs to be quick and fun to do, as well as help retrain our brain to recognize all the amazing things that are already part of our lives. Fortunately, the eight-second "That’s Magic" method fits the bill for all of those criteria. This technique helps you reorient your mind away from problems and tasks, and instead grow the moments of joy, love, and peace that are hidden within your daily life.
It has been said that what we focus on grows. The problem is that most of us focus chiefly on what’s wrong with our lives and miss recognizing what’s right, beautiful, or wonderful about our lives. To overcome this tendency, the "That’s Magic" method has you merely notice when you’re having a truly good moment in your life. Then, you simply say out loud, "That’s magic. Thank you." Next, you take a deep breath and savor the moment. That’s it. The whole thing should take about eight seconds, and yet by doing this several times a day, you’ll be conditioning your mind to focus on and look for more magic moments.
You may be asking what comprises a beautiful or magic moment? Well, that is fully up to you. Already this morning I’ve had several moments that qualify including:
• Waking up and seeing my beloved dog happily greeting me
• Seeing the wind swoosh through the leaves on a tree outside my window
• Feeling the warm, invigorating water of a shower on my skin
• Drinking a rich cup of coffee that I made for under $1.00
• Having Siri play me a favorite song just by my requesting it
• Putting on my glasses and having my eyes magically be able to see much better
Hopefully, you get the idea. All you need to do is, when you recognize a sweet moment, feel the goodness in it and say "That’s magic. Thank you." Then, savor the moment as you take a deep breath. If you have time, you can even prolong the sweetness by not moving on to the next thing so quickly. In fact, you may be able to double the happy and magic moments in your life simply by spending more time savoring each wonderful moment you recognize.
Too often we interrupt our own finest moments by thinking, "I really need to stop wasting time and get productive." Yet, what can be a better use of your time than truly enjoying your life? It’s worth taking an extra 10 or 20 seconds to really appreciate the moments of love, joy, and beauty that traverse your day.
Of course, there are some finer points to consider that can make this technique even more effective. First, you need not say the exact words, "That’s magic." If you prefer, you might say, "There’s delight," or perhaps something like, "There’s joy." Choose a phrase that works the best for you. Second, when saying the "thank you" part of the method, consider who or what you are thanking. If it works for you, you can feel your heart as you say "thank you" to God or your Higher Power for giving you this wonderful moment. Or alternatively, you can thank yourself or the Universe for creating this delightful experience. The important thing is to use what works best for you.
Finally, it’s best to say your appreciation of the moment out loud if you can. At the very least, try to whisper it to yourself. I realize that in some situations, you may not be able to speak it out loud. However, even when around other people, saying, "That’s magic. Thank you" will often be welcomed and appreciated by those who hear you. In fact, it may spark a lofty conversation or even a shared moment of delight.
It's easy to underestimate the power of this method. Often, the simplest things have the most power. The great thing about this technique is that it can be done throughout your busy day, and it immediately brings you more joy and happiness. Yet, it’s greatest benefit is how it trains your brain to be more on the lookout for such moments. As you use it, you’ll tend to experience additional magic moments with each passing day! Try it for a week and you’ll notice it’s ingenious and joy inducing effect. Then, pass it on to your family and friends so that they, too, can experience more delight in their lives.