Monthly Archives: March 2016


When I was younger, I use to be huge into magic!  Loved it!  I loved that feeling of watching someone do a trick and being totally blown away and feeling stumped trying to figure out what the heck just happened.  I wanted to be that guy.  So I got magic kits, books and would ask too many annoying questions at magic stores.  I learned one that quickly became my favorite trick. It was called, “The Disappearing Handkerchief”

magic - steps

The Klutz Book of Magic

It was simple to do and you only needed a fake thumb that matched your skin tone to hide the handkerchief.  So…you know, fairly common.  I got pretty good at it, but then when it came time to actually perform, I had this inner-battle that it wasn’t good.  The fun with magic is being tricked.  And when I was doing a magic trick, I wasn’t being tricked.  So I felt like it wasn’t good.  I would ruin the trick by saying, “Aw never mind, just forget you saw anything.”  I felt like, because it wasn’t impressive to me anymore, it won’t be impressive to anyone else.  I also felt like a fake.  Even if I did the trick well, I was scared that I was going to be found out.  Like I needed to be a professional magician in order to perform anything.  I didn’t feel like I knew enough and my audience is going to figure out that I’m not good at this.  So I stopped doing magic tricks.

If you do video or design or create something that has a message behind it, it can feel like this.  You pour so much into your work and look at for so long that what you’re creating becomes dull to you.  Or you’re frustrated with your project because you don’t feel like it’s any good, or you don’t feel like your any good.  You feel like your audience is going to figure out that you don’t actually know what you’re doing.

It’s important to push these thoughts aside.  From one creative to another, let me tell you that  THIS IS NORMAL.  You can’t grow if you don’t push past this.  Honestly, you might actually suck.  I look back at old stuff I’ve created all the time, and wonder, what the heck was I thinking!?  But I’ve gotten better because of it.  Everybody starts something not being perfect at it.  It takes work and practice.  So don’t stifle your story or hoard it from the world because you don’t think it’s good enough.  People still deserve to see the trick.

Ta Da!  (Sorry, I couldn’t help it)

When I was a freshman in High School I was tricked by my history teacher.  Here’s what happened…I came into class with the rest of the students and before I sat down and settled in, the teacher handed me a book and asked me to drop it off to the principal.  Not thinking anything of it, I took the book to the school’s Main Office.  When I came back to the classroom, the teacher was in the middle of a question.  He was pointing at a couple lines he drew on the chalk board that looked a little like this:


He asked, “Which of you think this line is the same length as this line?”


Only a couple people raised their hands.  I was confused.  The lines looked to be identical.  I came back to the classroom in the middle of the question and it seemed the majority knew something I didn’t.

Then, pointing to two different lines, the teacher asked, “Who thinks these lines are the same length?”


The majority of the class raised their hands.  So… I did too.  Immediately the teacher called me out.  “Matt, why did you raise your hand?  Do you honestly believe these two lines are the same length?”

“Well, no… I-I don’t know.” I stammered.

“Why did you raise your hand?” He asked again.

I was caught.  Embarrassed, I tried to explain that I didn’t know what was happening.  I came back from the principal’s office in the middle of the question and the majority answered the question so… I just followed suit.  I didn’t want to stand out and be wrong.

My history teacher was illustrating a point about how people can be influenced to follow the majority and paralleled that to Nazi Germany.  It was a good lesson for the class, but a life changing lesson for me.  For years after that, it bothered me that he chose me.  Why did he choose me?  Did he know that I would follow the crowd?  It irritated me that I didn’t answer what I thought was true.

I still think of that lesson from time to time.  It still bothers me to this day, but I’m so glad that he chose me.  It built something new in me.  Conviction.  At least, an awareness of opportunity to stick with conviction.  By not following the crowd mindlessly from the start, I can decide where I stand in any given situation.  It’s important to question things.  It’s important to not assume the crowd is always right.  You can’t develop any kind of true conviction without questioning the status quo.  And the point is not to question just for the sake to question.  It can’t come from a rebellious place.  If you question things with the right heart, not out of anger or frustration but with the constraints of what’s right or wrong, then the question will position yourself to discover who you actually are and what direction you need to go.