Thinking Magically™ | The Great Optimism Hoax

If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously.
If you pretend to be bad, it doesn’t.
Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.
                                                   – Oscar Wilde

The word Optimism comes from the Latin word, optimum, which means “best.” When you’re an optimist, you expect or “hope” for the best outcome in anything and everything. I certainly applaud anyone who carries a positive mental attitude. And I even cheer those who can find the good in any situation. But don’t let people spoof you into believing that optimism, alone, is all you need to start “living the dream.

Just being an optimist does not cause things to turn out the way you want them to.

Just being an optimist, instead, might doom you to ultimate failure and readily lead you from hope to despair in the blink of an eye.

But wait. I can hear you saying, “Scott, you tell us that we can have anything we want with the right mental attitude. How dare you now say that optimism isn’t good for you?

Well … don’t misunderstand me.

I’m not saying that optimism isn’t good for you. And it’s certainly better than surrendering to defeat or resigning to an unwanted outcome. But I want you to participate in your own success. Act. Move. Take part. Move on. Move in. Enter the party. Hell, be the party. So, I’m simply saying optimism ALONE isn’t good for you. There’s a radical difference between a positive outlook combined with solid action and that fantasy life we call wishful thinking. The former will help you consistently and effectively manifest your dreams into reality. The latter leads to disappointing, at best, and delusion, at worst.

That’s why I always say, “Stop Wishing. Start Having.”

So, am I in denial about optimism? Let’s get something out of the way right now … I’m not an optimist in the classic sense of the word. Then, again, I’m not a pessimist either. I’m certainly not an idealist. (And some of you are now even arguing that I’m not a realist either.)

What I am is a magician. I do magical things. I think magical thoughts. I use magical words. I act in magical ways. My aim is to charm and enchant. To conjure a desired outcome by putting forward an idea and then stirring myself and others to action and a desired ending. This all means that I decide what I want to achieve FIRST and THEN take the necessary steps – whatever those might be – to make those outcomes happen. And all of this is fueled by an attitude of confidence; a belief in myself and my abilities or a faith in those I’m working with and their competence.

In other words, I’m not just expectant, I’m certain. I’m not just positive, I’m proactive. And I urge you to think, know, say, and do that, as well.

Why am I drawing this distinction for you? Well, all too often I run into people who have bought into the notion that purely being an optimist is enough to make their dreams a reality. Have you ever talked with someone with that mindset? I mean really gotten to know them? They can be condescending, arrogant, and domineering. They can even sound like someone who’s come under the control of someone else. They are indifferent to what’s going on around them and even heedless to the real actions they can take that might make their path through life truly memorable, fulfilling and, yes, magical.

Now don’t get me wrong. I want you to be successful beyond your wildest imaginings. And I’m optimistic that you can achieve that goal. I’m discouraged, however, when I encounter people who treat their dreams like a cheerfully irresponsible trip to a casino or the local lottery ticket dispensary. People, you’ve been sold an rose-colored bill of goods.

Imagine how your life will be different when you replace lone optimism with confidence. When you replace wishing with faith in yourself. And that all comes about by having trust in what you already know to be true. You see, when you have confidence in yourself and your abilities and your dreams and your future, you can then respond to the sh*t that the pessimists predicted and that we all know will eventually happen. While the bare optimist ignores the omens and the pessimist gets satisfaction from saying, “I told you so,” the confident and cheerful magician just keeps moving forward knowing that they can handle whatever comes their way.

We all know what optimism looks and feels like. The challenge is that it is a delusion for most and an illusion for many. Maybe it’s time we started taking our lessons from those who continually get it right; those who are action-based and action-minded. Sometimes they’re optimists. Sometimes they’re pessimists. They use whichever mindset works best at the time. And all of the time they are successes because they see things as they are, measure them against what could be, and take massive action to come up with new paths and new strategies to get them what they want.

The time has come to stop being lead on a merry goose chase armed only with your optimism. Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” You can’t explore, dream, and discover on optimism alone. You have to dig, have some ambition, and actually get out in the world and “do.”

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.


Thinking Magically™ | Thousands are Being Successful This Way … Why Aren’t You?

We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how.

                                                – Author Unknown

From the time we were little, we had role models. They taught us to talk. Showed us how to walk. And inspired us to do more. These role models eventually changed as we grew older and we found new people to look up to as we made our way through school. Perhaps they were sports stars. Movie stars. Teachers. Parents. Even friends.

Then a strange thing happened … We graduated to the “real” world of “grownups” and we put all our attention into making a living and being a success. And in getting “real” and in “growing up” many of make the biggest mistake of our lives … we forget the need for mentors. Today, we’re going to change all that because I’m going to show you the 5 mentors every entrepreneur and business person should have.

Before I tip who they are, let me at least tell you why I used the “s” word (should).

A good mentor does several things for you, your career, and your business:

1.  They excite you, believe in you, encourage you, and prompt you to take action.

2.  They help you to network, connect with others, and keep you social.

3.  They give you an objective perspective of yourself and what you are doing (or not doing).

4.  They provide you peace of mind because they’ve already been where you are and are living proof that “this too shall pass” and “you will survive.”

5.  They aren’t just there to show you the way in business. They are there to show you the way to your own heart and soul.

Now do you see why I used the “s” word. How would your business life (heck, your life in general) be better with this type of support system?

So, I recommend you get yourself mentors in at least 5 areas. You can, of course, have one mentor cross-over into various topics. Just make sure they’re really the experts, coaches, and guides that you need. Don’t make excuses for them or settle for less than the best you can partner with.


1.  Marketing and Branding. Every massively successful business or venture has a core message. What is yours? What business are you really in? How are you positioned in the world, in your niche market, in the minds of your clients and customers? It can often take an outside observer to tell you the answers to these questions. When it comes to marketing and branding, we are often our own worst enemies because we fall in love with our own ideas, products, and image. A marketing and branding mentor will play an essential role in building your ultimate image and message.

2.  Working On (not in) Your Business/Career. I have gotten some very vehement pushback when I mention this but I will say it again. You should be spending more time working on your business and less time working in it. And I’m not the only one with that type of message. The truth is that many of you are stuck in a business rut. Either because you’re scared things will change for the worse or you’re ignorant of what else might be possible. Therefore, you are merely surviving at work rather than flourishing. It’s part of Einstein’s Law of Insanity … doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A “Working On Your Business” mentor can help you move your business forward.

3. Business Plan. Your business, to be successful, has to create value for others and capture value for yourself. When is the last time you actually created a written business plan that outlines both of these aspects? Do you have a strategy and tactics for solving your clients’ and customers’ problems? Do you even know, with specificity, what those problems are? A business plan mentor can help you discover the value you provide and how to implement what you have to offer. But that’s just the first step. The same mentor can then help you determine a strategy and tactics to create profit for yourself.

4.  Staying Restless. Jeep has a great new ad campaign that goes like this: “Restlessness is the feeling you get when you deny your curiosity too long. It’s the drive to keep going, to keep running and to keep acting on your passions. Restlessness is what fuels your ambition.” This type of mentor will keep challenging you to get even more than you thought possible. Indeed, once of my most cherished mentors made a real impression on me when he told me to “stay restless” as to the key to everything.

5.  Refine and Redesign. I call this my “rinse thoroughly and repeat” mentor. Find someone who can help you constantly and consistently restyle and fine-tune who you are, what you want your business to be like, and where you are going. Once you achieve a goal, you change. Once you achieve a goal, your business changes. Despite the wishes of many, nothing in business is permanent. You must find someone who can help you alter course as needed.

By the way, always stay real when it comes to mentors. It’s time to get a new one when:

You outgrow them.

They don’t get your “message” anymore.

They try to fix you rather than provide you with choices.

I am excited for your adventure in finding and selecting a mentor. They will change your life. Guaranteed!

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.


Thinking Magically™ | Who Else Wants Fearless Dominance?

He had never regarded other men as anything but puppets of a sort, created to fill up an empty world.
He divided them into two classes: those he greeted because some chance had put him in contact with them, and those he did not greet.
But both these categories of individuals were equally insignificant in his eyes.

                                                                         – Guy de Maupassant (An Old Man)

How would you like your life to be different?

Imagine the next time you find yourself in a challenging situation that you also found yourself fearless and daring. How would your life be different then? My guess is that this new found courage brings with it a breath of fresh air for you.

Now imagine that, in addition to your dauntless approach, you were also charming and displayed a devil-may-care attitude. How would the people you interact with respond? Again, refreshing, isn’t it?

Before you get too comfortable with these new found traits of yours, understand that I’ve been describing something known as “fearless dominance.” It is the desire to be in control at all times, to prevail at all costs, and even a willingness to take extreme risks. It is a life where worry takes a backseat to mastery.

And this trait is also a component of being a sociopath.

And it is also the trait of some of our more successful Presidents and entrepreneurs and business tycoons.

So how do you make certain that you use “fearless dominance” for good rather than bad?


1. Act as if you’ve chosen everything that happens to you. Even when something happens that you didn’t expect. There’s a secret to improvisation in the business world and it all centers around constantly saying, “of course,” to whatever comes your way. This all boils down to having intense faith in yourself and your ability to say “I can handle this” at every step along your journey.

2.  Be fanatical about everything that’s important. And make most of what you give your attention to important. This means you have to dig deep and get in touch with what truly motivates you and prioritize what you do in order to make those things that are important happen. This also means you have to surround yourself with people who will support your passion and zeal.

3.  Take risks and be impulsive. Take lots of risks. And learn to be spontaneous. Grab opportunities that pop up by the throat and refuse to let them go until they yield to you. Opportunities arise, by the way, when you look out at the world with confidence and passion (see Items 1 and 2). You must then take massive action to act on what is presented to you or what arises from your acts of creation.

4. Always be training and studying. Everyone you meet is your teacher. Learn from them. Always be asking “how can I use this?” And always train and study with the aim of being prepared. Warren Buffet once said, “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing.” While I want you to take risks (see Item 3), I encourage you to make them calculated risks.

5. Know the difference between a strategy and a tactic. And always, always, always, know your strategy. A strategy is what you want to achieve. A tactic is how you achieve that end goal. Most people go through life reacting to what Life (or other people) throws their way. They use tactics to survive. I want you to use strategies to thrive and that means figuring out what you want in the first place.

6. Give first in order to get. Fearless dominance does not have to mean thoughtless cruelty (that would make you a sociopath). And it does not mean a reckless disregard for the world around you (that would make you a jerk). One of the first rules of making your dreams a reality is understanding that everything comes with a price. What are you willing to give in order to get your wish? Once you figure that out, start giving that now. Don’t fall into the trap of saying, “I’ll do this once that comes along.”

7. Be a superhero. Be larger than life. Being a superhero means understanding what that means. Superman isn’t just Superman. He is “Truth, Justice, and the American way.” Batman isn’t just the Dark Knight, he stands for the proposition that “nothing is impossible.” And Spiderman isn’t just Spiderman, he stands for the concept that “with great power comes great responsibility.” A Superhero’s actions are consistent with their motto. Now, what do you stand for? What is your motto? What is your personal manifesto? Every superhero is on a journey. Take time to understand the journey that you’re on.

Consistent and highly successful people must be bold in their thoughts and actions. There will be challenging choices. There will be times of giving and of taking. You can be a great leader by adding “fearless dominance” to your success toolkit. Just make certain that you optimize that trait with interest and care in the affairs of others. Otherwise, you’re just a bully. And even a superhero doesn’t act in a vacuum.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.


Thinking Magically™ | Now You Can Dabble and Still Be a Success

To achieve anything, you must be prepared to dabble on the boundary of disaster.

                                                 – Sir Stirling Moss

verb \ˈda-bəl\
 : to take part in an activity in a way that is not serious

Source: Merriam-Webster

You work hard at what you do. You take offense if anyone suggests that you are not committed to the job or to your goal or to the task at hand. You are a go-to person and either are or want to be a leader. This requires a clear vision and a straight-ahead path. I have even extolled the virtues of creating an addiction to success.

So why in the world have a I even mentioned “dabbling?

Because there’s a delicate tension that you must always maintain. As much as I want you working hard at your specific goals, there are times when I also want you not working as hard at your specific goals. Let me explain …

Have you ever heard of cross-training in sports? When an athlete cross-trains, they still have a primary sport (or goal) and yet they teach themselves and cultivate skills in two or more different or additional sports. This cross-training improves overall performance in their primary sport (or goal). For example, a runner – while committed and addicted to that activity – might also dedicate time to cross-training in cycling, swimming, weight-training, and even yoga. While cross-training, our athlete – perhaps you – works new muscles, reduces the chance of injury, and ultimately obtains higher performance overall.

I don’t want there to be any mistake. I still want you to center all of your intention, attention, and action on what success means to you. However, I also want you to take that same intention, attention, and action, and go ahead and dabble. Get some variety in your life. Once you start dabbling in different areas and interests, you will quickly find that your creative thinking lights up more than ever before. Not only will your imagination be stimulated, you will discover that you gain a broader and more well-balanced perspective.

So, what types of things am I suggesting for you. Well, consider these dabblings:

1.  An improvisational acting class
2.  A course on creative (fiction) writing
3.  Power yoga
4.  Some instruction on learning to read a balance sheet
5.  Hiking
6.  Weekend race car driving
7. A cooking class
8.  Drawing, painting, or pottery

Now if these feel uncomfortable to you, that’s good! I want you to make a concerted effort to dabble – to make changes in your established way of doing things. I want you to commit to exploring new methods of getting what you want, new ways of thinking and being creative, and to a new style of being a true original. You can only do this by displacing your current comfort zone and putting yourself in situations that force you to stretch your current ways of thinking and being. The truly magical thing about dabbling is that once you start, it changes the way you think about … everything. Playing and splashing around in other activities and interests also creates new skill sets. You know what this means, don’t you? You get to play and, at the same time, immediately create new avenues of inspiration.

Dabbling also has another important benefit; namely, keeping you from experiencing burnout. Burnout happens when you have been doing something or seeking something for too long to the point where your energy is drained and your interest wanes (or goes away entirely). By dedicating yourself to dabbling in new things, you keep your interest level high, your curiosity peaked, and you have a built-in coping mechanism, if needed.

From personal experience, the really cool thing about dabbling is that it also paves the way for more crystal clear moments of sudden understanding and insight. These divine inspiration moments seem to increase in quantity and quality because dabbling also gives you more skill, tools, information, and confidence with which to work.

I want to add one more thing for you to consider … make sure your dabbling includes some sort of physical activity to the extent your physician will allow that. That type of activity will certainly boost your brain activity so that you are better able to put your all into your primary goal.

If all of this isn’t enough to convince you to take on dabbling with enthusiasm, you will recall that I have always encourage you to stay restless. I can guarantee that, as you dabble in new concepts and activities, you will not remain comfortable. You will be constantly stretching and learning and being a student all over again.

Business management write, Tom Peters, once said, “Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.” Tom Peters, by the way, has often been likened to a modern day da Vinci. That’s not a bad model for you to follow, too. Da Vinci was known as a painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, engineer, consultant, and scientist.

In the end, you must be wiling to dabble and do something you’ve never done before … just so you can be better at what you’ve done before.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.


Thinking Magically™ | Give Me 5 Minutes and I’ll Show You Something Wonderful

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.

                                                                      – Saint Augustine

When is the last time you actually felt a sense of wonder?

You know the feeling – it’s a complete sense of amazement that is sharpened by accompanying curiosity. It’s that consuming awareness that envelopes you so much that you are lost in the moment. And, even so, it also leaves you wanting more. I think that most of you will agree that your sense of wonder got lost quite awhile ago. It got placed on a back shelf while you dealt with the “more important” things in Life. Or, worse yet, you laid it to rest when you “grew up.”

What a shame.

Perhaps we can fix that …

One of the primary tools of any successful magician is the ability to instill and install a sense of wonder.

In the people who see them.

And in themselves.

It is what we use to hold someone spellbound. It’s that which delights us so much we lose track of everything and everyone around us.

And, when you dig deep enough, you eventually discover that your sense of wonder – whether it is active or it is dormant – is precisely what determines how we live our lives and in what fashion. You see, your life, right now, is a direct result of the questions you want answers to. And it is an outcome to what you lust after. If you want a change in your life, then change your sense of wonder. It is the quality of your thirst for “more” that will dictate the quality of your life.

So, when you’re ready to take your sense of wonder to the next level, consider doing one or all of the following:

BOLD MOVE NUMBER ONE. Remember you’re still a kid. None of us ever really “grow up.” Oh, we pretend we’re adults from time to time. But, we’re still all kids. Just go ahead and own that and watch the flood of curiosity and wonder come rushing back. (WONDER-FULL NOTE: Don’t worry, I won’t take your comfort zone away all at once – you can still delude yourself back into being a grown up later on.)

BOLD MOVE NUMBER TWO. Declare this your Year of Adventure. In fact, I dare you to have any type of adventure at all. But you have to choose an adventure – something wild and exciting. You can’t wait for it to come to you. Now … What type of adventure do you choose? (WONDER-FULL NOTE: By the way, did you notice how you felt while you were deciding? That’s the sense of wonder we want to capture all over again.)

BOLD MOVE NUMBER THREE: Get out and DO something … then SHARE it with the World. If you could do anything and money was not object and you knew you could not fail, what would you do? Most of us sit around reacting to events when we could be responding to our wonder. I want you to participate in your own success. That happens most effectively when you choose to get off your behind and make a mark on the world. And when you also choose to share yourself and what you are doing with others, you will find that Wonder just starts to happen. (WONDER-FULL NOTE: You might even want to consider sharing first, and then figuring out what to do about that choice. You will find that when you share you actually get back.)

BOLD MOVE NUMBER FOUR: Manipulate Time. What if you had the superpower to shrink or expand time? How would you life be different if you could take control of Time and make it conform to your needs, wants, and wishes? What would that do for you? Now I know that some of you are already saying, “This is the stuff of science fiction?” No, it isn’t. Everyone of you has experienced time “feeling” like it’s moving at different speeds depending on the activity you might be engaged in at the time. Time has dragged on for those of wanting to leave work. Time has escaped you when you are lost in an activity. And time has stopped when you are in love. Perhaps you are actually able to shift the way Time acts for you after all. I suggest you take some time and figure out how you can make Time serve you rather than being a slave to the clock. (WONDER-FULL NOTE: Just the creative act of figuring out how to manipulate Time will increase your sense of wonder.)

BOLD MOVE NUMBER FIVE. Create a Wonder Mantra. I’ve written about mantras and incantations before. These are words or phrases that you repeat throughout the day and which conjure a particular feeling, mood, experience or chosen effect. The key to powerful mantras is that they should be short and easily repeated by you. Here are some to get you started:

I am passionately curious. – (Adapted from Albert Einstein)

Curiosity is the highest form of bravery. – (Adapted from Victor Hugo)

Curiosity leads me down new paths. – (Adapted from Walt Disney)

Give up the Good. Go for the Great. – (Adapted from John D. Rockefeller)

Love is three quarters curiosity. – (Giacomo Casanova)

Imagination will get me everywhere. – (Adapted from Albert Einstein)

(WONDER-FULL NOTE: “Mantras are energy which can be likened to fire. Fire can cook your lunch or burn down the forest.” – M. Rose Windels, Breath the Ultimate Secret to Life)

So, I’m curious … What will you create for yourself today? Let me know.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.


Thinking Magically™ | Of Course, You’re In It For The Long Haul

The marathon is a charismatic event.
It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism.
Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.

                                                                                                                                                – Fred Lebow

Many of you know that I’m in training for the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon coming up in San Diego. I didn’t sign up for the half-marathon. I didn’t sign up for the relay. And I certainly didn’t choose to just go down and be a spectator while my wife participated. I know some of you would be happy with any of those alternatives. But, in most things I do, I want more than that. That’s not to criticize your personal goals. I want nothing more for you than for you to accomplish precisely what you believe will serve you best. It’s just I’m not content with doing less than giving it my all.

What is they say in Poker? “Go Big or Go Home.”

A marathon is a long-distance event. It’s a 26.2 mile course. Did I mention it’s a LONG event? You don’t just wake up one day and say, “I think I’ll run a marathon today,” and go out and do 26.2 miles. You don’t even give yourself a week to get ready. No. You train for the long haul. Because if you don’t train – if you don’t condition yourself – you’re going to get hurt. Doing a marathon is lot like doing life. Doing a marathon is lot like Thinking Magically!

To achieve your long term goals, it takes -

1.  Incredible discipline
2.  Amazing planning
3.  An unwavering belief in yourself
4.  Intense dedication to the end goal
5.  And even a little risk taking

Let me put it another way. Do any of these sound familiar?

Life challenge: You gave yourself the best goal possible. You even made a resolution to make it happen. You stayed the course for the first day or two, then you made some excuses and gave up.

Explanation: You didn’t prepare and train.

Life challenge: You started out on the way to your goal and Life pushed back and you gave up.

Explanation: You didn’t prepare and train.

Life challenge: You made phenomenal progress towards achieving your definite major purpose, then you got distracted by something or someone else, and you never got back on course.

Explanation: You didn’t prepare and train.

Life challenge: Someone told you that “You aren’t good enough” or “You can’t do that” or “That’s not possible.”  And – on the inside – you believed them. And you gave up.

Explanation: You didn’t prepare and train.

There is also that part of a marathon when you “Hit The Wall.” It’s that part of the event when you seem overcome by a loss of strength or energy. You are weary of it all. You just want to stop. You might have become bored. Yes, a marathon is a lot like life. Hitting the Wall can suck the vitality out of you, can’t it?

Let me let you in on a little secret: Magicians don’t walk through walls. Magicians remove the walls that others think they see. Magicians let others have their illusions while, at the same time, doing whatever is necessary to make the end result happen.

If you ever find yourself hitting or about to hit “The Wall,” that is the perfect time to stay focused. Start examining what is happening both inside and outside. Have you been pacing yourself correctly? Have you been giving yourself nourishment? Do you need to change your course slightly? Many times we “Hit the Wall” because we have let distractions take over.

The next time you believe that you’ve encountered a “wall” whether you’re in a marathon or on the way to your dream, give yourself a magical mantra to use. Here are some phrases to inspire you and that you might want to adopt and adapt:

A hero is one who knows how to hold on one minute longer.” – Novalis

All walls have doors.” – Unknown

This is what you came for.” – Scott Jurek

All I smell is my personal best.” – lululemon

You’re tougher than the rest.” – Sarah Reinertsen

Every mile is a good mile.” – Unknown

Think Strong. Be Strong. Finish Strong.”  Renee Metivier Baillie

Be like water.” – Bruce Lee

Nothing is impossible.” – Audrey Hepburn

It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up.” – Babe Ruth

Yes, a marathon is a lot like Life. It’s a lot like magic. You will have fortunate days. You will have crabby days. You will be happy and you will be sad. You might be slow moving. You might be fast. You might run a little or walk a little here and there. But just like all those who succeed … all you really have to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.


Thinking Magically™ | Get Rid of Being Pigeonholed Once and For All

Why do we pigeonhole and label an artist? It is a sure way of missing the important, the contradictory, the things that make him or her unique.
- Lukas Foss

I am constantly asked, “Scott, how can I handle people wanting to classify me as one thing when I do so many things?” or “How do I choose just one thing to do when so many things interest me?” Or (and I love this one), “I’m being told to pick one thing and focus on it. Now what?” First of all, what a spectacular problem to have – being interested in so much and recognizing that you have many talents and interests! If this all sounds familiar, there’s a good chance you have what is being called a Renaissance mind. You know the type. This is the one – probably YOU – whose interests, experience, and expertise spans across many different fields, subject areas, physical endeavors, and even careers. Originally known as “polymaths,” the “Renaissance” moniker came into play as a result of people like Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Galileo.

So are you already one of these mentally gifted people? If so, then you have already faced the pigeonholing challenge; people wanting you to be easily labeled and for you to fit in one of their nice, neat categories so they feel safe referring to you.

If you’re not already one, would you like to be a “Renaissance” man or woman? The good news is that there is an increasing demand for this type of thinking and doing. The even better news is that anyone can be this type of thinker and doer. You don’t even have to be a genius. You do, however, have to have a commitment to becoming multi-talented.

So this then brings us back to implementing a strategy for dealing with those times when others want us to be just one thing. I hear it all the time, by the way, in the speaking industry. Insiders will let you in a “a little secret” – pick just one topic and get known for that. Well, I’m more than “one topic” and I’m more than “one thing” and I’m more than “one career.” I’m an enigma to most. What I am and do is elusive to others. And that’s okay – it’s part of my Thinking Magically brand. The biggest thing you and I have in common, though, is our overachieving way to doing things. The one thing you need to start doing – like me – is to let other people know how to refer to your way of doing things so that you don’t fall victim to them doing it on their own.

Here are some tips to branding and positioning your Renaissance self:

STEP ONE. Stop pigeonholing yourself in your resume, bio, and the way you introduce yourself. You teach others how to describe you. When someone asks what I do, I generally reply that “I do lots of things.” I can then tailor what I explore with them to their specific needs and wants. And I still have framed that ensuing description with the understanding that I’m “more” than that.

STEP TWO. Don’t let people put labels on you. People want to keep you safe and warm in a pigeonhole. It makes them feel safe and warm, too. Break out of that need by others by continuing to push yourself out of your own limitations and then letting people know that you’re out there doing MORE.

STEP THREE. Crave variety and declare that desire so others know you’re more than one, boring thing. If you are constantly reinventing yourself, people will be hard-pressed to pigeonhole you as anything.

STEP FOUR. Make yourself the cutting edge. When you are innovative and a pioneer you have the ability to make your own labels. People may try to describe you as being “like” someone else – but that reference won’t be enough. You don’t want to be derivative. You want to be an original.

Always remember that you hold the key to how you are seen and referred to. If you don’t take the lead in letting people know how to define and describe you, they will do it on their own. And that’s usually not pretty. If you don’t want to be stuffed away in some pigeonhole, then stop letting people close the door on some imaginary cage.

And one last thing, when I talk about embracing the Renaissance mind (and all that that type of thinking and behavior entails), I am certainly not suggesting that you become a “jack of all trades, master of none.” There are some of you who are easily able to achieve anything you put your mind to and you simply float from opportunity to opportunity, doing great, always landing on your feet, and then waiting for the next challenge. You see, I’ve always wanted more than that. I don’t want to react to opportunity. I want to respond! I want to do things that are outstanding. I want to do things so I am outstanding. I hold myself to a very high standard. And I want that for you, as well.

So let’s agree right now, shall we, that we reject mediocrity in all its forms. Let’s commit, right now, to excellence in all that we do. And let’s celebrate being great at LOTS OF THINGS – not just one thing.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

Thinking Magically™ | Four D*mn Good Ways to Cope When Sh*t Happens

Didn’t Chains tell you about the Golden Theological Principle?”

“The what?”

“The single congruent aspect of every known religion. The one shared, universal assumption about the human condition.”

“What is it?”

“He said that life boils down to standing in line to get shit dropped on your head. Everyone’s got a place in the queue, you can’t get out of it, and just when you start to congratulate yourself on surviving your dose of shit, you discover that line is actually circular.”

                                                 – Scott Lynch (The Republic of Thieves)

Ever feel like all the work you do, the passion you give, and the time you spend just isn’t worth it? After all, what’s the point if shit is just going to happen, anyway? Why should you care anymore? And if you don’t care, why should others? It’s maddening, isn’t it?

Reading and listening to other people extoll the virtues of positive thinking, hearing them give you encouragement, and having them urge you to follow something akin to the Law of Attraction might be stimulating the first, second and even third times you hear them. Maybe you’ll even put some of the self-help tips and tricks into action, yourself, the fourth and fifth times you hear a morale boost from others. Perhaps it finally sinks in.

But eventually, the shit’s going to happen. How are you supposed to get through the tough times? Is all the self-help, self-talk enough to see you through?

Look, I know that you want there to be a deeper meaning behind things that happen. I get it. But, the truth is that we, as humans, can’t always see or understand that deeper meaning of things. It’s not that the deeper meaning isn’t there. It’s just that the apparent randomness of it all makes us stressed, angry, sad, and vulnerable. We fear there is no meaning. And when Life stops making sense, we retreat into a world of aloneness.

What if I told you there are damn good ways to be both prepared and ready for the shit to happen? You can assemble a toolkit of stress management techniques that will help you when Life seems to throw you an “out of the blue” curve ball.


TOOL ONE. See things the way they are. Take some time, right now, to analyze your relationship with the world and people around you. When you come to grips with the fact that nothing is permanent and everything changes, you can start living your life authentically and fully. When you fear that something bad is happening or about to happen, keep asking yourself, “Is this real?” If it’s not real and you are letting your imagination run away with you, it’s time to recenter. If the answer to the question is “yes” and shit is truly happening, it’s time to get out Tool Two.

TOOL TWO. Don’t rush your emotions. Just handle it. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced the concept of the five stages of grief: (a) Denial, (b) Anger, (c) Bargaining, (d) Depression, and (e) Acceptance. Quite frankly, these stages apply to any highly stressful situation (whether real or imagined). The important thing for you to note is that these stages happen at different times and in a different order for each of you. Just let them come to you. Why? Because Tool Two is all about just handling what comes your way and not worrying about controlling your emotions. “Handling it,” by the way means living in the moment and responding to the shit that is happening at that moment. Stop projecting into the future – that’s where fear and anxiety are born. Stop staring at your past – that’s where regret and sorrow are born. Just stay centered in the Here and Now. If you can’t do that, it’s time to get out Tool Three.

TOOL THREE. Let someone else help. Fear, stress, and anxiety can become overwhelming for some. They create immersive experiences and feelings and you feel like you’ve been thrown into a sea and you have no flotation device to save you (or the ones you love). One of my favorite quotes is from Edwin Louis Cole. It goes like this: “You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” When you feel like you need to be alone to drown in your own fears, sorrow, and what you think is the unfairness of it all, that’s likely the best time for you to find someone to be and share with. Express your fears, your concerns, your sadness with someone else. It will help you create a safe and caring place to move forward from. And, if just being with someone else is not enough, bring out the most powerful instrument of all – Tool Four.

TOOL FOUR. Know that you cannot hold everything. But you can choose how to respond to everything. Here’s a deep insight from Richard Bach for you to consider: “The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy.” One of the best tools you can start to employ – right now – is the concept of non-attachment. Now before you start pushing back, know that non-attachment does not mean not having, it only means not holding onto something or someone. Remember Tool One? Nothing is permanent and everything changes. Most of the people you come into contact with don’t understand “not holding.” All they know is the selfishness of the words “to have and to hold.” When you finally stop clinging, hanging on, and trying to control each and every thing or person, you will suddenly find yourself an open cup. And perhaps … just perhaps … Life will finally show you there is a way to be filled with Happiness.

Shit is going to happen. It’s inevitable. But take comfort in these words from John Lennon: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.


Thinking Magically™ | The Secret to Getting What You Want Out of Every Meeting

I never walk into a place I don’t know how to walk out of.
- Sam (Ronin)

I am often asked how to prepare for a meeting or negotiation or even a confrontation. All too often I find that people approach their encounters with others – even important gatherings – with a curious devil-may-care disposition. It’s as if they love living on a tightrope that might snap at any time. It’s one thing to like an adrenaline rush. It’s quite another thing to suddenly become the pawn to other people’s plans. Without advance planning, you can quickly find yourself reacting to the agendas of others and not responding to your own needs.

What if I told you that you could control every meeting and get what you want out of it? An added benefit of what I’m going to show you, by the way, is that it can be applied to just about everything you do in life. It’s really that powerful.

First, you need to precondition your meetings. This means first figuring out what you want out of the meeting in the first place. Never walk into a meeting without knowing what you want to walk out with. I need you to get absolutely focused and clear about what you want to achieve, get, or establish. You do this by asking yourself the following questions:

1.  When the meeting is over, what has to have happened for me to feel better?

2.  When the meeting is over, what has to have happened for the other people to have felt better?

If you don’t figure out what you want to accomplish in any interaction, then it’s going to be figured out for you by someone else.

Second, start preparing for your meeting by actually scripting out what the meeting might sound and look like. That’s right, imagine what has to happen for you and them to feel better. Let your creativity run wild as you daydream about your meeting. And make sure that you spend enough time with your vision so that you’re comfortable with what your imaginary meeting has to be like in order to accomplish your goals.

If you need help scripting what has to happen in your meeting to accomplish your goals, here are some books to help get you started:

How to Persuade People Who Don’t Want to be Persuaded (Joel Bauer/Mark Levy)

Pitch Anything (Oren Klaff)

Power Questions (Andrew Soblel/Jerold Panas)

Influence (Robert B. Cialdini)

You might also remember these rules:

It’s not what you say, it’s how you are heard.
It’s not what you do, but how you are seen.
It’s not what you think, but what you show.
It’s not what you make, it’s what you give.

Third, pick the top three things you want to address or focus on in your meeting. I’ve written about the Power of Three before. It is no different in creating meetings that have outcomes that you desire. And, in expressing these top three things, script them as if you were going to tweet them – 140 characters. This will force you to create sound bites that are easily digested and understood.

Finally, never leave a meeting without some type of follow-up or action item that is designated. It’s far too easy to finish up and then have all your good work be forgotten later on. You need to hold yourself and others accountable for getting things done.

These tips work for any meeting with anyone. And they work even if you’re not the one who called the meeting or you are a subordinate. By practicing these techniques, you are really building your confidence and determination. And you’re creating an inner agenda that keeps you from being a doormat for others.

Everybody always wants the same thing: to feel better. If you will just remember that, you can easily fashion a meeting, conversation, email, or even a simple wave or smile that lets YOU powerfully control any encounter and makes you the authority.

And one more thing … always, always, always start your meetings on time. You teach people how to treat you every single time. If you’re going to be sloppy about your start times and the value of your personal time, then that’s how others will see and react to you.

If you enjoyed this, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.


Thinking Magically™ | Why You Can’t Help Failing (and what you can do about it)


I don’t, I don’t believe it.

That is why you fail.

                                  – George Lucas (Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back)

Each of you reading this has a personal obligation … a responsibility to be a success. You already know that. You’ve felt it in your gut for so long now that you can taste it. You know that prosperity and achievement are just ahead or just around the corner. And then something or someone happens and you fail to get what you want. Then you get side-tracked or disheartened or lose faith in yourself. Then you stop moving towards your success. Why do you keep doing that?

The answer is simple – you can’t help it. Even John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” The real goal for us today is to create a firm mindset that allows you to powerfully, consistently and effectively keep moving forward with your “other plans” even when life is happening all around you. Or to put it another way, today is all about learning how to keep (and sometimes recover) the belief in your dreams of success and make those a reality. So this actually begs the question: DO YOU BELIEVE? In your dreams. In yourself. In your success. In what you want to accomplish.

All of us, at one time or another, stop believing. The challenge is not in preventing disbelief from occurring. The challenge is in making certain that your doubt and uncertainty are annihilated if and when they appear. Unfortunately, most people eventually give in to that doubt and uncertainty. They have adopted the following internal dialogue (even if they don’t recognize it at a conscious level): “Someday I’m going to [FILL IN YOUR FAVORITE DREAM] … or I’m just going to get tired of trying.” Read that negative self-talk again and pay attention to the failure message it is actually stating. The good news is that your brain is like a computer that can be programmed to erase the self-distrust and lack of certainty. This means you can easily program yourself for “Success Thinking” and that new way of sending yourself internal cues can spell the difference between triumph and failure for you. You can stop the hazy thinking that prevents you from seeing your way through to your success and replace that with true depth and precision about your victories.

So, the reason you can’t help failing is that you keep your desires in your head. You need to stop thinking about success and start a pattern of success behavior. That’s right. You actually have to do something. And you must hold yourself accountable for each step you take along the path of success. These small steps become measurable goals and will keep you motivated and inspired when you run into a speed bump or detour. By the way, one of the fastest ways of creating this “pattern” is to emulate someone you believe represents the precise success goal you want to achieve. I’ve talked about this before when I’ve asked you to create role models:

I also want you to take to heart the belief that consistent success doesn’t happen by accident – Success is a Conscious Decision. You have the ability to obtain, achieve, and reach for more than you ever thought possible. All you need to do is believe. Stop undercutting yourself. Stop giving up. Stop making excuses for yourself and others. Stop being a doormat.

Thank about it. I’m offering you the chance to be a massive success. Are you willing to accept that for yourself? When you’re ready, here are some quick steps to keep you focused:

STEP ONE. Get a clear vision of what success looks and feels like for you. The more explicit your vision of success, the easier it is for you to hit that particular target.

STEP TWO. Take a moment every day to experience the victory you have imagined. Take yourself into the future and immerse yourself in the life of your dreams, paying particular attention to how that vision is different than where you were before you embarked on your daydream.

STEP THREE. Constantly measure where you are and what you have accomplished. You want to continue to hold yourself accountable for the small steps you are taking in the direction of your dreams.

STEP FOUR. Love what you do. When you bring your passion to the success game, distractions won’t affect you and obstacles become fun little challenges.

If you want to handle failure, then you have to clearly define what success means for you in the first place. In fact, you can’t know if you’ve failed unless and until you know what achieving success looks like. You can always adjust your path or ultimate goal. More importantly, you always have the power to adjust what failure means for you. I invite you to be like Thomas Edison when he said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.