The Deck of Shadows | (Guest Post) A Three-Step Reading System Using The Dynamic Spreads Deck

He opened the book at random, or so he believed, but a book is like a sandy path which keeps the indent of footsteps.
― Graham Greene, The Human Factor

Today’s Guest Post is from Bill Reichle — creator of The Dynamic Spreads Deck. Bill is going to share with you a 3-Step Process for realigning and reorienting your own life and giving greater depth to any readings you might do.

Take it away, Bill …


Guest Post by Bill Reichle

Creator of The Dynamic Spreads Deck

Are you feeling stuck and in need of a bit of assistance, or maybe you’re just pondering the ebbs and flows of your life? Tarot or Oracle decks are a great way of shaking things up and giving you a fresh perspective. And to get the most out of those tools, I’ve come to rely on a 3 step process.

1.    Ask good questions

2.    Welcome and receive the advice (let it really sink in)

3.    Act on the advice (assuming, your “gut” agrees!)

Those instructions are certainly simple, but how you carry them out is another matter. The devil is in the details, as usual. The last step, the follow-through on the advice or inspiration, can be a challenge for many (if not most). But you’re in good hands in that regard, as Scott Grossberg is the master of motivation hacks.

Step 2 is about your reflection and interaction with the cards, a tool for seeking answers and wisdom. There are countless books on this subject so I won’t dwell on this point. You can also checkout an instructional video I made on the topic which uses Scott’s Deck of Shadows and art books as an example of a divinatory tools.

Asking the right questions, is the part that’s been intriguing me lately. I even created a spread deck to support this area of interest. If you’ve ever worked with Oracle or Tarot cards, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a “spread” — an imaginary backdrop of questions (positions) for the cards to be laid upon. For example, if you pose a mental question “what do I most need to know today?” and then pulled a Tarot card to answer it, you’re essentially using a one-position spread.

I liken the use of these divination tools to the notion of speaking with the archetypal old wise woman or man. In the movies, they tend to be silent until you ask them something. If you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t receive the information you most dearly need. And this is how I feel it is when we utilize divination tools.

Knowing the right questions is surprisingly more difficult than you might think, and this will be the focus of this post.
Here are a few reasons why it’s important:

•    Saves time by calling attention to important matters. Using the signal to noise ratio as an analogy, a good question focuses on the signal.

•    Changes your perspective: Interesting questions can poetically shift the way you see things.

•    Places a mirror in front of your face. We often look at others for why we are in the situation we are in, or for why we feel a certain way about something.

Sometimes we need to ask how we played a role in it.

My spread deck — Dynamic Spreads Deck, was designed to make it easier to ask the important questions — to see issues from different perspectives, and to shake things up a bit. It’s a set of 105 cards, with 1 or 2 implicit questions per card. Each question is considered a spread position.

To use a spread deck, you need to first choose the questions you want, then choose and lay down your oracle cards

There are two ways you can select cards from a spread deck.

1.    Spreadcrafting: Look through the cards and actively choose which ones you find appropriate for the issues or concerns you or your client has.

2.    Spreadomancy: Passively choose spread cards, where you’re not aware of what you selected until you turn the card over.

Both methods have their place. First, let’s look at how they can improve self-readings.


Both selection methods for choosing spread cards are effective in self-readings. If there is a known area of your life that could benefit from some support or attention, you can consciously craft a spread with a focus on the specific areas you need to work on.

Spreadomancy, however, is a fantastic way to let the universe (collective unconscious or whatever you call it) prompt you into investigating topics or questions you may be overlooking, but it’s important nonetheless. For anyone who stopped doing self-readings, I think you’ll find yourself falling in love with them again, if you use this technique.

Neuroscientist Dr. Michael Merzenich has said that the brain reduces its complexities of its operations as we age. That is, when you seek an answer, you come up with fewer possibilities. Your view and perspective becomes more narrow. However, we know that an exorcised brain can help combat these loses. Surprises and working outside our norm is like health food for our brain. Spreadomancy can produce surprising and interesting combinations that can have you easily expanding your area of focus. It can have you looking into areas that you may have shut down and stopped paying attention to.

Reading for Others

When reading for others, spreadcrafting is fantastic for people who’ve never had a reading before. A new customer, who isn’t sure what questions to ask, can be assisted by working with the reader to co-create a spread that’s right for them. It gets the customer involved in the process, which has them taking more ownership for how to move forward after they leave.

One of my favorite uses for spreadomancy when reading for others was actually an idea from Scott. After performing a reading using your tried and true techniques, you can conclude the session by randomly pulling a Theme card to see what the Universe wants them to pay attention to. Sometimes the mundane issues your client is focused on is not the same thing as what they should really be looking at.

If you’re interested in learning more about checkout the gallery page on my website.


Thanks, Bill. I really love your Dynamic Spreads Deck. And so do all the people I’ve shared it with.

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™ | 40 Signs You Might Be a Magician (Part 1)

… In all there was a rotating cast of about twenty-five: physicists and receptionists and pipe fitters and musicians and undergrads and hedge-fund guys and barely functional, socially marginal nutjobs… .
“Some of them came in once a month to work on spells, and some of them showed up at six in the morning every morning and stayed till ten at night, or slept there … Some of them were high-functioning in their daily lives, had careers and families and no obvious signs of eccentricity or physical debilitation. But doing magic alongside all that other stuff was a tricky balancing act, and when you lost it and fell you hit the floor hard. Even if you got up again, you got up limping. And everybody fell sooner or later.
“See, when you had magic in your life, it turned out, when you lived the double life of a secret underground magician, you paid a certain price, which was that your secret other life pulled at you always. Your magician self, that loopy doppelganger, was always with you, tugging at your sleeve, whispering silently that your real life was a fake life …

- Lev Grossman, The Magician King

A magician is a rather distinctive part of and unusual in today’s world. They believe differently than most people. And they certainly behave differently. In fact, it was Aristotle who said: “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” Magicians are that strange alchemical mix of greatness and madness.

And, in some respects, it is their belief in existence of magic, in the first place, that keeps the world filled with innovation, imagination, diversion, and originality. Magicians can be seen as rude because they don’t tolerate folly; while at the same time, they understand that it’s absurd to believe people don’t make mistakes (after all, magicians have learned to capitalize on the incorrect conclusions of others).

If you’ve ever pondered whether you’re a magician, take a look at the following list to see if you have what it takes.

1. You are someone who loves to tinker with the norm. You are never content to just leave things the way they are.

2. You hate being someone who copies the words, behaviors, and results of others. And you’re willing to put in the time to make something truly and uniquely “yours.”

3.  You give off the air of confidence (even if you have doubts). You understand that it’s not what you say, but how you’re heard. And it’s not what you do, but how you are seen that will make all the difference.

4. You’re fanatical about your magic. This has nothing to do with capturing value from your life’s work as much as it has to do with creating value for yourself and others. In other words, your magical passion has grabbed hold of you and refuses to let you go.

5. You don’t believe that the impossible exists. In fact, you’re devoted to showing others they need to rethink what is inconceivable.

6. You have the ability to create wonder out of everyday happenings, events, and things. Haven’t you already noticed that people are attracted to you because of what you do and say and how you make them feel?

7. You’ve been known to spend more time honing your magic than you spend with your significant other. In fact, some would say that magic is your secret (or not so secret) lover.

8. You hate following rules. One of your mantras might be “Don’t tell me what to do.”

9. You believe there’s real magic in the world. You realize this might cause others to label you as “crazy.” But that’s okay: if you turned your back on this belief, you would feel like a piece of your soul has been ripped away.

10. You are incredibly competitive – with others and most especially with yourself. There’s always something more that can be demonstrated, achieved, and created.

11. You check to see if there’s a “disturbance in the Force” throughout the day.

12. Much of what you do is for the sheer love of “doing magic.” It’s not always about the money.

13. Your idea of going out and visiting with others is figuring out what magic you’re going to take with you and how much you’re going to show someone else.

14. You’re a control freak. Period.

15. You see the chance to put something to magical use everywhere. The world is simply filled with things and people and happenings that are waiting for your charms.

16. You recognize that your “best” is seen and felt and experienced when people are in your presence – not from what you write or how you’re seen in a selfie or on video.


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 of Using Magic (Pt 2)

I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until I became that person. Or, he became me.
– Cary Grant

Last week I asked you if you believe in magic. And then I challenged you to use that magic well (after explaining that we all believe in magic to one degree or another).

This week, we’re going to finish up with some questions and answers. So off we go … second star to the right and straight on ’til morning … and all that …


What gives a magician fortitude?

You develop this just like you develop everything else that’s worth your time and effort: by staying positive and powerfully minded. By paying attention to how you talk to yourself. And by choosing to participate in your own successes.

Start taking on the habits of successful professional athletes. These might include:

1. Keep exploring “why” things happen for you. This keeps you from becoming complacent – the killer of every dream you might have.

2. Set tough and uneasy goals. You become competent by staying uncomfortable (this will also keep you from being complacent, by the way).

3. Don’t be stupid. I want you to keep testing limits and boundaries and beliefs. I want you to achieve what others believe to be impossible. There’s a difference between that and being absurd. Only you know the real difference for you. But deep down inside you “know.” Pay attention to that difference.

4.  Always be ready. Every successful magician will tell you how much they have practiced and honed their skills just so they can use one skill at one time. It becomes a response, not a reaction.

5. Say and do. Your word – to yourself and to others – is your pledge, your solemn oath. When you say and don’t do, you are training yourself to believe that it’s okay if you don’t keep your word. When you hold yourself accountable for all you say so that you do what you promise, your performance takes on a whole new level of charm.

Why do you think some magicians fail and go back to their old way of life?

Shit happens. All the time. At least it’s easy to think that. And life is filled with challenges. In fact, I believe we actually seek them out: both the challenges and the shit. The problem happens when so-called magicians bring a sense of entitlement into the game with them. When things don’t go their way they essentially give up or throw a temper tantrum, take their ball, and go home. Those are wanna-be magicians. Don’t confuse yourself with them. I’ll say it again: Shit happens. Get over it, under it, through it, or around it anyway you can. Then forget about it (other than to figure out if there’s something you did that caused it so it doesn’t happen again). Move on to the next magical thing and stop staring at your past.

Of course, there will also be times when things do go your way (that’s part of the “Shit happens”). You can put forth your best efforts and best beliefs and best self-talk and still you feel let down or frustrated. Those who give up are those who believe they have to succeed every time, all the time, and that failure is a sign that their personal magic doesn’t work. Your magical job is to give it your all all the time – not to succeed each and every time. You’re not perfect. But you can be excellent in all that you do. There’s a difference.

What are the biggest demands magicians face in developing confidence in themselves and their magic?

This really goes back to the first question, doesn’t it. At a very early age, we “grow out of” a belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. We are told we have to “grow up.” The funny thing is that we never really do any of those things. That’s why we go to so many movies, watch so many videos, read so many books. Because there’s a part of us that continues to believe – not only in the magic of life – but in the magic that other people have. When we recognize magic in others, we are really recognizing that in ourselves.

The biggest demand, then, is not in developing confidence … as it is developing the skills that bring you sense of control.

Perhaps, then, the best way to develop confidence in yourself and your personal magic is to draw a distinction between creating powerful and positive thinking and using your imagination to escape reality. I want you to use your powerful imagination to help shape your reality, not escape from it. And that really brings me to the most important part of creating confidence: the use of your imagination in an affirmative and self-empowering way.

I also want you to stop being persuaded and mislead and duped by others who have their own agendas for success.

There’s always a difference between impossible and unlikely. The interesting thing is when you start exploring what “impossible” really means for you. Many times, what you think of as impossible is really not true. Indeed, I’m asking you to keep a healthy level of doubt or skepticism about everything – even your own beliefs. Keep testing them. And certainly don’t necessarily believe in anything until you have a level of self-confirmation.

Confidence – in yourself and your magic – is about a sense of control. When you have that feeling that you are able to direct or determine your course in life, you develop confidence.

Understand that magic is intended to be fun and to help you excel in life. Start rewarding your efforts and intentions rather than simply focusing on results.

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 of Using Magic (Pt 1)

The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.

- J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan


The world is full of magic and those who claim they believe in it. Just ask any 2 year old. Heck, even ask any 3 year old (or adult) who hasn’t had the claimed belief in magic snipped out of them.

So, I’ll ask again: do you believe in magic?

Of course you do.

We all do whether we admit it or not.

As human beings, we all seek hidden meaning in the things that happen to and around us. We look for patterns (consciously and unconsciously).  And we love to be in control.

The belief in magic satisfies all those needs.

And think about this for a moment: Brian Scholl – professor in the Department of Psychology at Yale University and director of the Yale Perception and Cognition Laboratory – once said, “…  our visual systems refuse to believe in coincidences.” That means we create connections between our beliefs and what our eyes show us. In some cases, we actually change our beliefs to comport with what we think we see.


So it appears that at varying levels we’re all going to believe in magic to some degree or another. You can call “magic” whatever name you’d like, by the way. It’s all the same thing; that sense of being unique, that secret belief you have a super power, that intuitive ability to relieve fear and distress in yourself and others, and even that potent notion that something you do causes something else to happen.

Even those of you who claim to be disbelievers, I’ll wager, have your quaint and odd little rituals for success.

And I could take up several articles just talking about those of us who hold certain things “sacred” because of what we’ve been taught by others, discovered to to have some esoteric makeup or context that works for us, and what we determined to have some charming connection with someone or someplace we want to make part of us.

All of this, by the way, explains the magic behind placebos and why they work and why they work even when we “know.” WE ALL WANT TO BELIEVE! It seems, in fact, that the ritual behind the giving and taking of placebos is the real magic that makes them work.

With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to set out some thoughts on creating powerful, magical rituals that might help you on your way to creating a life of successes.


I’ve taken some interesting questions and answered them. Perhaps my perspectives will help you form your own answers.

At what stage in your career should you revisit your belief in magic?

Every successful business person I know and have studied and have been mentored by has something in common – they all trust their guts, instincts, intuition, and personal magic. They may call it different things, but it’s all the same. Deep down, inside, they all know they’re still little kids who believe in their own magic.

If you wait until you’re the CEO of the company to start trusting your own insights and instinctive knowing or wait until some “thing” happens in the course of your career to start being more introspective, you’re wasting some valuable time and personal resources. Most importantly, you’re exposing yourself to the risk that you become nothing more than a clone of someone else’s employment ideals, needs, and wants.

Business people, looking to advance themselves in their chosen fields – to be more efficient, more effective, more fulfilled, and successful – should start RIGHT NOW sitting down and examining their own positive self-talk skills and the degree at which they are able to imagine their own success with as much clarity and detail as possible.

If you can’t develop this ability to carefully and deliberately examine your own magical beliefs, then hunt out and hire a magical coach who can help you with that process. After all, it’s your TRUE POTENTIAL that will take you to unbelievable heights, not the dreams and aspirations and potential of others.


Next week, I’ll provide you with some more questions and answers. Until then, start revisiting your belief in magic and what such a belief means to and for you.

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™ | What Everybody Ought to Know About Kindness …

There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies.
My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.
– Dalai Lama


Occasionally, the unimaginable happens.

On Saturday, August 2, our daughter, Jordan, had the wedding of her dreams. On Sunday — at the start of her mini-honeymoon — she and her new husband learned of emergency weather conditions that were threatening their new family home. Their happy celebration of Life ended as they rushed back to their dogs and their home. What was supposed to be the start of an amazing, red-hot life became a nightmare. An unforgiving mudslide had attacked their home, killing both of their dogs, and inundating their yard and back of their house with debris, boulders, and water-soaked mud.

But it got worse …

The kids had to undergo the added hurt of digging their dogs’ bodies out of the muddy deluge.

And then they discovered that their insurance company would not cover the damages in any way or at all.


Despite all my social media sharing with you, I hesitated even telling Jordan’s and Jake’s story. Ordinarily, I view these types of events as a private, family matter. But then I realized … this is not the time for such selfishness. There’s an amazing story to share with everyone.

As you know, I’m a big proponent of achieving kick-ass results and for setting impossible goals so that you can knock them down and make your dreams a reality. Jordan has done just that. While family is rallying around the situation and providing comfort, care, physical help, and money, Jordan — rather than simply giving up and succumbing to what others might see as impossible conditions — also decided to raise funds on her own.

No one likes to ask for charity. But Jordan faced her fears and her pain and her dread … and she did it.

She asked for help.

And the truly awesome and inspiring part of all this is that people answered the call.

With pick-them-up physical labor.

With comforting and selfless donations.

With prayers and blessings from all types of religions and beliefs.

And with much-needed, gentle words of love.

Perhaps what has manifested is best summarized by a friend of mine, Bill Riechle, as he also wrote about Jordan’s and Jake’s situation:

If it were me, I think I would be having that very human response of shaking my fist at the universe – wondering what I did to deserve this. And then on my better moments – I might be looking at the kindness of strangers and wondering… what did I do to deserve this.

All too often we stop caring about others. As a society, we are barraged everyday with invented disasters and manipulated headlines because those “in the know” know people need bad things to grab attention. And so the internet is filled with conjured up drama, overreactions to half-truths, and emotional roller-coasters. We don’t even know what’s real anymore.


Jordan’s and Jake’s story is not make-believe. Life became overwhelming for them very fast. Like many of you, they are good people who are going through sudden and unexpected bad times.

Yet, they are young.

And this, too, shall pass.

And they will be stronger for it.

But what they have discovered most and the reason I am writing about this all here is this lesson:


When you understand their story, you discover that people are amazing.

You discover that people still empathize and sympathize.

You discover that when bad things happen, it’s okay to reach out just to make certain that the world will touch back kindly.

And you discover that Life is too short and that things can change in an instant despite all your best planning.

With those lessons comes a new perspective on …

… what really matters

… and what really doesn’t.


This article, by the way, isn’t just about Jordan and Jake. It’s about me (and you), too. Because I’ve been reminded and learned from all of you, as well.

Thank you.

For confirming that there is real kindness in the world.

Thank you.

For being good souls.

Thank you.

For offering your help and sympathy to total strangers when the world simply got to be too much.

Thank you.

For all of you who’ve donated money to two kids you don’t even know.

Thank you.

For all of you who’ve sent me private messages and emails, re-posted the donation link, and even called me offering sympathy, physical labor, and even more money for the kids than their original fund amount.

I already knew you were incredible. You have taken that belief and made it a reality.

So … Thank you.


The events of Jordan’s and Jake’s life have proven that it is possible, with the help of friends, family and even complete strangers, to go out, grab Fate by the throat, refuse to let it go, and bend it to your will.

People survive. And people thrive. And we learn from what’s thrown in our path.

Because the real secret of success is that each morning you must get out of bed, put one muddy foot in front of another muddy foot, dig out from whatever personal bomb has been dropped , and raise a middle finger to the obstacles that challenge you.

When you find someone in need, remember these lyrics from the Frank Sinatra classic, “Cycles:”

I’ve been told and I believe that Life was meant for living’
And even when the chips are low there’s still some left for givin’

There is nothing more precious and valuable than your heartbeats. You don’t get those back. And when you choose to share those with others, you are the essence of what Kindness is all about.

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™ | Building a Reality That Finally Works (Pt 2)

“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will ACT like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.”
– Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

Last week, I described some self-limiting beliefs that plague us. This week, in part two of “Building a Reality That Finally Works,” let’s get down and dirty and discuss some specific steps you can take to change your perception of yourself and the world; a transformation that will necessarily empower you in ways you didn’t think possible.

Would you like to be sexier?

Would you like to be wiser?

Would you like to be more athletic?

Would you like to have more energy?

These are some of the things that people want more of. Naturally, genes and age play a role in all this. However, I’ve also found that your own limiting beliefs can be the most cumbersome hurdle to deal with. Today, we’re going to talk, then, about rebooting your internal mental programming so you can finally start getting what you want out of life. Think of this as the human equivalent of CTRL-ALT-DELETE (for you PC users) and CMD-OPTION-ESC (for you Mac users). We’re going to FORCE QUIT your current thinking and replace it with more satisfying options.




Here are my suggestions for you to reprogram yourself so that you open up to a whole new world of possibilities and successes.

STEP ONE. REALITY ISN’T IMPULSIVE – YOU SHOULDN’T BE EITHER. In Part One we discussed how most of us are already living very impulse driven lives. Slow down a little. By delaying your reactions you can start responding in tune with your dreams and desires. When you are responding – rather than reacting – you remain in control and, most importantly, you continue to act congruently with your overall game plan. When you react, you’re always letting someone or something else dictate what happens.

STEP TWO. CHECK YOUR REALITY CONSTANTLY. When you feel, experience, think, and intuit something get in the habit of immediately asking yourself: Is this [whatever you’re feeling, experiencing, thinking, or using intuition upon] true? By asking this question, you will begin to check whether you’re simply telling yourself a story or not. By the way, this is one of the components to Buddha’s suggestion: “If you propose to speak, always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.” I suggest you expand that concept beyond speaking to just about everything.

STEP THREE. RUMINATE ON REALITY. Take all the time necessary to really think out what you want your reality to look like, feel like, smell like, and sound like. I suggest you even go so far as to write out your perfect reality in all its glorious detail. There’s power in the written word and in getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper (or a computer screen). There’s also something marvelously freeing when you get your thoughts about reality out into the world and make them concrete by putting them on paper or on a screen.

STEP FOUR. IF YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR REALITY, WHY SHOULD ANYONE ELSE? Here’s something novel for some of you: stop giving other people so much power over you. Stop caring what others think. Perhaps this quote from James Frey will help drive home my point: “If you care about what other people think, you will always be their prisoner.”

STEP FIVE. BE PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR REALITY! If I told you to ACT excited right now, could you show that to me? Go ahead. Do it. Now stop and ask yourself: What you DO to be excited? Not what you felt. Not what you thought. What did your body DO to be excited? Once you are able to fathom out the small actions that add up to big results, you will have built yourself a model that can be replicated all the time.

STEP SIX. REWRITE REALITY. Most great storytellers, writers, playwrights, and screenwriters will tell you that the most important part of their craft is REWRITING. Oh, some of them might just get out a perfect draft the first time. But the chances are even they have been editing in their heads first. Take the time to really focus on where you are right now and give yourself the freedom to change course if your life story needs some editing. And it’s even okay to reinvent yourself from time to time. Some of our most successful role models have done just that. By the way, you don’t have to destroy everything you are all in one fell swoop. If there’s some new role you want to try on for size, do just that. You can be a new person and have a new reality for a few minutes, a few hours, or even a few days to see if this “newness” suits you.

The real goal of building a reality that finally works for you is to give you back control and allow you the freedom and power to participate in your own success. The six steps I’ve given you can be used together or one at a time. Just make certain you keep reminding yourself that reality is yours to fine-tune, adjust, and correct. Enjoy!

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™ | Building a Reality That Finally Works (Pt 1)

Harry Potter isn’t real? Oh no! Wait, wait, what do you mean by real? Is this video blog real? Am I real if you can see me and hear me, but only through the internet? Are you real if I can read your comment but I don’t know who you are or what your name is or where you’re from or what you look like or how old you are? I know all of those things about Harry Potter. Maybe Harry Potter’s real and you’re not.
– John Green




Have you ever asked yourself: Who’s in control of my life?

If the answer isn’t “you,” then you’re in for some serious, long-term demands. You see, the challenge is that most people are really impulse buyers of what their particular Life has to offer. They live unplanned lives and make decisions right before something is about to happen in order to either avoid pain or gain pleasure. They let their emotions and feelings drive their course from moment to moment. This leaves them open to exploitation by others.

I’m all about you living passionately. But I want you to be passionate in moving towards a chosen goal or outcome, not be the victim of various distractions and chaos.

And here’s the most cursed thing about living an unplanned life: you are continually deluding yourself in order to justify the impulsive decisions and reactions that you make and have. It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to break unless you take control of your life back.

So, take a moment and consider where you are in your life path right now. Has your life mostly been a series of spontaneous and sometimes whimsical decisions? Have your choices been driven by Chance? Have your spontaneous pleasures and preferences plopped you smack dab in the middle of a maze of confusion?




The Matrix



Each one of these movies essentially involves the same foundational theme – the same situational promise, if you will: We each have the power to control our perception of reality.

Let’s admit something … right now, you’re living a life inside a box. And it’s a box built of thin, frail walls of your own making. And you’ve likely constructed those walls based on the thoughts, dreams, expectations, and modeling of others. That’s right: your life may just be a representation of something you learned (incorrectly) from someone else.

If you’d like to change your life for the better, it’s time to step outside of that dishonest box, kick it to the curb or throw it in the trash, and start living a wild and exciting “real” life outside the box!

How do you start?

By not just looking for more; it’s about knowing what you want more of. There’s strategic action to be planned that comes from all of this. Then you take massive action to get precisely what you want. It’s also about having the grit, determination, and backbone to keep moving forward. Think about it for a moment … every powerful hero in any of your favorite movies is actually defined, in whole or in part, by an equally powerful enemy or obstacle. And it’s also about looking fear in the eye, as Pink wrote in her song, Glitter in the Air, and saying, “I just don’t care.”




A successful and consistent magician is neither a finger-pointer nor a cry-baby. Those who have learned to shape their reality and bend it to their will are not hapless casualties of circumstance.

Quite the contrary.

When faced with obstacles, they adopt the Hannibal quote: “I will either find a way … or make one.”

And they know full well the import of Kurt Vonnegut when he said, “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

One of the first things you can do to create a reality that finally works is to start ACTING precisely how you want to be perceived by others. If you want to be happy, then you must ask yourself what you have to DO so that others see you as a happy person. If you want to be kind, then you must DO kindness that others see. Then and only then does your self-perception begin to twist and mold and shape and form into happiness or kindness or any other thing you want.

Let’s deconstruct this powerful strategy for a moment so you understand what’s really going on and how you’ve been programming yourself with viruses and bad commands for a very long time.



Until now, you’ve likely woken up in the morning, noticed (consciously or subconsciously) how you’re feeling, let the results of whatever chemical reactions are going on dictate how you interpret what you just noticed, and then you draw usually false connections between something that has already happened or is about to happen with how you “feel.” In other words, we make continuous mistakes about the outside world and what that outside world means. And these mistakes are driven by a defective programming: that what we see “out there” is something “objectively real” and so it must be “so.”

In physics there’s a concept called the Observer Effect. Simply, it pertains to changes in an event, consequence, or outcome because of the act of observation, itself. Think about the ramifications of that theory.

The mere act of observing can change what is being observed.

This is very similar – for you Star Wars fans – to the exchange that takes place between Yoda and Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi. Yoda is commanding Luke to enter a cave.

Luke: What’s in there?

Yoda: Only what you take with you.

When I talk about DOING happiness or DOING kindness, then, it forces you to “take” the happiness or kindness out into the world with you. It begins as a mental construct – a trick – to get you around, over, and through your own deception of what the world has been and meant up until now.

Notice, too, that I’m not referring to happiness or kindness as something you feel. I’m concerned only with how you ACT. One of the primary ways you move to seeing the world (and yourself) in a new and potent way is to start paying attention to your deeds instead of your feelings.

Next week, we’ll finish up with Part 2 of our strategy for building a reality that finally works. Until then, contemplate the following:

Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.”
– Cobb, from the movie Inception

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™ | I’m Scott Grossberg and This is How I Work

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”
- Steve Jobs

For some time, the wonderfully entertaining and informative site, Lifehacker, has been running a “How I Work” series. Various people are interviewed and together they explore learn about what makes these people tick … From their favorite apps to their preferred gear and, of course, how they work. Lifehacker hasn’t gotten around to asking me to be part of this series, yet … So I thought I would do it myself. Many of you have asked how I accomplish my day-to-day magic. Well, here’s a sampling.

Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA (just outside Los Angeles)
Current Gig: Creator (that should nicely encompass me being an author, public speaker, executive coach, attorney, and magician)
One word that describes how you work: Passionate
Current mobile device: iPhone 5s (Space Gray)
Current computers: iMac (with dual display), MacBook Pro (Retina Display, 15-inch), iPad Air (128GB), and iPad Mini (128GB)

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Why?
I live in either iThoughts HD (for iPad and iPhone) or XMind (for my desktop and laptop). Both are mind mapping tools that sync with each other. These tools mirror the way my brain works and allows me the greatest flexibility for my workflow. I still long for Lotus Agenda and I’ve now created my own Lotus Agenda replacement with these mind mapping tools.

Next would be Notesy (for iPad and iPhone) and Notational Velocity or nvalt (for my desktop and laptop). These are how I capture quick thoughts, reminders, and even record my time.

I’ve started using Siri a lot more. I probably dictate about 30-40% of the time now. I find it truly effective and efficient to dictate several emails in one Notesy entry and then break them apart later into more formal email transmittals. And when Apple’s iOS 8 is released, Siri is going to be even more compelling and omnipresent.

GoodReader is my filing system for my iPad and iPhone. It’s really the Swiss Army Knife of apps.

My handwritten notes are usually captured in a Moleskine (yes, I keep a terrestrial journal) or in an app called Noteshelf.
Naturally, I work a lot in my calendar – it’s how  manifest what I want to accomplish. So I am going back and forth between my desktop/laptop Outlook program and Pocket Informant Pro on my iPad and iPhone. They sync back and forth and make my life easier.

What’s your workspace setup like?
My office kind of looks like Mission Control. I have a dual monitor iMac setup. Dual monitors make me much more effective and efficient. I may even move to three screens at some time. I also have a Wacom tablet hooked up so I can draw digitally or make notes as needed.

I also have a standing desk. My MacBook Pro usually sits on that so I can move freely around without losing time.
Naturally, my iPad goes everywhere with me. When I’m traveling, my workspace is made up of my iPad, iPhone, personal hotspot, Apple TV, and extra batteries for the iPad and iPhone.

My workspace really isn’t complete without workout equipment (I like to keep moving). I have a Bosu ball, TRX suspension cord, a large stability ball, and a medicine ball in my office. I make it a habit to periodically take breaks and exercise.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?
Planning, scheduling, and actually participating in my own success. I find that most people spend most of their time mostly reacting to what Life mostly throws at them. I like to plan, plan, plan. That doesn’t mean that I’m not flexible. But, I know what I want to create and accomplish on any given day. And I’m ruthless about not participating in and eliminating anything that doesn’t further my grand designs. I like structure. And I like routines.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
I keep a Moleskine journal that is carefully configured to track my to-dos. For more complex and fluid projects, I will use iThoughts HD and XMind (mentioned above) to create elaborate action item workflows and deadline tracking.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
My iPod. I still use the old iPod Classic. It’s got 160GB of storage and holds my entire music library. I must have music around me.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?
I’ve been told that I’m very organized and have a systematic way to make certain that things happen when, where, and as they should. I think that’s really a manifestation of my ability to see patterns in just about anything and everyone. I look at those patterns (even my own) and connect them to what I want to have happen.

Results are very important to me and my clients. That means I start with the desired result, first, and then systematically create a workflow and flight plan that will take me (or my clients) from where I am to where I want to be. It’s a very scripted and structured progression that has improvisation time built into it (no matter how much you plan, Life has a way of throwing you surprises).

What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to all kinds of music. Neil Diamond is my favorite artist. And I’ve really become enamored with Delta Rae lately. I usually set up custom listening stations on iTunes Radio.

I have been experimenting with ambient noise, as well. Take a look at,, and for some ideas of what I’m talking about.

What are you currently reading?
I’m notorious for reading three or four books at a time.
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield; Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Sir Richard Branson; It Worked for Me in Life and Leadership by Colin Powell

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m an introvert who’s learned to be an extrovert. Many of you have heard the story before: I used to hide under my bed when I was little and I was afraid to go into stores. I’ve developed a strategy – a system, if you will – that guarantees the superpower of being sociable. Still, I need my alone time to regenerate that superpower.

What’s your sleep routine like?
Sleep? What’s that? Okay, seriously, I don’t usually sleep through the night. It’s more like a series of naps. Cumulatively, I get about 4-5 hours sleep a night. Sometimes a little more.

There are times when I’ll take a power nap of 30-45 minutes during the day if I know I have a late night ahead.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
Albert Einstein, Neil Diamond, and Jesus

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My parents constantly reminded me that I could be, do, and have anything I wanted. The best advice from them was actually not a saying but their actions. My father was insanely entrepreneurial. My mother is the role model for being a bohemian. When you combine those two traits, you have magic.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers/fans?
The world is moving so fast and technology is changing so quickly that many people don’t think they can keep up. I promise you that by just employing a few, simple systems and creating a habit of success you can achieve what others think is impossible.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you cgo 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™ | Life is a One-Legged Event

My movements, ma’am, are all leg movements.
I don’t do nothing with my body.
- Elvis Presley


In preparing for the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon I was fortunate to have access to a wonderful running coach, Chris Heuisler.

Right from the beginning, Chris asked me: “Is running a one-legged or a two-legged activity?

What the hell,” I thought. “This has got to be a trick question.” But he seemed earnest in asking me so I thought about it a moment. Then the answer was clear: “It’s two-legged,” I proclaimed.

It’s a one-legged sport,” Chris corrected.

If it was a two-legged sport, it would be called jumping.”

Think about it.

He’s right.

And Chris’ repartee with me is also a great lesson in Life, itself.

For most of us, life is about putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time.

Oh, I know that we all periodically leap from one goal to another. And there are times we all feel like a rocket on a trajectory to a desired success point. But …


Let’s start with some distinctions.

When you walk, you’re placing one foot at a time in front of the other. And only one foot leaves contact with the ground at a time. And there are times when both feet are touching the ground at the same time. It is the most common way we all get around.

When you run, you obviously move faster than when you walk. And there are points in the activity when both of your feet are off the ground at the same time. Here’s the interesting thing about running: because of its unbroken nature, there is really no part of the actual activity that is considered a “beginning.”

When you jump, you are catapulting yourself into and through the air. Jumping is different from running (and certainly walking) because of how long you stay in the air and usually you land in one spot and that’s it. (I know there are creatures who get through life by hopping about – but humans aren’t know to do that.)

The reason Chris was so adamant about marathon training being a one-legged activity is that, as opposed to jumping, you have a starting point, you move forward, you keep moving towards a specific goal by walking or running or some combination of the two, you pass the finish line, and you keep moving. There is always one foot on the ground at some point to keep you stabilized and your momentum assured.

When you’re setting goals for success that are consistent and sustainable, you want to be in a one-legged activity – moving forward one foot at a time, constantly able to shift your course and speed as may be needed, and able to move on to the next goal once the initial one is achieved.


I was on the track team in high school. Periodically, I was asked to participate in hurdling to help round out the team. Hurdling involves both running AND jumping (it’s really called hurdling – not jumping). There are a sequence of barriers set up and runners must pass over these obstacles. The ideas is to hurdle correctly so you’re not just jumping over an obstacle and landing. Rather, you want to run, pass over the obstacle, AND KEEP GOING.

The last thing you want to do -TRUST ME – is crash into the barrier. You’re not going to finish, let alone win, the race. And you just might get hurt.

And without the proper training as to the technique you should be using, you can overcome a hurdle only to find that you’ve injured yourself because you’ve landed wrong on the other side.

And you don’t want to focus on the hurdle. That is nearly a guarantee you’re going to hit it.

Rather, you want to be confident in your training, your stride, and your technique so that, when the obstacle appears, you seem to just magically glide over it and get back to the race.

Life certainly has a way of surprising us, doesn’t it? When that happens, wouldn’t it be nice to know you’ve taken the time – ahead of the surprise – to determine some well-planned steps that you can rely upon to get you to, over, and through your obstacles?

If you will spend your passion and energy on planning your steps toward your goal, then you will be able to spend the least amount of that passion and energy getting over Life’s obstacles.


Nothing will destroy your pace through a race (and Life for that matter) than an injury to one of your legs. I know that most trainers have you concentrate on bilateral exercises and strength training. However, whether you’re participating in a marathon or going through Life, you will only have one foot on the ground for most of the time.

For racing, this means you need to concentrate some of your attention on what stabilizes you: each leg and foot. That means you should be doing some one-legged exercises to strengthen your core, stance, and enhance your performance.

For Life, this means you need to concentrate some of your attention on what stabilizes you: each step along the way to your dreams. That means you should be constantly training and learning new concepts and workflow ideas to strengthen your resolve to reach your goals and enhance what you do along that path so you are fulfilled when you finally “get there.”

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 Most Important Thing You Can Be Clear About To Achieve Your Goals (Pt 2)

What’s important at the grocery store is just as important in engines or medical systems.
If the customer isn’t satisfied, if the stuff is getting stale,
if the shelf isn’t right, or if the offerings aren’t right, it’s the same thing.
You manage it like a small organization.
You don’t get hung up on zeros.
- Jack Welch

Today we continued to transform you from just being results-oriented to also being systems-oriented. (As a reminder, you will still focus on being results-oriented once you wrap your head around a system-for-success-type of focus so you can ensure the attainment of whatever goal you have.)


Let’s begin with an important concept that you’ve probably not really considered before – without YOU you can’t have success. YOU are the one who determines what success means at any given time. And YOU are the one who has to do something to make that success happen.
That means what YOU do is the foundational element to all success.

If you’re ever going to have consistent and sustainable achievement, you have to develop a system for success that works for YOU.
And here’s the real profound secret to all this … because it’s all about YOU, there isn’t a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to a system for success. Rather, this is all about finding out what works for you and how you do that success. From there it’s simply a matter of being mindful to the system you need to adhere to and following the steps.


This quote from Michael Basch, a founding officer of FedEx, says it well: “Ordinary people working with extraordinary systems deliver extraordinary results.” I like to paraphrase it like this, though: “Extraordinary systems used with extraordinary purpose will make anyone extraordinary. The results will follow.”

What does this all mean for you? If you want to change your results, change the way you get them.

If I could sit down with you and immerse you in the reprogramming for your success, most of the time we would essentially be creating and embedding “if-then” commands. There would be a whole bunch of conditional constructs that go like this: “IF this [whatever event you might imagine] happens, THEN I will do this [whatever action you want to happen] or ELSE I will do this [whatever alternative action you will take if the imagined event does not happen].”

With this simplistic system, you quickly learn that you can program yourself to respond to challenges in a way that furthers your bigger goal. This subtle program takes you from being re-active to pro-active. I wonder how many of you have ever actually done this: sitting down and actually programming now you will specifically and powerfully and meaningfully respond in a variety of situations. I can tell you that most of the people I encounter simply react to what they view as the uncertainty and whims of Life. That makes them – and perhaps you – the pawns of those who know what they want. I don’t think this latter scenario is the way you really want to go through life.


Then, and only then, is it time to actually implement your master plan.

The formula is easy: ENVISION. PROCESS. EXECUTE.

I promise you that, if you will just obsessively follow this formula, you will FEEL BETTER. And … you’ll start seeing the results and impact and significance that you desire.

But you have to take the time to fathom out what the right system is for you. So, again, look back over your life and make a list of those things you do that bring you the best results or the best returns on your investment of time, energy, and money. Then, deconstruct what you did in the past and turn that into your own personal success system.


If you still need a little help figuring out what the right system for you might be, here’s a possible outline for you to expand upon:

1. Write down what you want to achieve. Not the little day-to-day victories. What’s your one Big Hairy Audacious Goal (from James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies)

2.  Compare where you are with where you want to be. Be brutally honest. Really dig and find the gap that exists between now (where you are) and then (what you wrote down in Step 1). This is the gap that exists for you.

3.  Give your monster a name. Ask yourself: What’s keeping me from having what I want right now? There’s something (or someone) keeping you from having what you want most in life. What is it? Until you give a name to your monster, it will control you.

4. Fill in the blank. If I could be, do, and have anything I want to destroy what’s keeping me from having what I want, this is what it would be: ______________________________

5.  Brainstorm ways to destroy your obstacles. Again, take careful and complete notes of the system you need to put in place (the strategy and tacts you must follow) to eliminate your nemesis.

6. Fix the gap by implementing your system. Don’t just mind the gap. Don’t just give your gap lip service. And certainly don’t ignore it (if you do that, it will eventually gain on you and bite you in the butt on the way). You’re going to ACT. You have to carry out the plan you have devised step-by-step.

7.  Reassess where you are and what you want. Every time you make a decision or achieve a smaller goal, your bigger goal (what you want to achieve) might change. Be ready to start with Step 1 every step of the way.

As Ian Malcom said, “Life finds a way.” Now you can, too!

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.