Posts in Perception
How a young magician become the world's most famous hacker

Kevin Mitnick is a “white hat” hacker who abides by the law and breaks into computer systems to help corporations and organizations figure out the weak spots in their security. Before that, the FBI had called him the “most wanted hacker”, and arrested him for 5 years, keeping him in isolation, afraid of what he could accomplish even from his jail cell. And before that, he was a budding magician.

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This College Footballer Mastered Misdirection (A Magician's Perspective)

North Texas punt returner Keegan Brewer is a magician—a “sleight-of-body” magician. Here’s how he successfully used principles of magic to misdirect his audience (the opposing team) so that he could score a touchdown. (Spoiler: Brewer was successful because he understood in that moment that using an audience’s expectations to fool themselves is diabolically effective.)

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The Perception of Magic in Culture is Changing

The zeitgeist is changing. In today’s social world magic is cool and popular.

And in my real-world performances people are approaching me before I approach them, asking to see some close-up magic.

I think what's most important is that people are starting to understand that magic takes skill. They understand now that I am not some charlatan pretending to have powers. Because I have made the choice to highlight my technical ability instead of a mysterious force, people are more open, accepting and interested. They’re not scared of magic, they dig it. And while they still incessantly make jokes about me taking their watches and wallets, they now have a positive correlation to magic. 

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Lifestyle Changes That Last, Like Magic

Practicing magic for 20 years has taught me that practice never ends. You're constantly refining ideas, perfecting techniques. The levels of learning make themselves very clear. 

I’m starting to see that the positive strides I’ve made in changing certain behaviors have each taken a year or more to develop. And they follow a pattern similar to the one that comes when anyone goes for a lifestyle change.

I find something I want to change, I find a reason why I want that, I learn how I can accomplish it, and then I am disappointed at myself and disapprove of my inability to do so easily. I then forget about the goal, and the efforts leave my conscious thoughts. 

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Why Your Pet Can Help Your Career

Did you know that research shows that your pet's presence can influence not just you, but other people's perceptions of you? As a business speaker and magician, I am fascinated by the way our perceptions are shaped in our personal and professional lives. Turns out that when we see a person with an animal, particularly a furry one, we automatically feel a level of trust. If you own a dog or cat, how can you use these research findings to shape and control the way you're perceived?

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Overcome Sales Objections by Turning Your Company's Flaws into Features

Overcoming objections in sales and business can be tough...I have to handle concerns and objections often just by virtue of being a magician. So, what's the solution? Transform what people perceive as your company's FLAWS into FEATURES.

Find out how to change people's perceptions—and Think Like a Magician™—in this blog, which profiles the way the Hell's Kitchen restaurant in Minneapolis turns the worst seats in their restaurant into the best.

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The One Question That Saved This Company From Losing My Business

I was trying to get electronic payments out to my partners and vendors before the end of the year. What should have been an easy process turned into a nightmare.

When I first signed up with my financial institution five years ago, the charm of a small, hometown bank drew me in. I was tired of being treated as an insignificant account holder at the major behemoths. There was one particular detail that made me happy each time too: the calendar date was always correct. 

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3 Ways to Maximize How Customers Perceive Your Brand

This post is about how organizations can create experiences for their customers that are positive, engaging and align with their brand. 

The three strategies I share can be applied by any business that wishes to create a more engaging customer experience.

Whether you’re operating an escape room, a performing arts center or a news organization that gives tourists a peek at what you do, here are three things you should do:

  1. Meet expectations in a satisfying way.
  2. Go beyond expectations; create surprise and delight via unexpected moments.
  3. Connect the specific experience to the overarching brand promise or company mission/vision. 

Here is an example of how not to do this...

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How Marshall McLuhan Impacted the Medium of Magic

I talk to business people about the role of perception in communication and interpersonal relationships. In performing magic, I bring about an awareness of how our perceptions are impacted, affected and easily misled and self-manipulated. When I perform magic it is to highlight the way people see the world and communicate with each other. 

While I was studying Philosophy at the University of Central Florida I became fascinated with Marshall McLuhan. His ideas ended up influencing my magic in an interesting way. 

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What is your perception of money?

In four fascinating interviews, this Esquire article showed how four different men in four different economic standings thought and acted about money, retirement and taxes. This article crystallizes the notion that no matter what our financial reality, it is our perception that impacts our happiness and peace of mind.

Reading the four interviews reaffirms the conclusion made by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton that after a certain amount income does not have a direct impact on a person’s happiness.

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PerceptionKostya Kimlat
Perception Wins Elections

Perception is instrumental to politics and storytelling is a powerful tool used to transform our perceptions. In an election, storytelling and narrative can be the decisive factor in voter turnout and decision making.

With the political campaign in full swing we all need to be reminded of the role that perception plays in creating narratives which then guide our choices. In this Op-Doc produced by The New York Times, political media strategist, Mark McKinnon, explains how “he was instrumental in shaping the way we perceived his candidates and their opponents.”

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PerceptionKostya Kimlat
How learning magic helps CEOs run their businesses

In a weekly interview series with business leaders, the New York Times posted a video of Daniel Lubetzky, C.E.O. of KIND, where he talks about his early influence of learning magic and how it impacted him as an executive.

The learning process was an effort that “helped me for the rest of my life,” says Lubetzky. He mentions the skills he developed while learning magic that have been applicable for him in the business world. Lubetzky touches upon several topics that I speak to groups about during my workshops and gives crystal clear examples that any business owner can connect to.

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