“That's what I search for. That's the thing that I'm looking for more than anything is finding that unfiltered-- that person inside, basically, like the layers are all being peeled away. They're becoming, like, guard's down, vulnerable. You're seeing a real human being without the covers.” - David Blaine

I am a big fan of Ira Glass, the host and producer of the popular podcast, This American Life, among other notorieties. In a recent episode, he explored 3 unusual places where people can be found, exposed beneath the layers they carry when navigating their external worlds. As a coach, I can relate to a desire to see the exposed client beneath the layers. That is where their wisdom lies.

I was caught off guard in the 3rd act of the episode - magic. I, like Ira, had always considered magic to be a method of deception. At times, I admired the way it was known to push the limits of our perception, visible in watching the awe of children witness something beyond their imagination. But, my curiosity tended to stop there. I had never considered the drive behind the magician’s craft.

What we discover with Ira’s narration is that magic is the means to a much larger vision. Derek DelGaudio and David Blaine perform magic to expose the vulnerability in humans. They evoke that vulnerability through the courageous acts they bring to the stage. The acts that no one believes are true or possible. As spectators, we are skeptics focussed on each magic trick. In doing so, we unconsciously surrender to the possibility of an experience bigger than each specific trick. That is their aim.

This week, think first about your larger vision. When you orient yourself to a specific destination, the tools to get there will become obvious. It may not be a tool you had expected.

Allow yourself to be surprised.