Dealing with Challenges and Escaping from Problems: What Harry Houdini Can Teach You
It was 85 years ago on Halloween at 1:26 pm in Detroit, MI, when Harry Houdini took his last breath. Houdini is the person who is probably more responsible for keeping the art of magic alive than any other magician who has ever lived. In fact, if you ask most people to think of a famous magician, Houdini is probably one of the first names uttered.
Houdini’s secret was that he not only understood marketing and advertising, but also, even more importantly, he had a great product – he was an escape artist. He possessed the ability to escape. People desire to escape. People want to “break loose” from reality and their problems, as well as the chains that bind them to their everyday existence.
Houdini used that desire to create impossible situations and then he would escape from them. Houdini would accept challenges from other people and then escape from those challenges, as well. His escapes were based on a vast knowledge of what was going to be binding him – handcuffs, leg irons, a straightjacket, etc. – and then developing an exit strategy that would free him. He had unbelievable patience and a determination to succeed.
You can use that same strategy, when faced with a challenge that seems inescapable. Discover all you can about what the challenge is and then, calmly, create an exit strategy that will allow you to overcome it. The key word here is “calmly.” Even though Houdini knew how he would make his escape in advance, sometimes his idea didn’t work, so he had to devise and try another plan. Houdini, even with his most difficult escapes, knew that he must never panic. He was resolved that “in time,” he would always find a way out of the problem.
Therefore, don’t try and “force” an outcome. Develop a plan and move according to circumstance. If you need to change your strategy, do so. However, with any plan you devise, be steadfast in your thinking that you will, ultimately, find an answer to your problem and that you will succeed.
Undoubtedly, Houdini will be remembered as a great magician. But he will also be remembered as someone who showed people that despite any challenge, there is always a way to escape through an understanding of the situation, the development of a flexible plan and then, the calm execution of that plan … with determination.
At the age of 8, Bob read a book on Houdini and was hooked. Today, as one of the leading funny motivational speakers on the corporate circuit, Bob reinforces strategic points of his presentation with magic and mind reading. You can watch his funny motivational speaker video demo for a quick look at Bob’s work.
©2011 Bob Garner. All Rights Reserved. You may use this article, but you must use the byline and author resource.
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