When was the last time you experienced a magic moment?
I just listened to the most incredible podcast with John Vroman and Jeff Kaylor. I burned through half a post-it pad taking notes. (Sudsy, soggy notes… I was also cleaning the kitchen.) My head is spinning with ideas and inspiration and new opportunities. The discussion was about a kind of creativity I haven’t given much consideration: creating a magic moment.
But I should start over.
Jeff Kaylor is a magician who lives in a house with another magician, an illusionist, a mind reader, an inventor, a stunt comedian, a dolphin trainer, a lawyer/hypnotist, and eleven white doves. This house is called The Magic Estate. (I know…) Jeff discovered something. A lot of the times people asked him to teach them magic, what they really wanted was to be able to make their loved ones feel wonder, just like they felt during one of Jeff’s shows. One thing led to another thing which led to another. Now, Jeff is a motivational speaker and also offers a weekly challenge to help people create magical experiences for others.
I won’t spoil the whole podcast for you. Just listen to it! You won’t be sorry.
At one point, I froze, one sudsy hand dripping into the kitchen sink. This idea of creating magic moments is very affecting. When you make someone smile, you smile bigger. I know it. It happened to me just last week…
I had a magic moment with the trash man.
Basically, I had a really gross chair on the patio for the cat. The chair had to go, so I dragged it to the curb. Have you ever had something so gross you were ashamed for even the trash man to see it? Well…this chair. I wrote a little note warning the guy about cat hair and showering him with thanks. The note had a funny tone — I hoped! Then I ran inside. I could hear the truck growling up the hill toward our house.
Like some sort of crazed lurker I did the peek-between-the-blinds thing.
Turns out, my trash man is a teenager. My heart sank. This poor kid busting his chops in the dank humid heat was getting the cat chair. He came strolling alongside the truck and grabbed the trash bin. As he tilted the trash into the truck’s jaws, he frowned. He’d seen the note. He returned the bin to the curb and read the note.
Then he broke into a wide grin. And he laughed!
Inside the house, I laughed with him. It was relief, but also something else. Amazement! I watched him strip the note off the chair and tuck it into his shirt pocket. What?!
He picked up the chair and tossed it in like it was made of styrofoam, then kept walking to the next house, still shaking his head and laughing.
I kept laughing, too, because it seriously made my day. He probably put the whole thing on Instagram.
It was a 15-second note.
Jeff Kaylor is so, so right. When you give a little surprise, you get hooked. Your brain starts looking for other opportunities to delight someone. Then you appreciate the people around you more. You remember that presence behind you in the checkout line is a human and start to look for ways to make them laugh.
Isn’t that better than scrolling on the phone?
What are some ways you’ve made someone else’s day? Leave your ideas in the comments!