“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is
the first duty of intelligent men.”
Spoonbenders sell the illusion that the life you want can be had without sacrifice and struggle. The name comes from magician Uri Geller, who made sold the illusion that he could bend metal spoons with mind power. There are two Spoonbenders to be wary of as you make your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions: Ms. Easy and Mr. Magic.
Ms. Easy promises that you’ll change with almost no effort, because of her unique product. Mr. Magic promises that you’ll change via incredible feats of mind power, to which he has the secret.
Ms. Easy starts with this premise: Do better at this one thing (whitening your teeth, conditioning your hair, losing weight) and you will be better. Ms. Easy overpromises: this is going to be (pick one) effortless/convenient/cheap.
Possibly, if your goal is controlling dandruff. Absolutely not for more profound changes, such as a mature long-term approach to diet and exercise.
Nevertheless, in one form or another, Ms. Easy’s siren song “eat what you want and still lose weight” echoes in your ears around the new year.
The only way to do that is to change what you want to eat. Simple. Not at all easy.
Mr. Magic also starts with a reasonable premise: Be better and you will do better. But then he gets out the spoons.
He may take a mystical approach. Mr. Magic may even borrow from evangelical Christianity and use revival-style meetings to deliver his message and sell his merchandise. He’ll also put an exaggerated focus—like Uri Geller—on mind power.
Mr. Magic may even tell you that positive thinking and proper mental alignment will quickly cause improvement in bank accounts, advancement at work, and family relationships.
Now you know people can call forth latent courage to do more and be more. But Mr. Magic makes it sound so easy and so final. (Like painless weight loss!)
If that doesn’t get you to open your wallet, Mr. Magic may declare that the power is not within you, but out there. You will, he says, grow your wealth, lose weight, get happier by aligning yourself with the universe, which will then provide you with abundant prosperity.
Mr. Magic suggests that being broke is just a blockage of energy. He advises opening up your channel – with his help – so money and consumer goods can flow through: “Prepare your wish list to the universe.”
Prepare for spoonbending, actually.
Everything you want is out there awaiting delivery, says Mr. Magic, if only you will provide the correct address. Like the lie of painless weight loss, the Laws of Attraction are much more convenient than the work of real change.
Like Uri Geller’s spoonbending, close inspection reveals the content of Mr. Magic’s message to be less compelling than the delivery. This is a new-age version of “eat what you want and still lose weight.”
Keep this in mind when you make your New year’s resolutions: so-called universal laws gain traction on your wallet through magical thinking, the absence of common sense.
Gumption ignores the spells and promises of Ms. Easy and Mr. Magic and gets on with the work of real change.
You can use the free Gumptionade Worksheet #11 “Unbend Your Spoon” to overcome the damage Easy, Magic, and Perfect are doing to your self-improvement plan.