Mr. Magic can be most dangerous to your New Year’s Resolutions when he is pseudo-rational. When he serves up new age versions of the traditional life-as- journey metaphor: You are the CEO of your life; life is a work of art; life is like managing an investment portfolio. It’s not.
Heroic feats of productivity are part of Mr. Magic’s spoonbending. Not a moment will be lost. The apps, the hacks, the trading software, the notebooks, the juiced-up calendars and to-do lists online and off are indispensable implements for the superhuman parsing of every minute of every day. Eat coffee for lunch!
This is another version of Mr. Magic’s mind power spoonbending. Somehow you will find limitless knowledge, time, and energy for self-discipline and industriousness.
Now the products offered by Mr. Magic or the other spoonbender Ms. Easy are not useless. But like a bar of soap that does get you clean but costs $972, they are overpriced and oversold.
Despite initial appearances, Ms. Easy and Mr. Magic promote passive behavior, including passive consumption. Raspberry ketones! Their nostrums are diversions from the more challenging work of real change.
Real change begins with understanding the predictable weakness of human logic, and searching for the reasons why you can’t or won’t do better. That takes more than soap.
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.
i …life is like managing an investment portfolio. Micki McGee, Self Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 69.