Monday, July 8, 2013

The Magic Is Inside You

Image courtesy of Steve Knight

When Jeanne Calment turned 120 years old, she was asked what her view of the future was. "Very brief," she responded. I would imagine so at 120, but I expect I still have a future.

What is your view of the future?

A lonely frog called a psychic hotline. "You will meet a beautiful young woman who will want to learn all about you," the psychic advisor told him.

"Where will I meet her?" he asked. "Down by the old mill stream?"

"No," she said. "In biology class."

I think I would want to call another psychic for a second opinion.

Scott Adams, of “Dilbert” comic strip fame, says this about predictions: "There are many methods for predicting the future. For example, you can read horoscopes, tea leaves, tarot cards, or crystal balls. Collectively, these methods are known as 'nutty methods.' Or you can put well-researched facts into sophisticated computer models, more commonly referred to as ‘a complete waste of time.’"

I received a postcard from a psychic adviser once. It said that if I call a certain number (one for which I would be charged a hefty fee), she would lead me through a hazy future to clarity and happiness. I wondered if she really could tell me important details about my life and future – I mean, clarity and happiness don’t sound half bad. Then I turned the card over. I noticed that it was addressed to the wrong house. That’s when I thought, if she doesn't even know where I am, how can she know where I am going?

But if the future is not ours to see, I’m okay with that because I go along with Dolly Parton in her song “These Old Bones.” Dolly sings, “You just remember that the magic is inside you, there ain't no crystal ball.” The magic is inside you. Maybe not the magic to see into the future, but certainly the magic to shape it.

At the end of my life, what will matter to me? Not that I ever had the ability foresee my future (I have little interest in that), but that I had a hand in shaping it. I refuse to think my life is in the hands of the fates and what will be, will be. I have dreams. I have longings. I have significant aspirations for my own future and even for the world. Much of the world I can’t influence. But I can control my thoughts and actions; I can choose my attitudes and behaviors. That is the magic inside me. I can largely shape who I will become, and when I do, I am shaping my future.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” said Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman who did much to change the world around her. If there is only one thing to do today, that would be it: to believe in the beauty of my dreams. Really believe in them. That’s where the magic is and anything can happen.

-- Steve Goodier


 

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