I have a confession – when I was 12 years old, I wanted to be a magician.
A couple weeks ago, my five year old daughter found a box of old magic tricks and so I have been honing my skills as of late. 🙂
My favorite magician of all time is Harry Houdini. Houdini was a master magician and was best known as an escape artist.
He said that he could escape from any jail cell in the world in less than an hour and he succeeded on several occasions. Then a small town in the British Isles built a new jail they were extremely proud of and issued the challenge to Houdini to see if he could escape from one of their cells. Houdini loved the publicity and the money and so he accepted.
By the time he arrived, excitement had grown throughout Great Britain. He rode into town and walked into the cell with the confidence and swagger that only Houdini had. When the door was closed he took off his coat and went to work. Hidden in his belt, he pulled out a flexible, yet tough and durable ten-inch piece of steel and began to work on the lock.
At the end of 30 minutes his confidence was fading. After an hour he was drenched in perspiration. After two hours, he literally collapsed against the door – and it opened.
You see it had never been locked, except in his own mind. The great escape artist could have pushed the door gently at any time and escaped without any effort, but he kept himself locked in the cell.
I love that story because it illustrates a very powerful point. Limitations are mental and self-imposed. George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars said, “We are all living in cages with the doors wide open.” It is up to us to break free, to believe, to grow, and to achieve.