The picture you see above was taken by me on a recent trip to Kingston Upon Thames – a town very close to where I live. I was walking around in search of lunch when a downward glance revealed this little gem. Being a bit of an Instagram freak, I had to stop, snap and share. The message had been written on a sticker and stuck on some sort of metal cable-box on the street.
I’m used to seeing stickers with all sorts of advertisements plastered all over the place, but this was different. It was a breath of fresh air! It said something so important and true. Sadly, this message is also something that’s easily forgotten, in a world that doesn’t seem to value or encourage ideas like it. Yet here it was – in broad daylight and where everyone could see!
So what is exactly is this ‘magic’? For some, it could be what they do for a living (the lucky sods!), but in the case of most people, I think it’s those seemingly unimportant and little things we do (or want to do) – often to express our creativity and give vent to our passions. Some easy examples would be: playing a musical instrument, cooking exotic dishes, making tweaks to computers to make them perform better, or doing custom paint jobs on motorcycles. Anything really, as long as it’s something you really love to do or want to try out. Something that excites you. Something where the doing of it is, in itself, the reward (without money needing to enter the picture).
These things may not seem important and we may not consider pursuing them a priority, yet they are an important part of who we are and what we have to offer this world. They can enrich not only our own lives but the lives of others too.
Take my hobby of iPhone photography for example: I was never interested in photography; I don’t own a fancy camera; I don’t know a thing about the technicalities of digital photography like lighting and editing and so on. I just know that sometimes, I like what I see and that I enjoy trying to capture it’s essence and then sharing it with others.
I’m also learning to be frugal – so it was a match made in heaven when I discovered Instagram (more on that below). The app is free. My tired old iPhone 4 is good enough to snap the pictures with. My current phone contract / data plan has unlimited data allowance, so sharing is already paid for. I started experimenting and having fun with it.
With Instagram, you share your pictures and others can ‘like’ them and make comments. As things progressed, I picked up a few ‘followers’ who regularly ‘liked’ my pictures. Yet, it was nothing spectacular when compared to the amazing pictures shared by some others (often receiving thousands of ‘likes’). Then, something happened that sent me reeling. Something that was totally unexpected. A kind and wonderful person who regulalry ‘likes’ my pictures made this comment:
“All your pictures have a very sensitive and relaxed atmosphere. You really make my days better through your work.”
It was one of the happiest moments of my life! To know that what I did had touched someone in a postive way. To learn that in my pursuit of something I saw as fun and exciting, I was somehow adding something of value to another person’s life – that was HUGE! It’s not blatant, unashamed self-promotion here folks. It’s the thought that something that I did – little old me goofing around with my phone and having fun – had somehow made someone else’s life better (even in the tiniest way). To me that is just huge and awesome! Now for some blatant self promotion – here’s the picture that elicited this comment:
I know what it is like to be on the receiving end of that kind of value and inspiration. The look and layout of this blog, my journey into Instagram and iPhone photography – I owe it all to one very special lady. Her name is Tammy Strobel. I first came across Tammy while watching a really awesome, independently produced movie called ‘I’m Fine, Thanks.’ (* As a side note, I would fully encourage you to watch the movie. It’s more than worth the $5 download fee!).
I came across Tammy at a time when I was struggling to find direction – with my blog, with how I wanted it to look, with my writing and lots more. Just seeing Tammy’s blog, her love of reading and writing, her colourful pictures and getting a small sense of her life, helped me get clearer about what I wanted for myself. Her life and work set off some kind of tsunami of passion for expressing my creativity in ways I had never even thought of before.
Here was a total stranger, on the other side of the world, who in just being herself and doing what she loved, had not only helped me, but had set my soul on fire! Thank you Tammy! I should probably mention that since then, I have gone on to know Tammy through an exchange of emails and I was recently a participant in her online writing course (again, something I fully recommend!). See for yourself the magic that is Tammy and her blog: RowdyKittens.com.
Yes folks, there’s magic in everyone and that includes you too.
You might not think that what you have to offer is special or worth sharing. That’s where you get it wrong. So wrong! Your magic is special, because it’s a part of you. Because only you can work your magic in that unique way. Your magic is part of what makes you unique. Are you getting this!? And through your magic, your passion and excitement, you have the power to touch other lives and bring forth the magic in them.
Do you see now that we owe it to ourselves and to others to give these things at least a little more of our time and attention?
So baby, there’s magic in you. Question is, what are you going to do about it?