Tickling Your Mind – The MAYA Principle

MAYA stands for “Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable”.

Tickling the mind is all about using this idea to engage with people.

In the 21st century western world, we no longer have an industrial economy (when was the last time you bought something manufactered in the UK, US or Europe?), we do not even have an information economy (our phones, laptops, even watches, and some glasses, are all hyper-connected to Google or voice-assistants, we never lack access to information) but what we do have is an attention economy.

Grabbing, holding and channeling attention is key to being successful in business, in communication, in our relationships and ultimately, in building an impactful legacy.

These principles apply very closely to the approach needed in magic, mentalism and MindFoolness; create wonder whilst engaging people. It is these principles that we teach you on Project MindFoolness Live. To find out more, go to www.mindsways.com/PMFL/ 

Creating Wonder

Wonder is that tickling sensation in the back of your mind that something impossible might just be happening.

It’s the sense that you’ve caught lightning in a jar, that somewhere along the way, something has gone delightfully wrong and that you have been one of the select few to ever witness it. It’s a sense that real magic just happened.

Wonder is a feeling that many of us had during childhood, but has long since disappeared and been replaced with the dread of monthly bills, unused gym memberships and the nagging sensation that we’ve forgotten an important date.

Wonder is about creating this face here:

Creating wonder is about understanding and leveraging the craving we still have for the mysterious. To do this, we must acknowledge and accept other people’ s perceptions and be able to blow them away with our courage and uniqueness.

Creating wonder is about embracing surprise, mystery, novelty and playfulness. To really tap into wonder, you must have the mindset of a young child; unafraid to explore new places, ready to say and do things you believe in the most and happy to stumble, fall and get up to try again.

This attitude of freedom and creativity is what gives us the Attention Advantage.

The Attention Advantage

People’s attention is a rare and wonderful treasure trove that must be respected and appreciated.

We, as a culture, have never had our attention spread so thinly. It’s vital for us, however we’re getting our message across, whether it’s through:

  • Coaching interventions
  • Networking, interviews or pitching
  • Casual conversations
  • Public speaking
  • Performance art and theatre
  • Meetings and presentations

that we figure out how to capture our audience’s attention and keep hold of it. To do so, you must know how to answer these three questions:

  1. What does your audience want? This can be anything from immediate, surface desires like wanting a drink or stretching their legs, to something deeper like their want to feel fulfilled in their job. Are you addressing key aspects of what your audience wants?
  2. What does your audience need? Sometimes needs and wants are very different. A key to any good storytelling and character development is knowing that what someone thinks they want is not necessarily what they need. Do you know the difference between what your audience wants and what they need?
  3. What will surprise your audience? Magic and mentalism are built on the creation of wonder and surprise. Surprise is about shocking your audience just enough to keep them paying attention, to keep them focused on you and your message and to make you far more memorable. You can’t go too far or too fast with it though, because you will alienate your audience and make them feel uncomfortable. What is the most advanced yet acceptable surprise you can deliver?

These are deceptively simple questions, and may take a lifetime to truly answer. Yet, by starting to think about them, you can start to consider how you can apply your attention advantage.

Do you think your potential clients, your potential date or your potential audience will remember you, or the person who has made them feel like their wants are being looked after, their needs are being met and having bursts of joy, wonder and surprise along the way?

We both know the answer.

If you’d like to find out more, come and join us on Project MindFoolness Live! You can find out more about the day at www.mindsways.com/PMFL/

Unleashing Your Imagination

Let me answer a question I’ve been getting a lot recently:

Why are so many children used in your images? 

And let me answer with something that will make every hardnosed journalist and polite society cringe, with another question:

How old do you think we are when we are the most creative? 

When we’re imaginative, when we’re free and flexible, when we allow ourselves to do things that we’d consider impossible, we’re one step closer to being truly successful and feeling fulfilled in our lives.

It’s not a coincidence, then, that this is not just a state of mind for us to cultivate, it is also a state of mind we all had when we were growing up. Between the ages of 4 to about 6 or 7, we were in a state that neuroscientists call ‘neotony‘. This is a state where we no longer limited by the restrictions of reality; where a toy could be our best friend and jungle adventurer at the same time, where a box could be a spaceship that let us travel the stars, where a stick could be the key to defeating the evil empire, where a small trickle of water could be a vast ocean for us to cross over.

It is this state, where our imagination is running wild and our self-imposed limitations are entirely forgotten, that we are dedicated to creating for you.

This childlike playfulness, this abandon for rules and regulations, this feeling of freedom emboddied by the passion of young children, is everything we aim to create on Project MindFoolness Live!

If you would like to come and learn how, visit www.mindsways.com/PMFL/ to find out more!

Connection Creation

Connection Creation is about understanding what yourself and others are thinking and feeling and using this to create deep, profound and shared connections.

To engage with someone, you must first know their wants, needs and their MAYA limits. Then, you must get to know yourself, your drives, your desires and your own, internal branding. Ask yourself:

  • What is the problem you want to solve?
  • What difference do you want to make?
  • How are you going to do it?
  • Why do you get out of bed in the morning?
  • What legacy do you want to leave?

By thinking about these problems, and answering honestly, you’ll hit a deep nerve in the human psyche and begin to embrace what makes you special. To know others better, you must first know yourself better.

Bridging this gap between understanding yourself and understanding others in a unique way is what sells your Internal  Brand. This, in turn, leads to greater communication and an appreciation of what others want, need and desire.

Reclaiming Wonder

The world is a difficult place to live in right now.

We all know that if we scroll through Facebook or Twitter, turn on the news or read an article online, it will most likely be negative news with a pessimistic, downtrodden and perhaps cynical point of view.

It’s important we don’t lose grip of reality, and it’s very important we don’t just ignore problems hoping they will go away, so I am not saying we shouldn’t keep ourselves well informed.

What I am saying is this: There is more potential for joy and wonder and connection in the world than we may think. Think I’m wrong? Just watch this video:

Wonder can be found in the smallest of places. Joy can be seen on the face of the smallest of children, hearing for the first time. A connection can be created in the most surprising way.

So whilst the world may be growing darker, and our adult minds may be growing foggier with negativity, just remember: you can reclaim wonder almost instantly, just by knowing where to look.

Applying The MAYA Principle – Real Impact of Mentalism

By combining our two main ideas (the Attention Advantage and Connection Creation) we can teach you how to make the most use of the MAYA principle.

Our ‘Most Advanced’ is about creating wonder and tapping into the imaginative, curious and beautiful worlds of childhood. Our ‘Yet Acceptable’ is making sure what we say is authentic and that we create a connection with our audience.

This principle can be applied into all varieties of situations. It informs us about the balance point between what is familiar and what is novel, what is wonderful and what engages people. Getting this balance right makes the difference between people engaging with you or people taking evasive action and ignoring you.

This is the true impact of mentalism: Being able to communicate your ideas clearly in a way that connects with your audience and creates surprises along the way.

You Can Learn Mentalism

Give mentalism a try and you will see just how intriguing and fun it can be. By using mentalism, you will explore how to create wonder, grab attention, create connections and cultivate a deep fascination in people.

  • The art of mentalism is about expressing and demonstrating acts which are designed to amaze, baffle and surprise us using the mind and how we think.
  • The art of mentalism is about offering the experience of inexplicable phenomena. It is about the mind and our thinking, so it challenges and provokes our belief systems.
  • The art of mentalism is about creating a perplexing expression of just how amazing our minds are.

Using the art of Mentalism is a way to open up curiosity, to review how we think and challenge how we see things. It is about communicating insightful messages through mentalism’s ability to make an impact.

On Project MindFoolness Live!, this uniqueness comes from how you can combine and express ideas. We will train you in ways to apply them to your presentations and delivery and to fit your specialised brand.

To explore more and give mentalism a try, you can join us on our Project MindFoolness Live Day! To see more about this, please go to www.mindsways.com/PMFL/ 

Project MindFoolness Live!

Our next one-day training days are Project MindFoolness Live – they take place in London (5th July) and Birmingham (12th July). You can find out more about them at www.mindsways.com/PMFL/ 

My life’s work is all about breaking and rebuilding belief patterns. If you are open to new ideas and novel approaches, then this is worth looking at.

We’re rated 5-stars on Facebook! Here are just a few bits from them:

“The delivery was genuine and from a place of real authenticity… All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding day.” – Simon C.

“My sincere thanks to both George and Alex for the day which was an invaluable experience and has given me a new range of tools to enhance my own training courses and presentations.” – Paul B.

“Thanks so much to George and Alex for facilitating such a well-run and great MindFoolness workshop. It was great to learn about illusion and magic and to be given the tools to put that into practice.” – Barbara S.

“Fun, informative, engaging, different – a truly magical experience!” – Lindsey H.

“Great workshop and I felt in safe hands with people who have plenty of experience and credibility in their field. Can’t wait to put my new-found skills into action and learn more! Thanks George and Alex, great fun!” – Karen K.

You can also get a great idea about what it’s like by watching the video “Harnessing Your Invisible Forces” below:

The Project MindFoolness Live! days draw on over three decades of personal experience, over a hundred and fifty years of magic and mentalism ideas, and pioneering neuroscientific research over the past decade.

These are woven together during the day. We look at how you can apply these insights to all aspects of your life and work. My aim for the day is to deliver a fresh, at times provocative, insightful, revealing, neuro-inspired, magic-informed and entertaining approach to how we think.

Your Magical Invitation

I see these new ideas as a call to action to be open-minded, acquire a growth mindset and adapt an attitude of discovery. Engender this will to explore, go beyond your current ways of thinking, introduce a dash of daring into your engagement and join us on Project MindFoolness Live!

Go to www.mindsways.com/PMFL/ to find out more.

P.P.S. Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen – J.W. von Goethe

Categories: Features

I’m a creative thinker, designer and web developer, experienced magician and actor, writer and stage director who uses elements from Psychological Artistry (a blend of psychology, behavioural insights and mentalism) to tell effective, engaging and empowering stories. I believe that storytelling is key to developing a better and more successful business community and society. My aims are to instil a feeling of wonder, awe, authenticity, autonomy and hope in the business owners I work with and their clients.

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