In 2015, I quit my day job as a pharmacist to realise my childhood dream of becoming a television magician, an ambition that has taken the three years since to realise. Here are seven things I’ve learned during the process.
From the point of daring to want it to the point of actually getting started was at least 18 months. And then it took nearly three years (but felt like ten) before I actually had something worthy of a release.
When you’ve never done something before, and there are quite a few moving parts, don’t expect everything to go to plan because it probably won’t. On the contrary, expect that some things will go badly wrong. The plan you’ve made to reach your goal will turn out to be imperfect. The ship may even appear to be sinking on occasion. Back ups and contingencies are important. Your plan needs to be fluid and able to respond to the things you didn’t know before you started. They called me a pessimist, but I planned for failure, in order to avoid it.
When it is all going wrong, the winners just keep going. If plan A fails, there has to be a plan B. If plan B fails there has to be a plan C. There were times during the production of Real Magic when we were on plan G. The single most important thing is to simply not take no for an answer. Keep trying. And never quit.
The entire state of play can change in a second. It may appear like everything is going wrong and nothing is working and then one morning you get an e-mail from the BBC. Wins can come out of the blue and completely unexpectedly.
Every time you try something, you’re asking the world a question. And if you want a ‘yes’, you have to make yourself vulnerable to a ‘no’. I don’t agree that the difference between winners and losers should be in the achievement of an outcome, but in the willingness to face rejection. So it follows that the only true losers are those who never try.
A million and one websites and self-help books tell you to follow your dreams, as if that’s the end of it. But in truth it’s a double-edged sword. When you lose something you care about, it hurts. And it’s hard not to take that personally. So pursuing a dream feels great when you have a big win. But when you don’t get what you want, it can be seriously depressing. And high stakes make for stressful times.
The good news!
I had spent over a decade dreaming about this but for most of that time it just seemed like such an unreachable goal. Believing it was possible was more than half the battle. Daring to do it was the other half.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but in most fields, talent is an optional bonus. If you have the passion to try, and the patience and persistence to keep going, you dreams are probably achievable.
‘Adam Patel: Real Magic’ is available to Amazon Prime subscribers from Sunday 10th June 2018.
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