Over my 41 years, “Magic Time” has come to mean a whole lot of things. As a kid, growing up in Canada and being the only non-hockey fan (a fact that has changed now that I am older and smarter), it was when Erving “Magic” Johnson would take over a game and stick it to the Boston Celtics (my father’s favorite team). As a 20 something year old it was when daylight savings time would give us all one more magical hour at the bar when the clocks bumped from 3 back to 2 and last call was thwarted. As a 30 something year old new dad it was when the baby slept for an hour longer than normal giving you a singular magical moment of no child responsibilities where you could do whatever you like. But now as a 40-year-old, I have struggled finding any consistent magic time.
There have been lots of magical times … snuggling a sleeping sick kid and watching the sun come up on the front yard, great morning work outs where you feel like you could do 10,000 pushups, waking up and having “Magic Time” 🙂 with my amazing girlfriend Dawn, who has been one of my best friends since we were teen agers, sitting in the hot tub melting a hangover away, driving on the beach of Corolla NC with my aging dog watching the wild mustangs frolic in the surf … all magical … but I could not find a pattern of the moments in a sea of chaos that is day to day life.
Then, as if guided by god, serendipity took over. Dawn, recommending a pod cast pointed me to the Model Health Show who happened to have a special guest on, Craig Ballantyne. As he was talking, I remember reading him in my 20’s in Mens Health magazine, which drew me to his websites. His websites drew me to his book The Perfect Day Formula, and that book has shown me the way … connecting the dots of most of my favorite times over the last 10 years.
Did you know, most of the greatest artists, inventors and thinkers did most of their greatest work before many of us have had our first cup of coffee? Victor Hugo (Les Mis, Hunchback of ND) only wrote each day only until 11am, Beethoven, Schubert and Mahler, wrote music only till lunch. Same with Dickens, Darwin and Hemmingway in their fields. Van Gogh started at 7am and worked for only a few hours, Frank Lloyd Wright was done at 7am. Even Stephen King, writes all of his scary stuff before noon.
For them, truly inspired ideas come with the rising of the sun, they think the clearest, could connect the dots, and the ideas needed to jump out of them to get put on paper. Yet for most modern people, this is wasted time … a time to hit the snooze, nurse last night’s hangover, try and clear the cobwebs, curse the Predators for going into OT or promise you will never binge watch Game of Thrones til 2am on a “School Night” again.
In TN, we are blessed with truly perfect mornings most of the months of the year. The migratory birds mix with the local ones creating such a celebration of the sun. The night “whoo whooo’s” of the owls start to blend with the mourning doves dawn lullaby, signifying a changing of the guard. The air is warm and moist and seems to cuddle you like a blanket, and the smells of the spring flowers saturate the air, not yet diluted by car exhaust.
For me, following Ballantynes principles, these mornings, sitting on my deck allowing ideas and clarity and connection to flow, waking up on my terms, starting the day with big successes – with the world around me celebrating it … now that is the Magic Time that will be with me the rest of my life!
When’s your magic time?