Here’s an excerpt from Jason Miller’s Monday Magic Newsletter:
“Many bets fail not because they were wrong, but because they were mostly right in a situation that required things to be exactly right.”
– Morgan Housel, author of The Psychology of Money,
Ever watch a heist movie where a the protagonists create an intricate plan and pull it off perfectly? Even things that seem like they were going wrong to create drama. are revealed at the climax to have been part of the plan all along. I am thinking of movies like The Italian Job, The Sting, Oceans Eleven. You know the ones.
That is not how real life works. Even with magic. ESPECIALLY with magic in fact.
Magic is real, and in the real world things often don’t go according to plan. Because magic is a subtle and unseen force we cannot always predict how our magic will manifest. Sometimes we get a small bump in the right direction. Sometimes we a miraculous result beyond what we hoped for. Sometimes it takes a route to manifestation that we never even considered. There are a lot of things in life that are like this, and magic is one of them.
Strategic Sorcery is all about making plans that could work without magic, then using magic to make them work better. A lot of my writing has been aimed at getting witches, magicians, and sorcerers to be more strategic in their work. To take the magic that they are already good at, and aim it at things that matter. Plans for building a life we want rather than spells for fixing things that go wrong.
Sometimes though people go overboard with plans. Their strategy gives them a sense of control and purpose that feels good, and they start to try to plan things down to the finest details, assuming that every stage of their plan will go off exactly right – which it won’t.
I am Fifty years old and have been running Strategic Sorcery for almost a decade now. So far every year has been better than the last: including this past year. But 2021 was SO GOOD that I made sure I had room in my plans for backsliding. I didn’t back slide, but one year I almost certainly will. This is real life, and sorcery is real, therefore planning to survive dangers and difficulties that you cannot forsee must be a part of your plan.
Some of this of course has to do with what stage you are at. Remember those four stages I am always talking about? Stuck, Solvent, Solid, and Sovereign?
If you up shits creel without a paddle (aka “stuck”) then there isn’t much to lose. You can take big risks because if you fail, you will stay more or less where you are.
When you start making it, just barely, is actually the most difficult stage to manage. You can slide back to stuck so easily that you need to take risks to get to a more solid place, but too many dumb risks or bad moves will slide you back to stuck.
Solid and Sovereign is when you need to be as concerned or more with not losing what you have gained as you are with making new gains. Its easy to look back on risks that paid off and think that is the key to success you should keep replicating over and over, but it’s not. Documentaries on the “rise and fall” are cliche for a reason – they happen a lot.
What I am saying is that as you lay out your strategic sorcery for 2023, its good to be driven by specific goals, and map out specific steps that you should execute. You just need to work into that strategy the idea that not all of those steps will go exactly according to plan. Very few things do.
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