After a brief personal update about what I’ve been up to (and why I’m walking barefoot in the woods), in this video I share some insights I’ve been having around my absolute favorite word as of late; Abracadabra.
Sure, it’s a fun word to say. But my greatest interest is more so in the power of the word’s etymological meaning, which is ‘I create as I speak’.
What if creating is a kind of magic? What if simply speaking is how you transform an idea into something physical.
It struck me that at it’s essence, this is essentially ALL that is required to create what you envision. Sure there is other work to be done, other kinds of action, but these actions are inconsequential without also casting a spell of spoken word.
Often I share with the entrepreneurs I partner with that their ideas can be spoken into existence. Speaking is a great replacement for hope, wishing and waiting. In fact, just last week I was have a conversation with a small group of entrepreneurs who are doing a lot of free consulting and wishing they would be paid for it. What I pointed out for them was that the paid consulting clients are on the other side of them speaking a fee.
It’s that simple really. Until you speak something into the world, it exists only as an idea.
We get caught up thinking “What’s the market? Who’s going to say ‘yes’?”
When we worry about these kinds of things, we consider the outside world to be an objective separate pool that we dip our hook into with our requests or proposals. What we are missing though is that the world is not separate from us. What we are missing is that our act of speaking is not a hook dipping into a pool, it is a wind that changes the world.
Our request has influence and impact. Our speaking CREATES.
This is why I’m not interested in doing ‘market research’. It’s too passive. It’s boring. It comes from a focus of extraction, rather than creation. I’m interested in CREATING MARKETS.
When we speak, we can speak as a light breeze or a hurricane. The words we choose to use and how we use them are what make this difference.
From this single idea of ‘abracadabra’ – I create as I speak – I have drawn so much inspiration. It’s simplicity and directness is profound. When put into pragmatic use, ideas are brought into form almost like magic.
Recently I founded a non-profit for leaders using this principle. I had been carrying the vision in my mind for months, until my wife kicked me up the ass and made me put a date in the calendar. (Thus generating structure and tension – another great and simple principle of creation!) From that point, I began speaking the vision into the world. People began organising around it. Now a small movement has started.
Lately, I’ve also been helping a number of entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses with little more insight than the one contained in the word ‘abracadabra’.
It is a simple idea, but an idea often overlooked or misunderstood.
In the book ‘The Four Agreements’, author Don Miguel Ruiz wrote about the same concept, but using different words. His second agreement is ‘Be impeccable with your word.’
During an interview he did with Oprah she demonstrated her misunderstanding of this concept. Oprah fell into the same trap most people fall into when they hear it for the first time. They believe it means to ‘do what you say you will do’. They aliken it to ‘integrity’. It can mean this, but this is hardly the power of the concept.
‘Be impeccable with your word’ actually means to be impeccable in your choice of words, be them spoken aloud or spoken silently to yourself inside your mind. Don Miguel understands that our words create our world (or what he calls, ‘the dream of the second attention’).
Lastly, in this video I also recommend the James Allen classic ‘As a Man Thinketh’, which was first published in 1902. I reference it to point out that not only are we casting spells of creation in the world when we speak things aloud, but we are also casting spells upon ourselves with the words we choose to think.
I understand there is a lot of personal and spiritual growth narrative around ‘thoughts’ and ‘thinking’ being something that happens to us, rather than something we do or are. I agree that our thoughts are not who we are, but I disagree that thinking is not something done by us.
Thoughts are simultaneously happening to us AND within our agency to amplify, quiet and direct. We can stop our thoughts and we can change our thoughts – and doing so is how we cast spells of creation on ourselves.
We can literally create anything within us and within the world through our speaking.
Through reading this, you have had a spell of creation cast upon you.