FAIL TO PREVAIL
How to turn past failures, mistakes and other boo boo's into success.
Well, before I kick off, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for taking the time to support me (Vinny Sagoo), by reading this blog and everything else that you do! It has been a great journey so far meeting you at conventions, dealer days, virtually or wherever else our paths may have crossed.
I know that things are a little crazy just now, but stay strong, stay safe and better days are just around the corner.
So what is this all about???
Well, this is a brand new series of blogs called 'Words of Wisdom', or WOW for short. Previously, I have written quite a few smaller blogs with the view of delivering quick, digestible and topical information for the instant gratification junkies.
However, having spoken to a number of you, I understand that you yearn for more meaningful blogs that you can really sink your teeth into.
These blogs are not aimed to showcase my latest and greatest products, but to simply garnish the mind.
As always, I humbly welcome you to WOW #4 - 'Fail to Prevail'.
If you have been sent this email or viewed it via social media, please be kind enough to subscribe HERE so that you can be in the loop to hear about the latest Blogs and Offers.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
When I was 12 years old, I was moved into Mr Govan’s maths class, also known as ‘doughty’ maths. For those that are not familiar with Scottish slang, it was a maths class for those who were, well rubbish at maths.
It was a shock for me.
I was in all the top classes for my other subjects and felt ashamed that I was in Mr Govan’s ‘doughty’ maths class.
Throughout that year, I worked my backside off and managed to get moved up a level, but I still felt like a failure.
Why was I in Mr Govan’s class in the first place?
The truth is, I have never been that great at ‘conventional maths’.
One day on a trip to Glasgow town centre, I persuaded my mum to buy me a fancy Casio calculator, explaining how it would help me with my maths. All it did was to encourage me and my mates to input random numbers with a view to making the most aesthetically pleasing SIN/COS/TAN graphs.
I could never get my head around calculus, algebra or those damn quadratic equations.
I remember finding an old university book that belonged to my Dad on advanced geometry and tried to understand what it meant, to no avail. It was evident I would never be any good at maths, no matter how hard I tried.
Well, that is my confession... I am rubbish at maths!
Who cares, you might be thinking?
Read on and I shall elaborate.
The Turning Point
Don’t get me wrong, I can still do basic maths like 8 x 5 = 28. However, I soon discovered that sometimes the clever thing, is not to be clever.
Although I am ‘theoretically’ rubbish at maths, according to ‘conventional’ methods, I actually like looking for patterns and figuring out solutions. Strangely, about 80% of my tricks are based on mathematical principles.
In fact, I have created several BRAND NEW maths principles, which have gone on to be recognised by many magicians and used in their working repertoire. There is no greater feeling in the world (for me anyway), than baffling a pride of magicians, some of whom are very well educated in the art.
The simplicity of my effects means that anyone can do them, amazing even the most astute and inquisitive minds.
Baffled speaks for itself and draws inspiration from an old principle, which I have elevated to new heights. I have successfully demonstrated this effect to OVER 120 people via Zoom!
Digits was reviewed in Magicseen Magazine and this was the feedback from a professional magician and editor of the magazine:
“… my favourite effect in the booklet – Digits. This is one of those effects where you know how it works but don’t understand why it works, it just does. This could easily be a standalone release in my opinion”.
After demonstrating Digits at lectures and then showing people how it works, I always get ‘WOW, that’s so clever’.
Remember, I am ‘rubbish’ at maths.
After my lecture at the Leicester Magic Circle, I was moved (to say the least), when a fellow magic came over and said that it was a great lecture and that he will be using some of the effects from Sky’s The Limit booklet to astonish his students.
As I enquired further, it turns out that he was a maths teacher!
Yes, a friggin’ MATHS TEACHER was going to use my effects to entertain his students.
Remember, I started off in the lowest maths class in my secondary school and now a maths teacher was going to use MY maths based tricks to entertain his students!
How ironic, you couldn't make it up!
Digits is an effect that I spent the whole day working on. My wife came back home after work to find me sprawled across the bed with scrunched up balls of papers, wondering what I had wasted my day on. I reassured her that I was working on something quite unique and it would be worth it in the end.
I could see the end goal, I just needed a way to achieve it.
When that eureka moment occurred, I had created a new system for an effect that only a handful of people know about. As the old saying goes, 'if you want to hide something, bury it in a book'.
Intense was another effect that I released based on a maths problem and without going into too much detail, when I was performing it for the Order of the Magi in Manchester, I was told it would have WON the Sly Smith Trophy for Best Card Trick.
Now that's a compliment!
Since then, Intense has received endless 5 star reviews, which again reminds me that ‘I’m rubbish at maths’.
During the COVID-19 period, I have been fortunate enough to have lectured all over the world. In particular, my first US lecture attracted OVER 120 people and received great feedback.
The following day I received an email from a gentleman named Simon, who really enjoyed my lecture and maths based effects. In particular, he suggested adapting some of my principles and utilising them for colleges, universities, maths students and professors in Florida during their annual maths awareness week.
'SHUT THE FRONT DOOR' Are you telling me that my maths magic is now being used across universities and colleges in the US?
Remember, I was in the lowest maths group!
Could my failures help change the world?
Thinking retrospectively, what if I had just conformed to the education system, got good grades, proceeded through university, found a decent job, had a family and then died several years into retirement?
That seems to be the epitome of a ‘good life’.
Well, not for me.
I am glad that I was never good at maths, which has forced me look at problems and solutions in alternative ways.
Just because someone tells you that you are not fit for the job does not mean that it becomes your reality. If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will always think it's stupid.
We are all unique, just like everyone else (think about it).
How many times have you heard someone say that you need to give 150 per cent to achieve greatness? Utter nonsense, plus it’s mathematically impossible... well, unless you think differently...hmmm!
The search for perfection is just a fallacy, stop pursuing it and if you want to get noticed, pursue imperfection instead.
Think differently, work differently and embrace the unexpected.
When I say the word ‘Einstein’, you instantly know who I am talking about and connect his name with intelligence, along with the theory of relativity.
However, many don’t know that Einstein was not able to speak fluently until the age of nine, leaving his parents worried that he had a learning disability.
Fast forward 33 years to 1921 and Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
“Success is failure in progress”
In essence, I am saying that if you have not yet achieved anything 'worthy' by your 'own standards', then there is still time.
Never give up, make mistakes, fail hard, endure the heartache and bring your own kind of magic to the minds of millions.
You never know, you could change the course of humanity.
So, that concludes the Words of Wisdom (WOW), Blog. I hope you enjoyed it and if you know someone that would glean even a shard of knowledge from it, please forward the same and invite them to subscribe HERE.
Until next time, fail to prevail!