Justin Sight is one of the first extraordinary people we met on our journey creating #StrokeofGenius. When he was seven years old, his eyesight began to disappear; by age 10, he was diagnosed with Stargardt macular degeneration and became legally blind.
When we go through a life-altering event, we are changed forever, sometimes we develop other senses and new sensibilities. Afflicted by a condition that most people would relate to darkness, Justin began to see light and his senses brought him into a new world of discovery: Magic. Although his vocation is magical, he has relied on an amazing personal philosophy to be practical and grounded, so that his passion and energy can flourish.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Justin and learn about how he finds happiness and success, and thrives in his everyday life.
Here is what he had to say:
“The timing for this is impeccable as the crystallization of a particular realization has begun to take shape within me in a very powerful way. That realization is “Hard work is the slowest and most unsatisfying way to lead a happy life.” Let’s unpack that. This statement goes totally against the grain of conventional “wisdom” because we are often conditioned to believe in the survival of the fittest; seeing life as a battle with determination and hard work as the holy dyad to getting what we want and leading a “successful life”. Hard work and determination without passion can easily lead to burnout and disillusionment.
Go within. Sit a while. Take a day or two, whatever you are able. Go to your favorite park or coffee shop and feel what it’s like to simply be. Don’t think about it…feel it. Put your attention on your body. Start with your feet perhaps and move your way up to the head. Understand that an orchestration of indescribable complexity is taking place between the cells, organs, oxygen and other forces to create the experience of this living. See it taking place within your imagination and feel the vibrant life of and behind it. Sit with this feeling for a while and go back to it often.
Ask yourself “what would I like to be doing that I’m not doing?” “What job, activity, whatever, when I imagine myself doing, sets my heart on fire? Makes my cells dance and my hairs stand straight?”.
Do this for a day or two and see what you get. You may find that even if you experience an initial elation, however long or brief, the mind will come up with all sorts of reasons and beliefs as to why you can’t act on these imaginings in anyway. This is where your work begins. Understand there is always something, however small that you can do as a representation of the passion you feel. Scrutinize your beliefs. Ask yourself… “Is this really true?”. “Can I imagine a scenario where what I want to do can work out in some form?”. “Are there others for whom it has worked out?”. “Why do I believe I’m different from them?”. ” Are these differences really ‘make or break’?”. “Do I believe I deserve it?”. “Do I believe acting on my joy is selfish?”. Ask yourself these kinds of questions and be very honest with yourself. If you see yourself believing any of them, scrutinize them further and see where you get.
We all really want the same thing. A quality of feeling connected, vibrantly alive and at peace in our day to day. Our imagination can stimulate these feelings. Intend to and act on them with integrity to the best of your ability in every moment. The process can be challenging, especially in the beginning, Do not attach your self to outcomes. Have intentions but not insistences. Understand that whatever comes next is a perfect happening regardless of what it looks like to you at first or through others eyes. Stay in your passion, do it for it’s own sake, it’s own quality of feeling.
You may find yourself doing what many others would still call “hard work” but your experience will be that of intense, alive and passionate action. Your determination will no longer be fueled by a need to “make it” or else but by the driving engine of Life Itself.”