Screw Hogwarts - You Already Know Magic
Like any typical Millennial, I grew up in an environment replete with Harry Potter references and all the cultural accoutrements of his wizarding world. Although I never fully submersed myself into this alternate reality of Patronus Charms and Quidditch, I absolutely sympathized with friends when they lamented having never received an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. This sympathy was sincere - who wouldn’t want to fly on a broomstick or learn how to produce light from a wand?
As luck would have it, through the course of my maturation into adulthood I began to discover the modern man’s ingenuous toolkit to accomplish these very same things: an airline miles credit card, my iPhone’s flashlight app, and numerous other hacks to perform little daily miracles. And the most powerful magic I learned? Language. Harry Potter may have stuck with Latin for all his magical feats, but there’s more than one way to skin a cat...or charm an ogre, or hurl a little curse [word].
I hate to dabble in the generic and the cheesy, but language is magic. Case in point: try asking a Spaniard who knows no English to close the door, and unsurprisingly, nothing will happen. But once you utter the magical words “podrías cerrar la puerta, ¿por favor?”, the door will be closed. Words turned into action. While exaggerated and simplistic, this assertion is the perfect example of how we can employ language to get things done. What we say and how we say it are equally important reagents to use in our daily formulations for success, since the most successful individuals are the ones who know how to best leverage their interpersonal relationships through effective language.
What I’ve said should be nothing intrinsically new to any reader. We were all taught from a young age that the magic word is “please”. However, as we grow we learn that hundreds of other little magic words exist (i.e. “it’s fine” uttered by a girlfriend can actually be a threat of war). What nobody tells us is how to best use these magic words, or if any others are out there for us to master. There’s no Hogwarts to formally teach us, and since human social tendencies morph over time and vary by culture, it’s impossible to codify any standard approach to effective communication. What we’re left with is our own foray into testing out our own, unique approach to interpersonal relationships. My bet is that each person’s magical prowess lies in discovering, employing, and conveying their own uniqueness when speaking with others.
Simon Sinek wrote a book called Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Through his diagrams and prose, he hypothesizes that the most effective people and companies always act and communicate based on their own core values: their “why” for existing. This is something that I, myself, have taken to heart, and it is one of the main tenets that has led to my championing of Pruuf as a means to make it easier for people to help each other while helping themselves. It’s a way to get people talking about what really matters to them, and is something I care deeply about. In fact, I find that when I communicate with others based on a firm conviction in my own “why”, I can’t go wrong. This is because people are intrinsically attracted to those who are genuine.
I’m not that special, though. Anybody has the power to spark action through talking to others. It only takes some experimenting on how to engage with other people and a genuine desire to connect. Luckily for all, when Pruuf launches, everyone will have the opportunity to confidentially learn from some, teach others, and forge genuine connections while seeking out a little touch of human magic. This is microconsulting at its best.
Founder of Pruuf