This week on Small Talk, we sat down with hypnotist, magician, and mind hacker, Keith Barry, to chat about passion, purpose, and pushing beyond limiting beliefs.
Keith Barry is known globally as a magician, hypnotist, and mind hacker. Having had multiple TV series and specials such as ‘Close Encounters,’ ‘Brain Washed,’ and ‘Deception with Keith Barry,’ we wanted to know when he began to marvel at the marvelous.
“When I was 5, I got a magic set from Santa at Christmas. It was a Paul Daniels magic set, and that spurred my interest. I would get a couple of magic sets every Christmas thereafter, but it was really when I was on a school trip in Scotland when I was fifteen. I bought a book called ‘The Clutz Book of Magic’ and ‘Practical Hypnosis,’ and those two books really changed my life.”
Having found two books that spoke to him on a deep level, Keith became enchanted by the teachings and began learning every trick the books offered.
“I learned every single trick out of ‘The Clutz Book of Magic’, and then went out and started performing right there and then at fifteen years of age. Afterward, I began learning hypnosis and practicing hypnosis at fifteen as well.”
After a few years of practicing and performing magic, Keith was of age to attend college. With two parents supporting his magic as a hobby and staying firm on their decision to get an education, Keith enrolled in cosmetic science.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but I went to college and studied cosmetic science and chemistry. But, while I was studying cosmetic science and chemistry, my girlfriend at the time, who’s my wife now, was studying psychology. I ended up reading more of her schoolbooks than she did, and that’s when I started to really incorporate psychology into a lot of the work that I do, and it just snowballed from there.”
Passion 2 Purpose
Keith Barry followed his passion into an uncommon role that has little to no guarantee of success. Yet, through his devotion, he has achieved extraordinary feats career-wise, such as being on Ellen Degeneres, The Paul O'Grady show and having one of the 25 most viewed TED Talks of all time.
“For me, I think the number one action that people need to take is actually to spend time finding their purpose and finding their passion. I think people get caught up in just living every day and surviving every day, and they wake up at 55 years of age, realizing they have yet to zone in on their purpose or their passion.”
Oftentimes, we fear stepping into the unknown. We become comfortable with our current affairs yet long for something more.
But when we choose faith over fear and invite being uncomfortable into our daily lives, we take that first step, and the rewards can be astronomical.
“I think, first and foremost, people need to take time and stop for a moment and do what I call a reorientation day. Anyone reading this, if you haven’t taken a reorientation day, it’s probably one of the most important things you could do. The first step is turning everything off, turning your phone off, turning electronics off, and then finding a quiet spot where you can sit and be with yourself for a couple of hours.”
In many of our interviews, our friends have put great emphasis on the idea and the act of disconnecting. For Kevin Love, it looked like finding a quiet spot of grass before each game and grounding himself.
What Keith encourages his clients to do, is to find a place to be alone, be still, and be quiet for a few hours of the day.
“You go to that place for a minimum of four hours; ideally eight depending on your schedule; you bring a journal with you and start to really go deep within yourself, asking those questions that you usually don’t pay any mind to.”
As mentioned in our interview with Roger Gabriel, ‘If you’re running around, making noise and disrupting the silence, then the silence is gone, and you’ve missed it all.”
When we find stillness and silence, we uncover within many of the answers we may have been searching outside of ourselves for.
Plenty of Purposes
“Very often, people get caught up in one single purpose. I think it’s fine to have multiple purposes in life; you don’t need to have one singular purpose.”
Keith Barry himself is a perfect example of a man with many purposes. Having been in the professional field as a magician and a hypnotist, to now being a father and stepping into the role of a mindset coach, Keith has never limited himself to one label.
“I think we all should strive to have a greater purpose. For myself, I love people escaping their everyday problems and their everyday issues, even if it’s just for an hour. Having an audience of hundreds to thousands of people forgetting about their problems and their to-do lists and collectively being overcome with a state of childlike amazement as I perform magic is a passion and purpose of mine that will never go away.”
From performing on stages across the globe to coaching clients virtually, Keith has taken away all limitations and boundaries, thus allowing his gifts and talents to spread far and wide.
The secret; a curious mindset.
“I’ve developed what I call a curious mindset. So, how I describe that is the act of being infinitely curious. Y’know, we’ll hear people saying, ‘I don’t like gardening, or ‘I don’t like swimming in the sea,’ or ‘I could never take a cold shower,’ and it leaves me to wonder, why not?”
In developing the willingness to try new things, especially what once made us uncomfortable, we expand and grow in ways we never imagined.
“So, it really goes back to finding your purpose and finding what it is you passionate about, and to do that, you need to do your reorientation day, and you need to take yourself outside of what you consider to be comfortable. If you get in the habit of that, you’ll keep yourself in alignment with what you’re capable of and with what’s meant for you.”
Intention + Attention Gives Energy Direction
In today’s world, distraction is all around us. There is rarely a moment in the day when we’re not being called to the pinging of texts or the buzzing of calls, but it's important to remember that what we give our attention to grows.
“I tell people all the time that you need to pay attention to what you’re paying attention to. Around the world, we spend around 13 ½ hours a week on nonsense and noise, when we could be doing far more productive things with our time.”
We must begin to become more conscious of where our attention is being put and whether the things that take up our time are worth it!
“I’m very conscious of where my attention span is being put because I know if I see something detrimental for my mind, my subconscious mind will always remember that. What people don’t realize is that your subconscious mind will remember every single moment of every single day in your life.”
It is like the law of attraction.
When we focus on what we want, our mind begins to form our thoughts and ways of being around that idea. But the same is true when we focus on whatever we don’t want; our mind begins to form a path in the direction we may not have wished to go.
“Neuroplasticity is a real phenomenon. You’re not the same person you were yesterday, and you won’t be the same person tomorrow as you are today. We create new neuropathways every moment of every day, so focusing on where our attention goes is crucial.”
When we don’t have intention behind our actions, we are like a ship at sea with no direction, being tossed about by the waves. Forming an intention is like hoisting the sails and steering towards where we wish to go.
“Paying attention to where your attention is, is one thing, but paying attention to your intentions consistently, is a way someone can structure their life.”
“First and foremost, I think everybody has to, or should at least strive to live a profound and meaningful life. And I think it’s so important not to belittle others in the process.”
We are experiencing a culture of competition and comparison.
As mentioned in our interview with Luke Campbell, “In the times that we’re in today, with social media and things like that, I would say that the best advice is to stop worrying what other people are doing and just concentrate on what you’re doing.”
“With the number of people out there that are ready to attack and the number of people who are constantly knocking others down, it’s crucial to have a sort of armor around our minds.”
The more time we spend building ourselves up and filling our own cups, the easier it is to ignore the harsh comments and judgments that others so often throw our way. When we give love to ourselves, we more easily can spread the love we feel with those around us.
“I think it’s so important to consistently support other like-minded people and find your tribe. Because when you have that solid foundation, it makes it nearly impossible for exterior judgments to hold any power over you.”
When we have a safe space that allows us to reveal all aspects of ourselves, we can grow, thrive, and develop into the truest and most well-rounded expressions of ourselves. Having a supportive friend group gives us that opportunity.
“I’m just looking to support people all of the time, and It’s easier to support people than we’re led to believe. I have real and meaningful conversations with my daughter so that she can grow into having a compassionate and empathetic mindset whilst learning to attain resilience.”
The saying is true; it starts where you are. The love and support we give to those around us has the ability to spread far and wide like ripples in a pond if we so let it.
Strength in Stumbling
In times such as these, many people may feel as if they’re stumbling through these next steps in their lives. Yet, in being vulnerable, we come to find that the pains we experience are universal, and just like you and me, everyone must walk through fire to come out on the other side stronger than before.
“The time I stumbled was a little over a year ago. March 12th of last year, I was standing on stage in front of 1,200 people at the Olympia Theatre. Then the next day, I was told, ‘your tour’s over, you’re going into lockdown.”
The pandemic certainly caught the globe off-guard. The heartbreak and devastation that has taken place has taken much from us. Yet, if appreciated, the lessons taught will give back in more ways than we could’ve ever imagined.
“I felt loss. I felt like my passion was taken away. I do many things, from mind coaching to magic to mentalism, but by far, the thing that fulfills me most is standing on stage in front of hundreds, if not thousands of people, and when that was taken away from me, I felt completely lost.”
Every person has had something taken from them this past year. Whether it be a loved one, a friend, a passion, a career, a sense of security, or a sense of freedom, but for what was taken, there is always something to be gained.
“I lost my sense of purpose. So, I had a reorientation day and decided to pivot my focus and set myself up for success. I was lost for about five weeks, and then I snapped myself back into action and put all of my attention on adapting to the circumstances.”
In dialing in on what was in his control, rather than what wasn’t, Keith was able to regain control of his life while the world around him spiralled.
“I went into super activation mode, which is basically 18 hours a day, every day, focusing only on work and no play. While everyone was having their barbecues, I created this virtual studio and pivoted all of my business online. While everyone was enjoying time off, I sent thousands and thousands of emails to different businesses, letting them know that I had content to offer that I could deliver through digital platforms.”
When we take back the power that once seemed lost or taken from us, we reclaim our sense of purpose and confidence. And once we step into our purpose with confidence, the possibilities are endless.
“It is only my mindset that sets me apart and work ethic and discipline. And through the conscious use of each; I’m very happy, and I’m very content because of the balance I created early on.”
We asked Keith Barry what he believes 100% to be true, his answer…..
“I believe one hundred percent that there is no magic sprinkle, there is no magic dust; it doesn’t exist. The real magic is inside every person, and if people take a moment to stop and understand how magical life is, they’ll find pure magic inside of themselves. So, that’s what I would encourage people to do, look for the magic internally.”
At TrooMe, we believe that the magic we seek, the power we seek, and the purpose we seek have been inside of us all along. All that is needed is to be still, take time for ourselves, and reconnect to the light within.
May we follow in Keith Barry’s footsteps, choosing to focus our attention on our intentions, choosing to build people up rather than bring them down, and knowing in our hearts that we have all of the tools, right where we are, to create the lives we wish to live.