Finding the Magic

magicLast week, at the invitation of my boss, I attended the Orlando Magic game with her, our work colleagues and various family members including my daughter. It was only the second pro basketball game I’ve seen and going was a last minute decision on my part. To my surprise, I had a great time! I don’t know too much about basketball, but the game was interesting and a helpful friend explained the action I didn’t understand. The suite provided an ideal environment for enjoying food and fellowship along with the game. (I highly recommend the dessert cart.) All in all it was a pleasant evening.

great seats!

great seats!

Honestly I hadn’t wanted to go, because I knew I wouldn’t like it. You see four years ago, in my new job role, I’d been the host for a group of internal “clients” in the same suite for a Magic game and I didn’t enjoy it. Subsequently, I’ve had many other chances to go, but declined because, I don’t like it; The game is confusing; It’s too loud; Too much hassle; I don’t find it relaxing, or another reason drawn from my prior experience. All of which were true of my first experience, but none of which were true of last week’s experience. What gives?

The context was completely different between the two events. At my inaugural game, I was highly stressed having just moved to Orlando and assumed my new position. All was not well in my business unit (which was why I had arrived), and I was hosting clients and executives, most of whom I did not know, trying to make a connection and deliver a message of improved performance to come. In that context, the game was a chore to get through. I did make some connections, but I don’t know if the event was “a success.”

In any event I didn’t like it. But now I can see that it wasn’t about the actual game. My experience was heavily influenced by my role as host, my stress level and my mental attitude. Everybody else probably had a nice time. Now I know why – they coming just to relax and enjoy a basketball game along with food and fellowship with friends and colleagues. That’s exactly what I did last week.

This has got me wondering, how much of what I like and don’t like in life isn’t about the actual “events on the ground” as it were but the action in my head? I’m thinking probably a lot. How can I better control my thoughts so that, whatever the events, I’m having a more enjoyable time? It’s all about my mental attitude, and the ultimate foundation for a good attitude is resting in Jesus, still a work in progress for me.

It’s also left me thinking that the underlying commonality of those experiences that I have enjoyed/do enjoy is being with friends and family. Be it fishing, hiking in the everglades, travel, or most other activities – being with people at the core. Even my job is enjoyable principally because of the others with whom I work. Contentment and happiness aren’t found in events or material things; they come through relationships with others. Of course I knew that, but it helps to be reminded. Going forward, I’m planning to spend more time enjoying the magic of people.

Enjoying the game with my daughter, Allison

Enjoying the game with my daughter, Allison


  1. You’re a wise man. Beautiful!

  2. I agree; new experiences in our lives have anticipation anxiety. I heard that 92% of the things we think are going to happen, never happen! I remember the magic of watching Virginia Tech Hokie Basketball…12,000 students and fans all in an uproar. Then, Florida State and “Tiny Tully” Gymnasium Basketball…magical. My first Miami Heat game in the Miami Arena was a packed event & we were in the Upper Decks…enjoyable.

    Thanks for sharing an uncomfortable experience and an enjoyable future event; your Blog & thoughts make me think…

  3. Deborah Novak says:

    You are once again spot on about what is important. It is all in how we adjust the lens on how we say people and the world. Believe in the magic and most times it will appear. Love the picture of you and your daughter. You look so happy.

  4. Jorge W Hago says:

    Peter, that was inspiring . thanks for sharing. Happiness is a state of mind and we all need to find that balance to let our mind know that it isn’t as bad as we think.

  5. bob grant says:


    Thanks for the posting. You have a great way of seeing things differently. You were able to place a great context onto opportunities that can be experienced in a number of ways and show how it can be our choice how to experience the experience.

    Keep up the good work