Pulling a Magoo

by Leslie Sann

“Mastery in life is not about avoiding adversity or challenges; it is about learning skills so that you are resilient, responsive and resourceful when life does what it does.”
~ Leslie Sann

Have you ever had a Magoo moment? What are you talking about Leslie? What is a Magoo moment?

Quincy Magoo (or simply Mr. Magoo) is a cartoon character created in 1949. The fun of Mr. Magoo is that he is always running into things because he is extremely nearsighted and he refuses to get glasses. As a result, things happen that could have been avoided IF he had been paying attention.

A Magoo moment is the result of having pulled a Magoo, meaning you weren’t present or paying attention, and something happened.

For example, the first time you ran out of gas because you weren’t paying attention to the tank and — oops — to the side of the road you go. Or that time the bathtub overflowed, or you forgot where you put your keys, or sent an email with personal information to the wrong person.

Or for me, leaving my wallet at home only to realize it when my body was 54 miles away from the wallet, and no chance to go back home where my wallet was for hours and hours

Oh Drat! (or something like that). I had no money.

All of a sudden I became very hungry as I realized I was facing 8+ hours of no food.

I took a breath or two (or more) and calmed down. I let myself go empty as I opened in wonder. What am I going to do about this? I let the brain do its thing and, like the good search engine it is, it began to offer me solutions to my problem.

What about Apple Pay?

No go. I have not as yet used it and the credit card I had entered was expired.

Hmmm, call the credit card company and ask for help.

No go again. With all the security measures that didn’t go well.

I could also fast. That is actually a healthy choice.

Naw … I’m working with clients all day and I want my blood sugar to be stable.

Hmmmm, how can I create some money?????

Search Search Search goes the brain.

Search Engine Win: TA DA! I realize that there is a stash of quarters in my car for meters and toll booths (from when the meters and the toll booths were actually taking money). I added them up and had enough to get something to eat. While I wasn’t going be dining on steak, my blood sugar would be okay.

By the time I got to my Chicago office, I had created even more cash. Way more than was needed. (That was fun.)

While searching my internal systems for a solution to the immediate need, I was also designing new systems for the future to catch me if ever this happens again. As of this writing, not only is my correct credit card info in my Apple Pay, I actually learned how to use it. I also have money in my car for unexpected needs, and I put other safety measures in place, including FINISHING what I start. The wallet was at home because I stopped paying attention and failed to put it in my purse. I pulled a Magoo.

Life happens. Sometimes we instigate our own troubles. We have our Magoo moments. I generally will innovate out of Magoo-isms. I teach myself to pay more attention and I design a new system that will serve me going forward.

I bet you do that too.

We are human becomings, learning and growing as we evolve. If you pay attention to where you are not paying attention, you can design actions and change behavior to serve you in growing into next.

Humans love to problem solve. It’s part of the human design. It’s just that we pay more attention to the grumpies rather than the fun of working things out. It serves to make good use of those Magoo moments by calming down so we can lift up into our create resourcefulness. Life is way more fun and joyful that way.

What about you? Have you ever had a Magoo moment? Wanna tell me about it? Write to me, I love hearing about our shared humanity, the challenges, the wins and the sillies.


P.S. By the way … has anyone seen my blue scarf?