In defense of magical thinking

I am tired of Magical Thinking getting a bad rap! So I’ve decided to take things into my own hands and set the record straight and clear MT’s name once and for all. Okay, yes, I’m feeling a bit spunky. That’s needed for magical thinking.

I’ve heard and read lots of folks who dismiss magical thinking as if it were merely wishful thinking. NO!

Wishful thinking is passive, sitting there wishing and hoping that someone will come along and do something that will make things better, happier, easier.

Wishful thinking doesn’t really require any responsibility, accountability or even action on your part.

Wishful thinking is fine for daydreams.

Wishful thinking is okay to get you started thinking about possibilities.

But if we stop there, nothing really happens. We need to move on to magical thinking.

Here’s the best definition of magical thinking that I could find: “Magical thinking is the belief that one’s ideas, thoughts, wishes, or actions can influence the course of events in the physical world.”

Magic is elemental. It takes action and power. It takes belief.

Magical thinking is based on believing that miracles can and will happen. Magical thinking is based on an understanding that our experiences are more than what can be seen on the surface. We believe in more than we have evidence to support. Huh. Is magical thinking related to faith?

Magical thinking requires us to take action, to trust and believe that the best thing will happen – even when we don’t have any idea HOW. Yet.

And then when we do and the good things happen, we can look back and see how it all unfolded. Which, of course, does not diminish the magical nor the miraculous nature of things, because understanding in itself is magical.

And remember: in all things – progress, not perfection!



  1. Robyn August 28, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Love this use of the phrasing! Makes it more purposeful than flimsy for sure 🙂 Thank you!

  2. Christopher September 8, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    So much truth in this post. Way more than we are aware of yet. I’ve been reading some physics and philosophy lately and they both point to the same reality you’re talking about here. (As if just feeling good about such ideas weren’t enough validation, right?!) Thank you!


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