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You may have seen my magic on prime-time TV or late-night talk shows, or maybe you are among the billions who have viewed my magic online. But my career did not start there. I grew up in a magical family with magicians as parents. I don’t remember most of my childhood because most of it was spent in a magic trunk or dark box. That’s not child abuse, that’s just magic!

I grew up in Minnesota. My dad said, “The Midwest is the land of opportunity…if you’re a tractor.” So I knew I needed to get out and develop my show to shine. After graduating from high school, I moved to the small showbiz town of Branson, Missouri, spent more money than my family had, and built a grand magic show. I was going to shine big time!

I had a theater. I had billboards. All the best Vegas magic props. Dancing girls. Cool lights, and even a sparkly leather jacket…talk about shine! I planned according to the famous line in the movie Field of Dreams: “Build it, and they will come…”

Well…they didn’t.

It was a painful lesson to grasp, and did I mention expensive? Branson was home to more than 150 shows, all competing for the same audience. I learned that just getting a bunch of expensive props, hiring some dancing girls, having cool lights, and having a place to perform in a tourist town was not enough! To stand out, one needs to shine. That painful reality set me on a journey to figure out how to do just that. I wanted to shine, but not just so people could just see me. I wanted to reflect a brighter light. To be honest, for me, that light has been the Light I get from my faith. That meant letting God’s light shine though me by doing what He created me to do.

When I set out to discover the real me, it changed everything. Discovering my shine put me on televisions and the largest stages in America and in front of one billion viewers on social media…yes, I said, one billion with a “b.”

Magicians usually don’t share our secrets…but here is my secret formula I now use for myself and countless others to discover how to really shine:

S – Soul: The innermost part of who you really are. It is your mind and emotions. It is your will…why you do what you do.

H – Heart: The thing that excites you and brings your passion out. It makes your heart beat faster. It gives you life. It is something you love to do.

I – Individual personality: Each of us is a unique, special individual. Be you!

N – Natural ability: The thing you are good at doing. Each of us has something we’re better at than most. It’s God’s special gifting.

E – Experience: Life experience, that which brings wisdom. Your past experiences guide your future.

There is no shortcut to being able to shine. It takes time. It takes courage. I challenge you to dig in. Discover you. Find out what excites you. Be you, not a copy of someone else. See what you are better than average at doing. And after doing that for a while, you will shine…I promise!

“You are on a soulful path that asks you to step into the greatest version of yourself. It is a sacred gift to shine your brightest light—not just in your moments of glory, but each day.”

—Debbie Ford

Shine is written by Justin Flom