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Harry Houdini and The Great Escape
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By Rebecca Fine

As a fan of old advertising, I found it intriguing that a 1912 advertising poster sold not long ago for the amazing sum of $47,464. Although its worth had been estimated to be somewhere between $17,700 and $21,000, the price soared because this particular advertising-as-art featured the magician, illusionist, and escape artist known the world over as Harry Houdini.

Now as a child I was fascinated by Houdini and fondly remember reading his memoirs, in which he revealed many of his secrets for escaping from prisons, submerged trunks, bank vaults, and so on.

For example, in one of his most famous and spectacular feats, he broke out of Scotland Yard, even though one of the conditions of the challenge was that he be allowed NO clothing whatsoever — in order to keep him from concealing tools or keys.

So how did he do it?

Quite simple, really. Using a razor blade, he cut a small, invisible slit in a heavy callous on his heel. Under this tiny flap of hardened skin, he concealed a small piece of watch spring. Then, once he was alone, he used this little strip of metal to pick all the locks. He then tossed the tool away and walked out!

Now I'm about to get to the point (yes, I do have one!), but first I need to tell you just one more Houdini escape story.

Looking to capitalize on Houdini's immense popularity and fame, a London bank challenged him to break out of their vault with its new, state-of-the-art locking system. They were CERTAIN that even the great Houdini would finally meet his match.

Houdini accepted, and on the appointed date, the press turned out in droves to see if the master could get out in the three and a half minutes allotted.

This time he got to keep his clothes on. But he had another trick up his sleeve!

His contracts always specified that before he disappeared into the trunk or cell or behind a small curtain (when performing on a stage), he could kiss his wife. After all, many of his feats were seriously dangerous, so who could refuse the couple what might turn out to be their last goodbye?

But what no one knew was that he was getting more than a kiss! As their lips met, his wife would secretly pass a small piece of wire from her mouth to his. Then, once he was alone or hidden behind the curtain, he'd use the wire to pick the locks.

This time out, though, the wire didn't seem to be doing the trick. Here's what Houdini wrote about that experience ...

"After one solid minute, I didn't hear any of the familiar clicking sounds. I thought, my gosh, this could ruin my career, I'm at the pinnacle of fame, and the press is all here.

"After two minutes, I was beginning to sweat profusely because I was not getting this lock picked.

"After three minutes of failure, with thirty seconds left, I inadvertently reached into my pocket to get a handkerchief and dry my hands and forehead, and when I did, I leaned against the vault door and it creaked open."

And there you have it, my friend. The door was never locked! But because Harry BELIEVED it to be locked, it might as well have been. Only the "accident" of leaning on the door changed that belief and saved his career.

It's the same way with all of us. The things we believe to be insurpassable barriers, obstacles, and problems are just like the bank vault door. The only lock is in our minds, and as long as we simply believe that we CAN'T, well, we can't.

But when we give the door a push we can be amazed to find that not only is the door not locked to us, there's really no door at all, just the illusion of one.

We can all be master magicians. All we have to do is face whatever barrier seems to be looming before us, then take the first step, give the door a shove. The biggest obstacles are the ones we have created ourselves in our minds, and when we give our focus, faith, and feeling to them, THEY become our vision — and then they become real.

In his amazing forgotten classic from 1910, The Science of Getting Rich, author Wallace Wattles advises us that "You cannot retain a true and clear vision of wealth if you are constantly turning your attention to opposing pictures, either external or imaginary."

And he offers this encouragement, too: "No matter how tremendous an obstruction may appear at a distance, you will find that if you continue in the certain way, it will disappear as you approach it — or that a way over, through, or around it will appear."

What SEEMINGLY locked door is towering before you today, keeping you from your heart's desire?

Gentle Reader, continue in the "certain way" outlined in The Science of Getting Rich, and watch YOUR bank vault doors swing open or disappear entirely.

Like "magic!"

Rebecca Fine is the founder of The Science of Getting Rich Network where you can download your free copy of the amazing 1910 forgotten classic, The Science of Getting Rich.    ©2002 Certain Way Productions.

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