I have a two and a half year old who has discovered that he loves to draw on the white walls in my office – with multi-colored Sharpies. He also likes to use my address stamp and highlighter pens on the chairs, couch and closet doors. When I shared my woes with a friend, she told me that I had to buy some Mr. Clean Magic Eraser sponges; that they would take it all way with ease.

I bought said sponges and tackled first the white bookshelves, and to my delight, the marker came right off. My desktop also cleaned up beautifully. When it came time to tackle the wall, that was another story. It came off but not without a lot of work. The navy blue and fuchsia were the most problematic, while pale pink was a breeze. After tearing holes in three sponges from scrubbing so hard, I threw them away and gave up, deciding that it wasn’t worth it; I didn’t want to work that hard. The Magic Erasers erased, but the magic only happened when I used my own elbow grease and vigorously scrubbed the daylights out of my wall.

Of course, it hit me that this is the story of my life. I want to make changes that will improve the quality of my life, but it requires a lot of work. I want certain things, but getting them means I would have to expend effort and sacrifice time and energy. The more effort and persistence, the more magic happens. Buying the Magic Erasers won’t do anything; it’s just the first step. The box sitting in in my office won’t do a damn thing; its just another step, and so on. Following through on cleaning the wall no matter how much effort it requires is the only thing that will complete the process.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that magic is activated by action. Go make some magic happen.

Image source: Lisa Congdon