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The Practical Magic of Seinfeld
The Practical Magic of Seinfeld

The Practical Magic of Seinfeld

TheDeckerEdgeMatt Decker

"Hi. My name is Matt and I'm a Seinfeld junkie."

Yes it's true. I love me some Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer. Oh that kooky Kramer. And Newman. I can't leave out Newman. I have been a fan of the show for years, having seen every episode countless times.

"But I don't wanna be a pirate!"

"Yada-yada-yada."

"No soup for you. Come back ONE YEAR!"

"These pretzels are making me thirsty!"

The irony is that, beneath the humor, lie some philosophical gems. Let's consider three episodes (not referenced in the order they originally aired).

There is the one about "bizarro Jerry" and "the bizarro world." Things get bizarro because Elaine makes new friends with characters who are basically the alternative versions of Jerry, George and Kramer. There is even an appearance by an alternative Newman who is, of course, a different version of Jerry's postal nemesis. The iconic Seinfeld theme music even plays backward in keeping with the bizarro thread.

"Like Bizarro Superman...Superman's exact opposite, who lives in the backwards bizarro world. Up is down. Down is up. He says 'Hello' when he leaves...'Goodbye' when he arrives." ~Jerry~

The interesting thing is that we have the power to create our own little "bizarro worlds." But how?

There are alternatives for all sorts of the things that make up our daily lives. There are new choices, new decisions and new ideas which, once implemented, can transform our personal world into a new reality.

Ideas have an exceedingly brief shelf-life. Ideas get old really quick. Many ideas have become obsolete without even being noticed.

You will soon learn a simple (yet powerful) principle that offers the
opportunity to essentially open up a "portal" of sorts to a new reality, similar to the bizarro
world of Seinfeld.

One obvious way to apply this concept is to do what Elaine does in the episode.

There is a human tendency to gravitate toward friends and associates who fit within a certain relational framework. How about shaking up your life-sized snow globe by actively seeking out the company of individuals who are completely different from your usual social circle? It could be just one new person who breaks the mold and becomes your "bizarro friend."

There is a deeper layer to this bizarro worlds idea.

There exists a fascinating theory within the field of quantum physics known as the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI). This thought-provoking theory was initially put forth by quantum physicist Hugh Everett way back in the 1950s.

According to MWI, our world - indeed our universe - is only one of many worlds and
many universes within a larger "multiverse." In fact, the word many doesn't do the idea justice. Only the word infinite will do.

The reality we know, says MWI, is constantly splitting or branching off into an infinite variety of alternate realities where everything is not only possible, but actually takes place.

A consequence of this construct is that there are infinite versions of you somewhere out there in the multiverse - like the alternate versions of Jerry, George and Kramer. Now that is quite bizarro, if you ask me.

We can enjoy the newness of an alternate world here and now. We don't need to open a literal portal to one of these parallel universes in order to wake up in a fresh, new reality.

Portals are everywhere! All we have to do is look for opportunities to take new actions and implement new ideas.

Then there is the Seinfeld episode where the sequence of events goes in reverse.

The gang travels to India to attend a wedding. The show begins at the end and continues in reverse until the conclusion which is actually the beginning of the story.

There is a word that encapsulates this idea of going in an opposite direction from the usual order. That word? Inversion. This is a core principle utilized in the fields of engineering and invention.

Once upon a time, we had to turn ketchup bottles upside down and wait with mouth-watering anticipation for the red river to arrive. Then someone conceived the bright idea to invert the bottle during the manufacturing process, putting the cap on the bottom. Now waiting is a thing of the past.

So whether we are talking about a sitcom storyline, product enhancement or our daily routine, reversing the usual order is a great tool for unlocking innovation.

Lastly, but by no means least, there is "the opposite" Seinfeld episode. This one is as enlightening as it is comical.

In a nutshell, George discovers the magic of doing the complete opposite of his natural impulses. When he begins to do the opposite of what he would usually do, amazing things begin to happen in his life.

He begins to achieve success in areas where before he had been plagued by failure. He meets a beautiful woman. He achieves his childhood dream of working for the New York Yankees. And he is finally able to move out of his parents' house into his own apartment. The epiphany is so great that he compares it to a religious experience.

"If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right." ~Jerry~

What a philosophical gem! Funny, yes. But it is equally profound.

THE MAGIC OF NOODOO

This comical profundity is rooted in a very simple idea - one that I have dubbed NOODOO. What is this mysterious-sounding concept to which I refer?

NOODOO is a synthesis of two very simple (and very important) words: new do. It's about breaking cycles. It's about getting off the hamster wheel, the treadmill, the merry-go-round and any other applicable metaphor that illustrates the human tendency to fall back into self-defeating patterns. It's about unleashing the power of doing something new - taking a new action - to produce a new (and better) outcome. We don't get new results by doing the same thing.

When we change, it changes.

Let's turn "nothing" into something. That, after all, is real magic.

©️ Matt Decker

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TheDeckerEdge
Matt Decker
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14 Jan, 2023
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