In preparation for the long-awaited seventh book of the Harry Potter series, I reread the sixth book to refresh my memory of the plot details. During this reading of book six, I stumbled across three powerful words - destination, determination, and deliberation.

In book six, Harry and his classmates are old enough to learn apparating, the magical spell that allows you to disappear from one place and reappear somewhere else almost instantly. (Recall your most embarrassing moment and imagine how handy this would have been!!)

To teach apparating, the professor outlines three important steps. First, concentrate your mind firmly on your desired destination. Next, focus your determination on occupying that space. Lastly, move with deliberation.


Learning to apparate takes time, effort and energy. The students occasionally make mistakes in their execution and splinch themselves. What's a splinch? A random separation of body parts that occurs when the mind is inadequately determined. Ouch!!

To sum up, getting where you want to go by apparating requires destination, determination, deliberation and an occasional splinch. It occurred to me that JK Rowling was possibly referring to life and the process we go through in moving ourselves from one goal to another and not just about disappearing and reappearing somewhere else.

Apparating seemed a metaphor for creating change in some aspect of our life. First, when we desire a different outcome or a change, we decide what to change and what we want the result to be. Thus, we define our destination. Next, we determine what actions to take in order to reach our desired outcome. Once we determine what to do, we act deliberately, meaning act with intention and purpose to reach our goal. Ideally, we get what we want. However, sometimes, we splinch ourselves by only achieving part of what we intended or we experience unforeseen growing pains along the way.

Where do you experience this 3-part process, complete with splinching, in your life? Many areas come to mind -relationships, finances, business development, exercise. For example, you may have a vision of how you want to eat and exercise. You plan out meals and create an exercise schedule based on your vision. Then with mindfulness and awareness, you set out to follow through on your plan. Often the plan succeeds without a hitch. Other times you are swayed by unexpected goodies, lack of sleep, work commitments, or stress. These situations create splinches that allow you to learn, grow, refine your goals, develop new actions and increase your success.

When you think about it, wouldn’t it be nice to just apparate into whatever success you desire? Absolutely!! But, since apparition is not a reality yet, we can continue to use the three D’s of destination, determination, and deliberation to take us where we want to go.

Suzette Langley, Life Coach and MSW, coaches people to create a life they love through improving their health, fitness, time/stress management, and work-life balance. Suzette moves clients from possibility to reality through goal setting and action evaluation. She offers individual/group coaching, corporate trainings, workshops, and a free monthly newsletter through Passion for Life Coaching. She can be found at

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