The writing is clearly all around us. Biggest box office movies of our times have been Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter.
We flock to X-men, Avengers…keep resurrecting Superman, Batman.
There is a thirst in us that is not being satiated in our work and life that these movies, books and games provide.
What is that? is it the superhero? The archetypal hero’s journey, told in all great stories? Yes. This is a part of the reason these stories are so compelling. We long to be close to the hero who is called to go on a dangerous and lonely quest, who struggles, against ridiculous odds, and wins out in the end.
One could argue that this yearning speaks to an absence of true heroism in our leaders of government and industry. Instead we have the sell out. The lies, cheap tricks, soul destroying, planet destroying greed for more money, more power.
We hope to be that hero. We want the courage and fortitude to be found within us, as leaders and entrepreneurs.
Yet there is another lesser told reason why these movies and books capture our imagination, our time and our investment. All of them speak to the world of the magical, the mythic. The unreasonable. The irrational. They speak to a part of us that has been in drought, wandering in the wilderness of rational science for several hundred years…the evidence based necessity we have demanded in order to get funding.
We actually want to believe in something greater than our little selves. We want there to be a mystery that defies reason. Most of us have memory of this, somewhere from our childhood. Before I was six I was quite sure (I still am quite sure) that at night time I would go to bed and be able to fly. I have clear memory of seeing myself asleep, on the bed, from the perspective of the ceiling. I thought the grow ups who said we couldn’t fly where strange and dead wrong.
I also had a very strong sense that I had been here before. This still happens on occasions. That time warp of deja vu.
Whether you have had such magical experiences or not is not really the point. Most people I have met have had occasions where they have felt in the flow, where everything is aligned, and in this state all kinds of synchronicities and miracles occur. The person you were thinking about calls. Exactly what you need for your project is suddenly there. Rain clouds clear.
Throughout the course of human history we have had a way to participate in the mythic and magic. For many years that was through some form of religious practice. As we have moved further away from religion we have also ejected any experience in our lives of the magic and mythic. Our world of business has become sterile. Cold. Stainless steel, cement, little colour. 50 shades of grey indeed. Even 1000 shades of grey.
To build a business that does not have in its design a place for the magical and mythic is to miss out on this yearning that we have. It is also to create a workplace that is more factory than inspiration.
We need some whimsy. Yes, and some ritual. The opportunity for stories. A pinch of craziness. Some unstructure. Animals in the work place. Dance. Poetry and art.
If you really dare, if you really want business as unusual then you can invite the mythic to be foundational to your business. It doesn’t have to be new agey. It can simply be the spaciousness to tune into the flow of your business and the flow of the ecology around you….and from there craft what most needs to happen.
And if you find a part of your mind screaming in protest as you read this, instead of ejecting the thought outright, dive deeper. Take a look at the scream. Is it your scream, or is it the scream you have been told.. and sold? For as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, even you remember a time in your life when magic mattered.