Today is April Fool's Day. Doesn't feel like a day to be pranking each other given the current global health and economic crisis. But that doesn't mean we can't celebrate the Fool archetype.
I am a massive fan of mythology and archetypes. In fact, I love the archetypes so much that I became a certified archetype consultant through Caroline Myss' CMED program. To me archetypes are a short-hand way to connect our individual stories to transcendent universal ones.
Archetypes the secret behind all the success of the movies that we love. We don't just watch Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter or Shrek go on magical journeys. We see the Hero and his journey in action. We love Tom Hanks because he is the Everyman that we all can relate to. Hugh Jackman is the Warrior that overcomes incredible odds for the sake of freedom - from Curly in Oklahoma, Valjean in Les Miserables and PT Barnum in The Greatest Showman.
Right now we're in the age of the Fool. The Fool isn't the same as clown who uses silliness to mask sadness. The Fool is often seen in stories alongside the King or Ruler who deflates the ego of the ruler without getting his head cut off because he uses humor.
The Fool isn't stupid. It's clever, wise and resilient.
Fools in modern times are the late-night comedians and Saturday Night Live, whose writers are highly educated, many times from the Ivy League.
The Fool is all over Facebook and the Internet with clever parodies about the importance of washing our hands, social distancing and cabin fever. Their productions aren't just videos to pass the time. They are tools that unite our world in our shared struggle.
The strengths of the Fool include:
We consultants might nature are a pretty serious lot. We tend to be deep thinkers and strategizers that mobilize action and results, which isn't happening a whole lot right now. So let's lighten up and embrace the Fool archetype.
1. Find the Lighter Side of Today's Crisis: Still post helpful suggestions on your blog and social media that will help your clients make better decisions and stay grounded but add in humor and things that will make your clients laugh.
2. Stay Energized: Lots of communities, including mine, are offering virtual happy hours to keep our spirits up. Join in and connect with others.
3. Prioritize Fun at Home: A leader I admire is intentionally posting questions about favorite movies of all time, books to bring on a desert island and other lighter topics to encourage people to enjoy and not dread the extra time at home.
4. Get Creative! Use the time you have to create new products or services. Or consider what it looks like for your business to be more virtual. I am a proud affiliate for Kajabi as this tool literally transformed my business and gave me all the tools to create courses and go 100% digital.
5. Speak Up: Leaders across the board are in fight or flight mode and aren't making the best decisions in the best way. Say what needs to be said because times like now reveal how essential leadership excellence really is.
6. Stay in the Moment: Worrying about the future won't change it. Accepting and living in reality will. My good friend always says, "Worry is like a rocking chair. It keeps you busy but doesn't get you anywhere." Instead connect to your difficult emotions and process them so that you can move to the other side where strategy can be found.
7. Tap into Your Inner Snark: One of the best ways to write really good copy and content is to write it the way you think it and feel it without editing. If you want to help companies get out of the corporate BS which is stupid and wasteful, write that down as your first draft.
8. Stay Resilient: The Fool knows that tomorrow is another day and if today's joke was a bust, there is always another one that can be delivered tomorrow. Perfection isn't fun. Trying things out and failing is.
9. And speaking of fun - Pursue Fun in Your Work: Work doesn't have be boring or suck the living daylights out of you. Try this revolutionary idea on for size - you can make money doing what you love and what makes you happy.
10. Be a Contrarian: There are three ways to get your content to stand out amongst the noise. First, be consistent. Second, be of service. Write what people want to know about. And third, be different. Take a unique stance. If everyone is writing about the importance of leaders knowing their people, find a unique take on the topic. Be provocative and challenge the existing paradigms.
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