After watching Disney‘s Alice in Wonderland, I learned a new word to describe an old concept, muchness. The Mad Hatter said to Alice, “You’re not the same. When you were here before you were muchier, but it seems you’ve lost your muchness.”
What an interesting thought, losing your muchness. What is muchness anyway? If you go back to the movie you will see what Alice had lost was her courage. Her courage to slay the dragon.
In today’s environment, muchness might be the ability to achieve your most desired goals no matter what the odds of failure. But what about the dragon? There are no dragons today, right? Wrong.
When you’ve lost your job because of Covid, who do you think is at the other end of the phone line demanding you pay an overdue bill? The dragon. If you listen carefully you can hear the scales rattle as he leans forward in his chair to tell you they’re turning off your electricity.
If you’re a student doing school virtually, you know the dragon. When the lesson doesn’t make sense, but the class moves on anyway, you may think you’re all alone. You are not. The hot breath on the back of your neck is the dragon.
The dragon and I have dueled many times over the years, and I know the one thing that can stand up to the dragon’s flame is courage. Muchness. So the question we must answer is, how did we lose our muchness and how can we get it back?
Losing our courage can begin with destructive thinking. Destructive thinkers believe all problems are huge and probably permanent. The more they focus on the size of the dragon, the bigger the dragon becomes until their mortal size pales in comparison. We can easily be devoured by our own destructive thinking.
A courage destroyer that goes hand in hand with destructive thinking is having the wrong mindset. Mindset can be divided into two categories: fixed and growth. People with a fixed mindset don’t try hard enough and therefore they give up too soon. This kind of dragon slayer retreats to what he believes is a safe place and then is devoured by the dragon. Someone with a growth mindset never gives up. They think of the possibilities and then focus on a solution that will extinguish the dragon’s flame. I want tp be a dragon slayer, don’t you?
So how do we find our muchness? Alice gives us a hint when she says:
In my next blog I’ll talk about each of the things we can do to regain our muchness. As you may have guessed, the sixth impossible thing Alice believes is that she can slay the dragon.