Kevin Fong - Organizational Design
The Synchronicity of Enchanted Time 

 

I believe we experience time in two ways.  We live in sequential time, which ticks by.  Then there is another type of time.  Performers and athletes drift into it when they take the stage or the field.  People experience it when they fall in love, experience a birth or loss of a loved one.  I call it synchronistic or enchanted time.  While many dismiss it as not being real, my friend Scott once argued that enchanted time is even more real because it is saturated with eternity.
 
I spent much of the past week in enchanted time, when my son Santiago underwent an emergency surgery.   After spending the night at his side in the hospital and another sleepless night at home, we returned to the hospital for a second surgery after complications ensued.  I had no sense of sequential time, nor did it matter.  Routines such as work, eating, and showering ceased to punctuate my days.  It is only now, ten days later, that I’m really able to re-engage in the sequential way of being.
 
While we experience both types of time, we often consider enchanted time as lost, wasted or off-task. When we dismiss it, especially in the workplace, as impractical and unproductive, we also send a message that dreaming, creativity and innovation has no place here.  I remember one CEO telling me.  “You can’t stay on the cutting edge by wasting your time in the clouds.”  I believe that the best place to find the cutting edge is in the clouds. During the quiet hours as I sat next to Santi, I was suspended by the circumstances of the situation, which allowed me the space to envision my life, my work and my relationships in ways that will propel me to new and deeper perspectives on how to lead my life.
 
For many of us entrenched in sequential time, enchanted time slips through in small doses, perhaps when listening to an inspired piece of music, while lost in a good movie, or when feeling the warmth of a friend’s smile.  It may come in the middle of the night, when sleep is elusive.  For me, it was imposed by my situation which forced me to shed the sequential notions of my life. 
 
From this past week I found something for myself that I would like to extend as my wish for you. Do all that you can to create time for enchantment in your life, whether it is fifteen minutes of unedited writing, dancing, or playing an instrument that you don’t know how to play. Have a three hour dinner with a friend or colleague, or surprise your loved one with a road trip with no particular destination.  It will likely feel strange, but magic and inspiration with be there. 
 
As sequential time marches on, these enchanted moments can provide you with the hope and inspiration to live more deeply and meaningfully.  Santi is fully recovered and we are back to our old routines. But we both know that as sequential time asserts itself in our lives, Santi and I can transport ourselves back to this week with just one simple look or word, and be reminded that the synchronicity of enchanted time is the stuff that binds us together.    


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