Imagining A Better Story

My imagination often swims around one central question. What just might be possible? The origin of this question dates back to a fateful early morning when I was a boy. My father awoke me and told me that he was driving to Galveston, Texas, that day for business. He asked if I would like to skip school and join him on the trip. My wonder was stoked by the sights we saw along the way and particularly by the exotic seafood we dined on before heading home. As we drove home that evening, I remarked on all we had done that day. My father smiled, looked over at me and said, “You know, everyone had the same number of hours today that we did. We just did a lot more with the time we had.” I’ve never forgotten those words. Every day holds infinite possibilities. We are only limited by our own imagination.

This revelation motivated my study of mythology. While history is concerned with what was, mythology is focused on what might have been and the possibilities that could have created what now is. At the root of my mythological studies is a deep passion for story. Over the decades of work I’ve put into researching narrative, I’ve determined that it can be a complex question parsing a good story from a bad one. Even in our own lives, we struggle to properly label our experiences, especially as they are happening. We might never agree on what a good story or bad story is for our lives. But we can agree that everyone is capable of a better story. The pursuit of this better story is the fuel that fires my imagination most explosively.

John Bucher is a Hollywood-based mythologist, storyteller, author, speaker, and podcaster with a PhD in Mythology and Depth Psychology who serves as Creative Director for the Joseph Campbell Foundation, and whose books include the best-selling Storytelling for Virtual Reality, named by BookAuthority as one of the best storytelling books of all time, and his brand new, The Storytelling Almanac.